NPFI promotes the development of customized free open source software products that support the mission-critical activities of individual non-profit organizations.

This work is done in a collaborative setting, where the non-profit actively participates in the design, development, and testing of the software product from the outset.  The technical development work is done either by an instructor/student team or by an individual NPFI developer working with the non-profit.

The customization is typically completed in a 3-month period, using a proven software architecture and mature open source code base as a starting point.  At the end of the 3-month period, the software is professionally installed on the non-profit’s own server, often embedded within its own website for easy and secure staff and volunteer access.

Here are three examples of successful software projects that have used the NPFI approach:

  1. In 2008, 2011, and 2013, three different Bowdoin College student teams built and later customized volunteer database and scheduling software called Homebase that is now used by the Ronald McDonald House in Portland, ME.
  2. In 2015, a Whitman College student team customized Homebase for use by the Ronald McDonald House in Providence, RI.
  3. Later in 2015, NPFI customized and extended Homebase again for use by two different Ronald McDonald Houses, one in Portand, ME and the other in Bangor, ME.  These two houses have different volunteer databases and calendar schedules.

A more complete summary of all student- and NPFI-developed customized software for non-profits is given here.