Forget Candy, Buy Open Source Software for Charity

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 29, 2009

Instead of hauling around boxes of candy bars or gift wrap the next time your school or non-profit group needs to raise money, why not offer a CD of open source software in exchange for a donation? That's the idea behind the Open Source Software Charity Fundraiser CD Project. It's the brainchild of the team at Australian-based software vendor Cybersource, and it could give organizations a new way to approach donors who are tired of traditional fundraising methods.

Cybersource has packaged a bundle of open source software on CD that includes popular applications like Audacity, Celestia, Blender 3D, and OpenOffice. It also includes fun apps like Tux Paint and Battle for Wesnoth. Cybersource provides a pamphlet [PDF] that explains the CD's contents and the concept of open source to potential donors, along with artwork for the CD and jewel case.

Cybersource special projects officer Arik Gershoni says, "Open source software is a boon to non-profit and charity organisations worldwide. Non-profit organisations are always strapped for cash, and no platform delivers lower acquisition and ownership costs than Linux and open source, so it's a natural fit. What we're hoping to do is extend that realm of usefulness for charities. We want them to not only save money by using open source - we want them to make money from open source too."

Based on the costs of the blank CDs and cases charities need to purchase and assemble, the suggested sales price for the CD is $6.50, but of course groups are free to set their own price. This is a unique idea that, when compared to the typical costs associated with common fundraising programs, is much less expensive to undertake. Do you think this would be an effective fundraiser for your local non-profit groups and schools? Let me know in the comments.