Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 09:15:27 -0400
From:"Anders Schneiderman" <>
Subject: Nonprofits using Linux?

I was wondering whether you could do me a favor.  I am a member of the 
Nonprofit Open Source Initiative (NOSI), and we are trying to put 
together a series of case studies of the experience of nonprofits using 
Linux for their network.  The idea behind the study is that we want to show 
nonprofits that other people just like them have successfully (we 
hope!)  switched to Linux and give them an idea of what's involved pitfalls 
to avoid, etc.   Would you be willing to post our notice about the 
study, attached below, to your LUG's mailing list?  Also, do you have any 
suggestions about other folks I could talk to who might know of some 
good leads?

Anders Schneiderman
Nonprofit Open Source Initiative

P.S. In case you're wondering, we've already tried posting to Slashdot 
but got rejected (they didn't say why).

Seeking Participants for Linux in Nonprofits Study 

The Nonprofit Open Source Initiative (NOSI) is developing case studies 
of nonprofit organizations that use Linux for their office network. We 
are looking for organizations with staffs of 15 people or more. If you 
work or volunteer for a nonprofit of that size, that uses Linux for 
networking (including file/print sharing, or as an email server), we are 
interested in interviewing you about your experience. 

The idea behind the study is to convince more nonprofits to take a 
serious look at Linux. While many schools and government agencies are 
beginning to consider Linux as an option, awareness in the rest of the 
nonprofit sector, especially small-to-medium size organizations, remains 
very low. Given that these groups have very tight budgets and share the 
volunteer ethic of Open Source, you would think that Linux would be 
widespread among them. But so far nonprofits have been surprisingly 
reluctant to embrace Open Source. When it comes to technology, nonprofits tend 
to trail several years behind the for-profit world. Although many 
nonprofits use Apache, PHP, etc. for Web work, most treat the idea of Open 
Source in general and Linux in 
particular the same way businesses did several years ago. The fact that 
Open Source is now mainstream in the business world hasn't had much 
impact on the way nonprofits see it. 

By doing this study, we hope to show nonprofits that other 
organizations just like theirs have used Linux to cut their total IT costs 
(including training and support) and to create networks they can really count 
on. We also hope to give them a better understanding of what it means to 
run Linux vs. Microsoft/Novell networks as well as the issues they need 
to think about and the pitfalls that they will want to avoid if they 
moved to Open Source on the back end. 

If you think your organization would make a good case study, please 
fill out the survey that's available on the study's web page at For more information on NOSI, please 
check out our web site at 

Reuben Silvers 
Anders Schneiderman 
The Nonprofit Open Source Initiative