DevSummit07:For-Profit / Nonprofit Software Collaborations

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Facilitated by Jon Stahl and Steve Anderson, ONE/Northwest, Steve Wright, Foundation, and others

Current integration of platforms such as and Plone offer a promising vision for hybrid collaborations that benefit nonprofits. But complexities exist in bridging the motivations of for-profit and nonprofit efforts and offerings. Those who have made the connection will facilitate dialog and discovery on traits of effective collaborations, and potential future collaborations will be considered.

Why needs nonprofit collaborators The data management platform (more constrictively known as CRM) is designed to facilitate the work of anyone who happens to use data in their job. With this very broad marketplace, it is essential that is able to demonstrate success with clients from the the narrowest tip of The Long Tail, a.k.a, the land of the nonprofit. Our collaborations with nonprofits provide fantastic examples of this. Additionally, operates with the understanding that 1) we will benefit from our contributions to a better world, 2) partnering with social good organizations (nonprofits) is critical as the specific tasks associated with the creation of a better world is not in our bailiwick.


kevin - TechSoup Evan - NPower Seattle Greg - Sunlight Foundation Seth - Transportation (Portland, OR) Hummananet

Steve W - program officer at Foundation mission at the company to change the world for the better most giving is through donation of licenses to platform some cash granting, but small compared to product sees that making a better world improves business

giving programs are the first to go when times get tight so:

  • has decided that their social responsibility helps them keep employees

Steve W

  • thinks that the nonprofit world can be an innovative force that companies can't be

Sees it as a direct benefit to the company and society donation is not a bait and switch model, there isn't upsell in the future for nonprofits as a platform, constant innovation is necessary. they need contributions to keep innovation going. nonprofits add innovation.

Techsoup Kevin, how do we get corporations to give in an enlightened way?

Steve W. - very few corporations are looking at their societal impact over the long term.

Corpations all benefit from a better world, but it's hard to quantify, so corps don't do it

Qualitative measures of community could be measured and reported back to corps

Corporate philanthropy exists in the reality that the company must make money

ONE/NW has a partnership with

  • made the decision to rely on the donation program
  • have contributed back to foundation, but also back to the company has a model

  • 1% employee time
  • 1% founding capital
  • 1% product donation

strategic volunteering is really hard

  • getting people to help on implementations is harder to manage (brutal, hard to do) is pushing product partners to donate/discount their products for nonprofits

  • no partners ever say no
  • most partners are smaller, and not public corporations


New partners always want to work with a nonprofit

When Microsoft started donating through compumentor, others came as well because they wanted to be in the same forum as ms. has new nonprofit business unit

  • will sell to nonprofits who have needs above and beyond the 10 licenses
  • 80% discount
  • had to work to convince Marc Benioff that charging anything was a good idea