Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 29 seconds

In the never-ending quest to save money, nonprofits have to get pretty creative. We rely on volunteers to do things that for-profit companies would pay thousands of dollars to get done. We work for ridiculously low wages in pursuit of the greater good. We even spend a fair amount of time calculating just how much of every donation goes toward direct services, so our supporters know that they are making a difference.

One area many smaller nonprofits agonize over is software. How on earth do you balance the organization’s needs against the budget? While you should have software, upgrades, tech support, etc. figured in to your annual budget, if there’s no money…well, there’s no money. As they say, you can’t get blood from a stone.

Fortunately, there are a lot of free and open-source software products available, if a nonprofit professional knows where to look. In order to make the hunt a little less overwhelming, there are some sites out there that have collected all kinds of programs, apps, etc. into one starting point. With a quick browse of the sites, you can pretty easily find free programs to meet a lot of your needs. For example, the site alternativeTo offers tons of categories, including:

  • Audio
  • Backup
  • Business
  • CD/DVD
  • Development
  • File Management
  • File Sharing
  • Games
  • Health
  • Productivity
  • Utilities
  • Photo and Graphic
  • Security
  • Social
  • Video
In addition, you can find programs and applications based on the type of device you’re using, including computers, tablets, smartphones, and several other options.

The site itself seems pretty comprehensive, and it may take a little time to sort through your options and make a choice. But, it’s pretty exciting to realize that there ARE options, even for the nonprofit that is operating on a shoestring budget!

Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013
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