Schipul, a web marketing agency based in Houston, Texas, announced yesterday during the 2012 South by Southwest Interactive festival that Tendenci, a content management system (CMS) will be released as an open source solution. Tendenci was developed by Schipul especially for nonprofit organizations and associations over the last decade as a proprietary Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product. The platform is currently supporting hundreds of nonprofit and association websites around the world, with over one million users. The open source solution will be available to download at the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference, taking place April 3-5 in San Francisco.
“Because Tendenci is specifically designed as a CMS for NPOs, we believe opening the source code will allow us to better fulfill our mission of doing good,” said Ed Schipul, president and CEO. “The best way to expand the Tendenci community – from a community perspective as well as a capabilities perspective – is to open it up and encourage the development community to build on it and to participate in making improvements.”
Schipul pointed to the 2011 Nonprofit Data Ecosystem Report from the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), highlighting the finding that “over 90 percent of Nonprofits surveyed manage their website content on either an open source or custom in-house built CMS.”
The move to open source has been in the works for the last two years, as Schipul began rebuilding the CMS on Python on the Django open source framework. The flexibility brought to the solution through the custom Django application results in more integration options across the web, especially with social sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Vimeo. Many organizations are looking for options to better connect and integrate content across channels, underscoring the value of this built-in potential.
Schipul plans to continue offering Tendenci as a hosted solution to organizations that want the SaaS model of support and customization. I’m really excited to see Tendenci join the ecosystem of freely available platforms designed for the nonprofit sector and am interested to see further innovations emerge from this platform.