The Software Freedom Conservancy has announced a campaign to fund the development of the first free and open non-profit accounting software. Given the state of open source software for nonprofits (see below), this is something I strongly support. It also touches the PostgreSQL community since our own NPOs/NGOs (Non-Profit/Non-Goverment Organizations) lack software for accounting.
For those who don't do accounting or accounting software, you might look at the wealth of ERP packages like LedgerSMB, OpenERP, xTuple, Adempiere, etc. and think we're well-covered. However, ERP packages only really work for "goods" businesses, which sell packaged products to consumers or to other businesses. The entire orientation of an ERP is around cost accounting for the cost of goods, and fulfilling numerous orders for a relatively fixed list of customers. This doesn't work well for NPOs, who receive a large number of variable donations with no cost basis from a fluid body of donors. So while it's possible that an ERP system could be adapted to non-profit accounting, it would be a substantial and difficult adaptation, probably requiring forking the parent project.
Currently, 100% of the mature software for doing non-profit accounting is proprietary. Most of this software is also quite expensive, outdated, and limiting, taking a lot of time and money away from charitable organizations who desperately need more of both. Premier NPO package Raiser's Edge, for example, generally costs non-profits as much as the salary of three staff; I know one museum who had to lay off so many people to afford it that they had nobody to enter data into the computer! NPOs have no alternative, though; while they can go without software for a lot of things, accounting isn't one of them.
Among the NPOs which lack good software to track donations, donors, expenses, funds and tax reports are our own PostgreSQL non-profits. Chief among these is Software in the Public Interest, which, as a "fiscal sponsor" of dozens of open source projects, needs much more sophisticated financial software than our smaller funds.
Of course, I'm also hoping that we end up with a PostgreSQL-based solution. But at this point I'll take anything which gets the job done and is open and free. The need is that bad.
Anyway, that's why I'm supporting the Conservancy Campaign for NPO software. You could, too.