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Useful free software for your community organisation

It is important for every community group to make the most of the best free and cheap computer software available.

The ability to lower your IT costs without compromising on quality means you will have more money to spend on other parts of your mission and operations.

Our Community has compiled a list of free or very cheap software that can be used by groups in the sector. In addition, there are a number of sector-specific software packages listed below which your group might be interested in investigating further.

General software

Operating systems

Office suites

Desktop publishing

Graphics and photos

A number of image generator applications are featured on this page of the Our Community website.

PDF creators

Virus checkers and associated software

Computer cleaners

Computer cleaners aim to keep your machine humming along by getting rid of unwanted or unnecessary files. Two top-notch free computer cleaners are:

File recovery

Even with the best back-up procedures and systems in place, anyone can mistakenly delete an important file. If you do you will need to use a file recovery program to rescue it. Two of the better free file recovery programs available are:

Podcatchers

Document reader and viewer software

Email

Website production

FTP (File Transfer) Packages

Programs which put your HTML pages on the Web:

Other free programs for web work and browsing

Fundraising Software

Most commercial software packages aimed at fundraisers are specialist database packages, focused on donor relations management, powerful, expensive ($500-$20,000), complex and American or British. And many of the things they do can be achieved with free or cheaper software - though this will probably involve more work, more difficulty, and more time. Start with Techsoup's guide to selecting software.

Some of the software available includes:

Fundraising databases include:

Note - some of these, while themselves free, are in fact modules that work with commercial databases such as MS Access and Filemaker.

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