FrontlineSMS allows you to send and receive text messages over a mobile network.

Browser-based and built to run on Windows, Mac and Linux, FrontlineSMS can send text messages via phone, modem or online SMS aggregator.

Using Frontline SMS, you can deliver announcements, conduct polls and automate replies to incoming SMS. You can also visualise incoming data, helping you to quickly understand the results.

Etherpad Lite

Etherpad is an online word processor with formatting options.

It offers a lot of the same features as Google Docs, but is not suited for sensitive information as it has limited password protection and access control features. It does have lots of other great features, however. Edits by different authors are colour coded, and there is a chat window which allows you to talk in real time to other people working on the same document. You can undo and redo changes easily, and import/export as text, HTML, PDF and other common formats.


Booktype is an open source platform for writing and publishing print and digital books.

The goal is to make it easier for people and organisations to collaborate on and publish books, using a variety of different outputs. Booktype can output to print-ready PDF files, epub files for eReaders like Kindle or Kobo, word processing (LibreOffice) files or HTML webpages. You can host the software yourself on a server, or set up a free Booktype Pro account, where Sourcefabric can install, host and update Booktype for you.


ProjectLibre is a project management tool similar to Microsoft Project. It allows you to plan your campaign or project by creating different tasks, stages and milestones against a calendar. You can allocate who will do each task and indicate how much time, money and other resources will be needed to complete them. The tool also provides different ways of visualising your project, including Gantt charts (bar charts linked to a timeline) and PERT diagrams.


Customer relationship management (CRM) is a way of tracking a company’s interactions with customers and clients. It involves using technology to organise and automate communication. CiviCRM is a free sofware internet-based approach to CRM, aimed specifically at NGOs, charities and other civic groups. In practice, it can be used by any organisation that would benefit from keeping track of their contacts. This is done with various tools that can help you with things like fundraising, event management, member management, mass e-mail marketing, peer-to-peer campaigns and case management.


Skype is the most popular service around for voice calls over the internet. You can also use live text chat and send files. Many international organisations rely on Skype to reduce their costs, using it instead of the telephone. It makes online collaboration between global grassroots communities easier, as it is both cheap and universal, supporting calls to landlines and mobile phones.


Crabgrass is an online tool which enables group collaboration. It allows groups to do things like share files, track projects, make decisions and store documents online. Using Crabgrass, multiple groups can work together on projects in a way that supports a democratic process. It is possible to rate content, add keywords, and comment on or annotate content. It includes tools like private wikis, task lists, file repositories, approval voting and ranked voting.


Cloud computing, where data and services are stored online instead of on your local computer, offers a lot of advantages.

If you have used Dropbox or Google Docs you may be familiar with the convenience they offer. However, there are also concerns about the move towards the use of corporate cloud computing. Some of these concerns can be overcome by setting up your own cloud-like system using a service like ownCloud.


Drupal is a content management system (CMS) which can be compared to WordPress. A CMS is a way of creating and keeping track of different webpages and online content in a dynamic way. It is said that if you can't do what you want with WordPress, you can do it in Drupal. While there is a 'Drupal core', which will give you a functioning website, there are also many modules that may need to be added and configured to add more features.


WordPress is a tool used to create websites and blogs.

There are two ways to use WordPress: you can download the software from and install it on your own server, or you can sign up to use it as a blog service at

If you use the blog service, you have less customisation options, but the hosting is free and the technical side is taken care of, so you can focus on content.