Everything open source
May 16–17, 2016: Training & Tutorials
May 18–19, 2016: Conference
Austin, TX

Radically accessible open source: The story of Salesforce.org’s Nonprofit Starter Pack

Judi Sohn (Salesforce.org), Jason Lantz (Salesforce.org)
2:40pm–3:20pm Wednesday, 05/18/2016
Location: Meeting Room 16A

Compared to most enterprises, Salesforce.com’s philanthropic arm, Salesforce.org, has taken a different approach to open source software. Combining the Salesforce platform, corporate philanthropy, and an open source application framework and donor management system, Salesforce.org has delivered its community-grown, Salesforce-native open source application to more than 13,000 nonprofits, 150,000 users, and 75 countries over the past seven years. The Salesforce.org Nonprofit Starter Pack is the largest and most active open source project in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Unlike most open source projects—where there is a natural technical barrier to entry to get an enterprise-scale, hosted version of the application running—Salesforce.org’s users can provision the Nonprofit Starter Pack from a simple web form. As part of its mission, Salesforce.org provides up to 10 free platform licenses to any 501( c )(3) (or non-US equivalent) nonprofit entity. While access to the enterprise platform has undoubtedly accelerated adoption of the Nonprofit Starter Pack, it has also presented a unique challenge: how do you foster a community of varied technical skill around an open source project and product most users don’t even know is open source?

Judi Sohn and Jason Lantz cover how Salesforce.org shepherds its contributors from consumers and users through engagers and community members to contributors.

This session is sponsored by Salesforce.

Photo of Judi Sohn

Judi Sohn


Judi Sohn has been actively involved in the nonprofit technology community since 2006, when she was managing operations for a colorectal cancer advocacy organization. Since then, Judi has worked for both product and consulting partners who serve nonprofit organizations on the Salesforce platform. She holds four Salesforce certifications and was named a Salesforce MVP in 2011. At Salesforce.org, Judi manages and facilitates community contributions to open source projects, including the Nonprofit Starter Pack.

Photo of Jason Lantz

Jason Lantz


Jason Lantz has been an active user of open source since first installing Linux in 1996. After starting in systems administration, Jason moved into building web applications, mostly in Python. His passion for open source merged with a passion for nonprofits in 2008, which led him toward his current role at Salesforce.org. Jason now spends his time designing tooling to support open source team development on the Salesforce platform. This work led to the creation and release of two open source projects, CumulusCI and mrbelvedere.