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ONE-Northwest: online networking for the environment with open source software

by xavier last modified 2009-06-30 10:55

ONE/Northwest is a US non-profit supporting the environment and grass roots organizations through the use of technology. For over a decade, ONE/Northwest has helped over 800 environmental organizations fuse technology with new ways of doing their work. The organization relies intensively on open source software, for example, offering websites powered by the Content Management System Plone in order to help environmental NGOs make the leap to the Internet age.

ONE/Northwest is a non-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington, USA, that helps environmental NGOs use technology to become more effective at engaging people and decision-makers in environmental protection.  Founded in 1995,  ONE/Northwest has worked with over 800 organizations, providing a broad range of services from small office technology infrastructure to website, email and database development and has played a critical role in helping the regional environmental movement make the leap to the internet age.

ONE/Northwest has been an enthusiastic user of open-source software solutions since its inception.   "Open source platforms have allowed us to build powerful, high-quality, reliable services and projects at very reasonable costs," said Program Manager Jon Stahl.

Starting in 1996, ONE/Northwest began providing email list hosting services using Majordomo email list software.  The service was later migrated to Sympa, and now serves over 180,000 individuals.

More recently, ONE/Northwest started doing website development projects with Plone.  In early 2004, ONE/Northwest evaluated a number of open-source content management platforms, and chose to focus its consulting practice on Plone.  "Plone was a great choice for a small consulting practice building sophisticated projects for busy clients who don't want to learn complex technology systems. End-users love Plone's intuitive user interface and how it lets them 'just get things done.'   Our programmers love Plone's power, quality and versatility -- not to mention its mature and friendly developer community," said Stahl.

ONE/Northwest has become an active participant in the Plone community. It hosted the 2006 Plone Conference in Seattle, where 350 Plone users and developers from around the world gathered for their fourth annual converence.  ONE/Northwest has also contributed several add-on Products, documentation and other code to the Plone community.  "Open source communities and nonprofit organizations are a great fit.  We are both passionate, mission-driven and have strong commitments to sharing, collaboration and social benefit.  We've benefitted tremendously from the hard work and experience of the Plone community, and we've tried to give back in kind,"  said Jon Stahl.

Among the sites ONE/Northwest has built for Northwest environmental organizations:

  • Washington Toxics Coalition - Washington Toxics protects public health and the environment by eliminating toxic pollution. Their new website puts a beautiful, people-centered face on an extensive collection of resources, information and publications about creating a healthier world.    
  • Oregon Wild - Oregon Wild (formerly Oregon Natural Resources Council) works to protect Oregon's wildlands, wildlife and waters as an enduring legacy. Oregon Wild launched a new website as part of an overall organization rebranding effort. Their new site features a polished design, an extensive press room, online donations, photo galleries and more. 
  • Sightline Institute -  Sightline Institute, is a not-for-profit research and communication center -- a think tank -- based in Seattle. Founded in 1993, Sightline's mission is to bring about sustainability -- a healthy, lasting prosperity grounded in place. One/Northwest produced a highly customized website that offers premium content to logged-users and is able to track changes to member profiles.
  • Snow Leopard Trust -  Founded in 1981, the Snow Leopard Trust is the largest and oldest organization working solely to protect the endangered snow leopard and its Central Asian habitat.


More Sucess stories on ONE-Northwest website.