By Richard Chiriboga, a web project manager and front-end developer and founder of CorrienteLatina.com.


To first understand how GitHub for Good works, let’s take a step back and understand what GitHub actually is. At its simplest form, Github is a place that houses code into groups called repositories and allows one or more people to update and keep version controlled copies of their files.

Imagine this scenario: Joe and Alex are both web developers working on a nonprofit’s website who want to may sure they:

  1. Do not overwrite each other’s work
  2. Keep one central location for all their web files

The nonprofit has a Github Repository for nonprofitname.org and both developers add their files to the repository. Each time they add an update, both the current and older versions are saved. For the more technically advanced, you can build branches to create new functionality, do code reviews, get outside help, and merge fixes back into the original code. Example of a GitHub Repository:

Enter Github for Good

In short, GitHub for Good is a free GitHub account. To qualify, your organization must meet a set of requirements:

GitHub nonprofit accounts are designed for official nonprofit organizations and charities that are nongovernment, nonacademic, noncommercial, nonpolitical in nature, and have no religious affiliation.

If your organization does not fall within their guidelines, you can find a plan that works for you.  Finally, it’s worth noting that GitHub is also compatible with many different project management systems, such as Basecamp, Zapier, Slack, and Trello.

Nonprofits and Nonprofit Technology Companies Using GitHub

  1. Blackbaud/Convio: github.com/convio
  2. Institute for NonProfit News: github.com/INN
  3. Classy: github.com/classy-org
  4. Donor Drive: github.com/DonorDrive
  5. Free Code Camp: github.com/freeCodeCamp
  6. 6Charity Navigator: github.com/CharityNavigator

GitHub for Good: What Nonprofits Need to Know