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OPEN Source = A FREE and OPEN AMS for Non-Profits & Associations

Freedom to CHOOSE

Tendenci - The Open Source AMS, can be used and hosted wherever you want. Pick the people YOU want to build, customize, manage and host your website. In the country of your choice. In fact here are a list of alternatives to Tendenci AMS (hint: almost all aren't open). 

 Freedom to CUSTOMIZE YOUR System

Association Management Software is complex because associations are complex! So you may want to make some minor. Do it! Want to write an entire app specific to your organization that integrates with Tendenci? We love it! 

You can fork Tendenci AMS on github at

We definitely encourage and appreciate pull requests as well. And if you aren't super technical, some of the best pull requests are actually documentation.

Every site let's you pull down templates as well. You can try that out on the free demo site at

Freedom to DO GOOD

Take your association to the far corners of the world, where resources are limited and technology is scarce. Host it on your own server and make real changes in the world! While you can certainly host with us, we've had users send us screenshots of Tendenci running on a RaspberryPi

LANGUAGES! Translate your AMS into the language of your choice using (free) transifex. Although you might find someone has already done this for you.

What exactly is Open Source?

Open Source means that anyone can download a full copy of the software for free and customize it to their needs. Most software is purchased (or licensed) and while you can modify it to your preferences, you can’t rewrite the basic functionality of the product. Many developers want the freedom to modify a product to their individual tastes, getting into the actual code.

And many associations that do host in the tendenci-cloud like knowing they can export ALL of their data at any time. That they can switch to self hosting. They aren't "trapped" - freedom.

Tendenci is a mature and stable software platform originally started in 2001 and went open source in 2013. It is a huge upgrade for most associations or businesses given the robust features 

Does that mean a free website?

Unless, you are a skilled developer, probably not. This doesn't mean you have to use Tendenci as your developer, but you may want to have a developer you trust that can program in Python help you set it up. 

Websites have to live (or be hosted) somewhere to be found on the Internet. And there is a cost for that, whether you own the server internally (some large companies do this) or host your site on someone else’s hardware.

You also need to plan on the initial build of your site, regular updates to content and technical issues that arise.

Sort of like building a house. You plan and build your house and love it. Over time, you repaint as needed or change the carpet to keep it updated. And occasionally you run into an unexpected repair, such as replacing the a/c unit or fixing a leak in the roof. And if you want to add a deck onto the back of the house, you will need to contract with a developer to build that functionality!

Think FREE in terms of FREEDOM.

With Tendenci and other open source products, you have the freedom to customize your website to your needs, build in new functionality, host the site wherever you want, use the people/developers of your choice and change any of this at any time.

Why is Tendenci open source instead of proprietary?

Ah, young grasshopper. It wasn’t always this way. For 11 years, Tendenci was built, maintained and owned by Schipul. During this period, Schipulites listened to their clients and built out specific functionality to help NPOs increase their fundraising. Owning your software gives you absolute control over your product. Pretty sweet. The majority of the fundraising products out there, from Blackbaud down to Wild Apricot, are proprietary. So why did we decide to take Tendenci open source?

1.  It is in line with our core values.

Our mission is “To connect and organize the world’s people. Do good.” Going open source will allow NPOs anywhere with any budget to further their cause. Read more about our mission.

2.  It breeds innovation.

With developers around the world building on the Tendenci platform, there will be more applications and functionality available to everyone on Tendenci. See what Michael J Skok had to say about the Future of Open Source in 2012.

3.  It helps our clients.

We want you to love Tendenci! By giving you flexibility on design, customization and hosting, you can have the website you want!


Releasing Tendenci as an open source platform was a big decision for us. And a step we are glad we took. Now let's go out and do some good!

Want to learn more about Open Source?

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a nonprofit organization that helps provide education and licenses that keep software truly Free and Open. Tendenci is licensed under their approved GNU General Public License v3.0


Check out for more information on the open source philosophy.


                 Thank You.