community software lab computer icon

Sites running our code



Small Funding A/B tests
domestic violence
packaged divorce
more happy users
small success
It has been a year
management by objective not for me
not open jobs/ 10 year pre
2 page accademic paper
micro pair programming parking
other people's poverty
marathon dental work
matching funds
Life Support Tech Tip
party (good) downtime (bad)
<insert something clever here>
rant: stupid children
Parker 2007
Services for Paul Hansen
FYI CSL audit ZIP code sort
status: quo
finance fiduciary responsibility
goofy pile
on time for once
prodigal update
embrace failure and anxiety
new yearhelpW
better late than never.t
boomer grant funded for $20,000
simple and laughing at failure
Fransico franco still dead
drunken master
PARTY !!! planning utec monks festival IRS
coffee lunch irs spam utec
control panel | bonuses | spam | virtual
We're People People Too

Valid XHTML 1.0!

We serve

  1. People needing social services (typical requests)
  2. Non profit and community groups
  3. People needing skills (testimonials)

Publicity: non profit and community groups

Our Open Source software drives two websites: MVHub and the North Shore Portal.

Every month, we provide more than 1,000 referrals to services like homeless shelters, pregnancy testing and food pantries. Our websites provide publicity for more than 300 agencies and 700 programs.

Job skills: Accidental job training

Skilled, experienced software developers aren't always willing to work for little or no money. Therefore, the Community Software Lab provides practical experience in software development to people with various unhappy and inappropriate labels such as "unemployed", "at risk", "entry level", "poor", "old", "brown" or "female".

Our goal is not to provide training but to get useful work done. Paradoxically our alumni claim that because we care more for the work than training they are better prepared for market rate jobs.

Who we used to serve

From 1999 to 2008, our primary goal was to provide reliable free email and web hosting to 40 non-profit and community groups, like homeless shelters, girls clubs and immigrant rights groups.

In 1999, this was an important need. Right now, groups like Google, Dreamhost , and do a better job. Our goals have changed.


To give or pledge cash

click here

Individual donations go for things like:

Salaries, (to the extent we have them) are covered by larger grants (to the extent we win them)

CSL Biggest Supporters

Our biggest supporters are UMass Lowell and the Transmission Project We would not exist without them. However, neither group is responsible for our mistakes.

Community Software Lab Mission

The Community Software Lab creates open source software for low income people and gives people experience in software development.


We work toward a post scarcity society by making the values of the open source movement, namely transparency, meritocracy, and generosity, the values of the entire culture.


Information and software are wealth. Creating and using free software is a way to create wealth. Learning and teaching are best achieved by doing work that helps others.

Current Methods:

We provide no-cost web directories of social services using our free software.

CSL short term goals

  1. To make MVHub and NorthShorePort more useful than Google in their small social service niche.
  2. To make the software and data that run these sites available to anyone who wants to attempt to provide better service.

Very short term, over the next year or so, we plan to do better than Google (in our little niche) by making the info in our databases more easily indexed by Google.

Helping as a volunteer

Our focus is not skills building or job development. Our focus is getting useful work done without much wealth. To volunteer with us, you need some skills. We're not as picky as groups hiring $60,000 per year software developers, but to volunteer with us you need to start with some small skills. Check out our (hopefully quick and easy) volunteeer test