Project of social benefit award
The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented to the project or team responsible for applying free software, or the ideas of the free software movement, in a project that intentionally and significantly benefits society in other aspects of life.
We look to recognize projects or teams that encourage people to cooperate in freedom to accomplish social tasks. A long-term commitment to one's project (or the potential for a long-term commitment) is crucial to this end.
This award stresses the use of free software in the service of humanity. We have deliberately chosen this broad criterion so that many different areas of activity can be considered. However, one area that is not included is that of free software itself. Projects with a primary goal of promoting or advancing free software are not eligible for this award (we honor individuals working on those projects with our annual Award for the Advancement of Free Software).
We will consider any project or team that uses free software or its philosophy to address a goal important to society. To qualify, a project must use free software, produce free documentation, or use the idea of free software as defined in the Free Software Definition. Projects that promote or depend on the use of non-free software are not eligible for this award. Commercial projects are not excluded, but commercial success is not our scale for judging projects.
In 2014, GNOME Foundation's Outreach Program for Women (OPW) received the award, in recognition of its work to involve women and genderqueer people in free software development. OPW's work benefits society more broadly, addressing gender discrimination by empowering women to develop leadership and development skills in a society which runs on technology. Karen Sandler and Marina Zhurakhinskaya accepted the award on behalf of OPW.
Previous winners have included OpenMRS, GNU Health, Tor, the Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Groklaw, the Sahana project, and Wikipedia.