Social Source Commons Terms of Use

Social Source Commons (SSC) is a community-maintained knowledge resource inspired by other collaborative platforms including Wikipedia, Delicious, and Flickr. SSC is a place for nonprofit software users to share lists of tools that they use and support, gain knowledge, make connections and discover new resources. SSC is maintained by Aspiration.

This page describes the terms of use for creating an account as well as contributing and updating information on the site.

Prohibited Activities

It is expressly forbidden to create an account or to add or modify a tool or toolbox for the sole purpose of achieving higher search engine rank for unrelated web sites and pages, or for routing traffic to sites having nothing to do with the stated purpose of SSC. While we welcome users to link to their organizations and personal homepages in order to provide additional context as to their use of nonprofit software, it is explicitly prohibited to create content that links to unrelated commercial interests having nothing to do with nonprofit-relevant software or the intended use of SSC. Aspiration reserves the right to make final judgements in all cases regarding appropriate content for SSC, and to remove any content found to be in violation of these terms of use.

Guidelines for Creating a User Account

Any person or organization is welcome to create an account. We prefer that all accounts represent individuals but we understand that there are situations when it is appropriate for an organization to own an account as a whole, especially in the case of nonprofit technology assistance providers who wish to list the tools and toolsets that they support.

Guidelines for Adding or Modifying a Tool

We welcome anyone with an account to add a tool to the SSC database, including publishers of specific software tools.

Data entered about tools should be in an objective voice. In particular, superlatives and "hype" language (e.g. "Best blogging tool ever!!!") should not be used in tool descriptions or other tool meta-data. Users wishing to express subjective opinions both positive and negative should utilize the comments feature that is available on each tool page.

It is expressly forbidden to vandalize or otherwise undermine the presentation and representation of any tool. If you feel that you have observed such behavior, please notify us via

We also have guidelines about what is considered to be a "tool" in the context of SSC. A Social Source Commons tool is a nonprofit-relevant software application or hosted service that provides a unique interactive experience for each person that uses it. The following are frequently asked questions about our editorial criteria for appropriate tools on SSC:

  • To what extent is a website a tool?
    To the extent that it provides an interactive service, and is not just an advertisement for services or a source of mostly static informational content. For example, Gmail is a tool. is a tool. Flickr is a tool. DemocracyInAction and VerticalResponse are tools. But a site for computer technicians that will come to your house if you call them (or fill out a web request) is not a tool, nor is a web site that describes the services of a nonprofit technology service provider, nor a generic nonprofit web site. We are always open to discussing boundary cases.
  • Can a mailing list be a tool? (Not software to run a mailing list, but rather a specific mailing list, such as NTEN-DISCUSS.)
    No, specific mailing lists are not considered to be tools in SSC parlance. However, we do have a section within each tool or toolbox where relevant mailing lists can be listed.
  • Is a programming language a tool?
    This is a bit of a grey area, but we currently elect not to include languages as tools. However, a compiler or other software in which you employ the language in order to create nonprofit software would certainly count as a tool. And if you add your favorite language based on how you use it in a nonprofit technology context, we won't argue.
  • Is an MP3 player a tool?
    We generally seek to exclude software that is purely for entertainment use, such as MP3 players or games. However, if you use an MP3 player for your nonprofit work, and you feel it would be helpful to have in your SSC toolbox, feel free to include it.
  • Is a handheld device (or its Operating System) a tool?
    The primary focus of SSC is on software, so hardware and devices are not considered tools. A mobile operating system such as Android, on the other hand, is a perfectly suitable tool.

Comments & Questions

We welcome your comments regarding these terms of use. Please send any comments or questions to