Mifos is the opensource initiative creating a financial software, primary in efforts to eliminate global poverty. The software is used by many within the microfinance industry. It supports more than 850,000 clients as of 2011. It's primarily utilized in efforts to secure some kind of financial backing for projects/business initiatives. While it is relatively simple to achieve this type of backing in some areas of the world, there are many people who are not nearly as fortunate. Microfinancing allows users to fund their own projects without the backing of bulge financial institutions, where such a small investment/loan would not be considered enough in terms of ROI for them to commit anything at all. Thus, it allows users to fund their own initatives, and MIFOS encourages a source of smaller and easier funding sources. Officially, MIFOS mission is to diminish poverty across the globe. Thus, it is most practical to keep the project open for all users to contribute and expedite the technological advancements.
The community is located all across the globe, having being open source. To support global usage, MIFOS is packaged in various languages for ease of contribution. Being open source, it bears a community of both experts, amateurs, and regular enthusiasts alike. This allows for a much easier, efficient, and effective way to approach the same goal while leveraging diverse background, human intellect, and likeminded mentality. The community has approximately 50 or so microfinance institutions located around the world. However, becuase it is commited to helping diminish global poverty, most institutions are located in 3rd world countries. This software allows for low costs, high support service (via Q&A and a forum-like setting) and high efficiency. MIFOS is readiliy available for download off of the website itself.
My interaction with the community has been rather limited due to limited technical knowledge regarding computer science and technical terms. However, I follow the programs MIFOS offers and notable endeavors by its users. I feel that this alone allows for a unique experience via observation and documentation, and is a nod to the effectiveness of open-source software.