Friday, January 07, 2005

Network Power for Philanthropy and Nonprofits

At last fall's KM Cluster I had the pleasure of meeting Marion Kane (Exec Dir) and Roberto Cremonini (Chief Knowledge & Learning Officer) of the Barr Foundation. They had just unveiled their new slogan, "Using Knowledge, Networks, and Funding to Build a Better Boston for All."

Marion and Roberto told me about a report they commissioned to survey the potential benefits of social network analysis to the world of philanthropy and nonprofits. Written by Peter Plastrik and Madeleine Taylor, it's an excellent overview that I recommend to anyone interested in applying SNA in this sector.

After concisely surveying the relevant parts of social networks, the authors recommend these five strategies to nonprofits seeking the benefits of networks:
  1. Survey existing networks
  2. Develop communities of practice
  3. Develop experiments demonstrating benefits of network approach to NPs
  4. Pioneer network strategy as means to change large-scale systems in society
  5. Use viral marketing to spread idea of networks
And now, I am very pleased to announce that Barr has just made this report publically available as part of the new "Resources" section of its website. You can download the PDF right here. In the spirit of #5 above, please pass it along with thanks to Barr.

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