Yesterday, I had the great pleasure and privilege of helping to facilitate a workshop on knowledge management for small nonprofits at the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network conference, along with my esteemed colleagues Mollie Murphy, Kevin Palmer, and Jim Fisk.
This session also marked the debut of Annkissam’s new web site, Nonprofit KM. I’m thrilled with the design work that Tsholo Thekiso (also from Annkissam) has done to make it clean and beautiful. Right now, the new site only has a few items on it; more will be forthcoming. At the moment, I’d especially like to recommend two items to your attention:
- Knowledge management is like sorting socks: KM for nonprofit organizations. (A white paper from Annkissam.)
- KM approaches: Strategies for nonprofit KM. (A very useful chart.)
Special thanks go out to the uber librarian, Rachael Stark, who has worked very closely with me on Annkissam’s knowledge management for nonprofits initiative, and is responsible for much of the information and insight that is infused in the new Nonprofit KM web site. To know Rachael is to understand the power of librarianship, and to glimpse the potential for collaboration between librarians and nonprofit professionals.
I’m also grateful to the Annkissam team in general and its Drupal development team in particular. Although Annkissam has developed an excellent Drupal-based knowledge management system for small nonprofits, Habitat, the new Nonprofit KM is all about providing crucial assistance to those who are struggling with knowledge management challenges, rather than a commercial message about Habitat. Likewise, yesterday’s workshop on knowledge management for small nonprofits was all about brainstorming the main problems and possible solutions, and not a sales pitch for this specific product.
And that’s the way it should be. In fact, it’s important to understand that not every problem in nonprofit operations can be solved by knowledge management, that there is a range of strategies that stretches far beyond any one software solutions, and that a commitment to organizational change is crucial to success in adopting a knowledge management strategy. Annkissam is right there, helping nonprofits to understand what lies ahead, rather than urging them to commit time, effort, and money to without regard for what will meet their needs.
The new web site is a good starting point for nonprofit professionals who are not inherently interested in knowledge management, but are focused on achieving organizational goals. There’s very little available, online or on paper, about KM for nonprofits, and much of it is more than five years old; we were able to ascertain this with the help of Rachael Stark, the uber librarian. Fortunately, we can use Nonprofit KM to aggregate all the information that currently exists, and to make available the resources that we have created.