Collaborate to survive

Collaborative Paper: What to do in the nonprofit sector to offset the economic crash.:
[Via Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media]

Source: Foundation Center Focus on the Financial Crisis

The map image above is an interactive map that displays the distribution of the most recent support by U.S. foundations to aid those affected by the downturn. Drill down to see the details. It’s part of the Foundation Center’s aggregated page of articles, podcasts, data, and resources that Focus on the Financial Crisis. You can updates through RSS. Excellent example of aggregation strategy and really clear and good information design.

This is a nice example of an organization using Web 2.0 tools to help the community in ways that would have been difficult before. And not only can you access the data to study it, but you can get updates via a newsfeed so new information is brought to you.

Marty Kearns has set up a collaborative paper and discussion on a wiki. The paper is called Cascading Failure. Marty is convinced that the answer on how the nonprofit can understand and survive this meltdown is out there in network and has set up a space for us to kick it around.

At this stage, it is clear that nonprofit and advocacy groups are headed for extraordinarily difficult financial times. The cash crunch for the advocacy movement will be as bad as we can imagine and far worse than we can easily manage. We need a plan for how to remain effective. We should all begin to operate with new assumptions.

You can find the paper along with some draft prescriptions for organizations. One the recommendations is:

Invest in Social Capital
. It will be the only growing market in 2009. Look at it as part of your organization: There have always been good reasons to build your social network, but now it is a matter of strategy and applying the techniques of network weaving. You need social capital to help in difficult times. I set up a page to brainstorm some practical tips, strategies, and resources.

There are also some draft recommendations for individuals working within advocacy movements.

So. not only is a draft paper available to all, but individuals and organizations can add their own value to these ideas with online discussions. Thus, novel ideas and innovations are able to rapidly traverse the networks that are created. The increase in the rate of diffusion of creative solutions may just be critical in finding a way out of this mess.

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