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Nonprofit Tech, Tools and Social Media

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Tools to Mobilize Knowledge


There is so much information related to social justice and nonprofit organizations floating around the internet just waiting to be plucked from research obscurity and be used by an organization that can affect real lives. BUT who’s going to pull all of this information and research together into any coherent fashion? Enter IssueLab, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization who “archives research about social issues, shares it with a broader audience, and advocates for the use of open licenses and open access standards in the nonprofit sector.”

IssueLab provides a great resource of research organized by source, issue and even geographical area and recently Luise B, Marketing Associate at IssueLab, put together a toolbox entitled Knowledge Mobilization (embedded at right) to highlight the tools that they use at IssueLab to comb the internet for the research that they profile and provide on the IssueLab site.

Luise writes that these tools are “some of the tools IssueLab uses regularly for managing and mobilizing information and research – internally and with a broader audience online.” I thought this was an interesting toolbox in that many organizations, nonprofit and otherwise are constantly combing the internet in some kind of fashion for information and data related to their work. Each has its own technique of capturing relevant information and sites. Whether it is using Delicious bookmarks or covering a wall in Post-It notes, it’s valuable and important to take a step back to see how your organization is collecting and storing data and resources that are organizationally relevant. If only to answer the question “What would happen if a staff member who has various accounts across the internet suddenly leaves the organization?”

What processes does your organization have in place to monitor and keep track of the multitude of data silos the members of your organization have?

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  • http://www.researchimpact.ca David Phipps

    These tools are great and we have tweeted and re-tweeted them, thank you Issue Lab. But knowledge mobilization (KMb) goes beyond these tools that are necessary but not sufficient to support the maximum impact of research. At the end of the day, KMb is a human, contact sport. These tools lay the ground work and can sustain a KMb partnership but in themselves they are tools in a larger tool kit. Over the summer ResearchImpact will be rolling out a tool kit that will include the social media tools highlighted by Issue Lab but will extend those to include the diverse KMb methods of push, pull, exchange and co-production.

  • http://blog.socialsourcecommons.org/ Matt Garcia

    Hi David, thanks for your input! I think that it's always important when looking at technology to step back, look at the goals of the process and engage with technology last. In this case, it sounds like human relationships are the goal and these knowledge mobilization tools become options to achieve that goal. We'd love to hear more about your ResearchImpact toolkit as it develops. Any thought to putting together a toolbox on SSC? 😀

  • http://www.issuelab.org Gabi Fitz

    Thanks for your comment David! We are fans of ResearchImpact's work and couldn't agree more with your point about the necessity of ongoing human engagement.

    We view these social media tools as just that, tools for doing the kind of push, pull, and exchange that you talk about. We have found in our own knowledge sharing efforts that social media tools have certainly given us access to different communities of practice but that we always need to be aware of what kinds of information are relevant to that community and what the local culture and/or protocol is in that community. Otherwise we are just dropping content and moving on. Which is hardly mobilization.

    I look forward to seeing the upcoming toolkit and hope you even consider sharing it on IssueLab!

    Gabi Fitz
    Co-Director, IssueLab

  • Pingback: IssueLab brings nonprofit research to WiserEarth | WiserEarth Blog

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