How Non-Profits Are Using Wikis

This month, we bring you some great examples of how non-profits are using wikis. Read on to see how wikis help these organizations reach out to their communities, manage volunteers, create resources, and more.

CARE

Care2ShareCARE is a global non-profit working to fight poverty. They use Wikispaces Private Label as a platform for members to communicate, collaborate, and share best practices. They have many wikis on their site, including:

  • A knowledge café where individuals share best practices for engaging the cultures and communities in which they work
  • A wiki where they train their global members and volunteers in emergency preparedness and response
  • Various wikis designed by groups of employees interested in bringing new capacities to the organization
  • Wikis devoted to strategic planning, improving their organization, and measuring the impact of their various projects and initiatives

With Wikispaces Private Label, CARE has built an active community where members can find resources, develop skills, and improve the long-term health of the organization.

Communities Connect Network

communitiesconnect

Based in Washington State, Communities Connect Network (CCN) is focused on developing technical resources and skills in low-income and under-served regions of the state. CCN supports and trains hundreds of community organizations to achieve their program goals with the use of technology. Participants use the wiki to tell their stories, share documents and training resources, collaborate, and network with others doing similar work.

The Earth Charter Initiative

ecygThe Earth Charter Initiative (ECI) works to build a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society. Their Earth Charter Youth Groups are designed to bring together youths and adults from diverse backgrounds to tackle issues in their communities. Currently, there are about 60 official groups in over 30 countries. They use their wiki to promote each group, share minutes and activity reports, and upload resources and documents.

Wikispaces is an effective way for the ECI to help new groups get started, support existing groups in their day-to-day operations, and guide them as they implement projects in their communities. Jaana Laitinen, the International Youth Facilitator at the Earth Charter Initiative, loves how easy Wikispaces has made coordinating their global communities: “Wikispaces is perfect!…We use the wiki as a place to manage the creation of new groups. It serves as an application form for interested groups to sign-up, a space for us to review their applications, and finally as profile pages for each new group. For us the wiki is a great tool that we highly recommend to others.”

Rt. 1 Day Center

rt1daycenterThe Rt. 1 Day Center, a homeless center in Columbia, Maryland, uses their wiki to coordinate volunteers for their meals, showers, laundry and social services. More than 40 churches in the area partner with the center, volunteering for a day’s service once a month. The wiki is the community hub where volunteers sign-up, check what’s been happening at the center, and inform next-day volunteers about needed food and supplies.

Skills Standards for the Woodworking Industry

skillstandardsUntil recently, the woodworking industry was one of the few industries left without standards to help evaluate, educate and compensate their workforce. A group of woodworking professionals from across the industry used Wikispaces to compile a set of skills standards. Wikispaces enabled them to rewrite the standards for 33 woodworking tools with only a single face-to-face meeting. The work they did on the wiki over a two year period was approved by the Woodwork Career Alliance of North America [WCANA] and released in July 2009 as a 134 page manual for the field.

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8 Comments

  1. Posted December 19, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    I am interested to know more about wikispaces -for use to my registered NGO in Mumbai, India. It is known as `DuriSunder Foundation`. The object is spreading digital life and living concept to the underprivilaged slumdewellers in Mumbai.
    If interested, kindly contact: Hon.Secretary on mail to:
    durisunderfoundation@windows.live.com
    best wishes!

  2. Posted December 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir
    I am an educator in singapore interested in using wikis for teaching my 200+ students and netwroking with other educators but dont have the money to subscribe to a private wiki How can I set up & use a wiki site for free?

  3. Cynthia Ellis
    Posted December 22, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Very interested in this particularly for running and facilitating non for profits in Belize Central America as well as individuals in business, personal and community development. Sounds like and awesome approach. We are involved with An Art Institute and also Youth mentoring program as well as personal coaching of women in business and young people.

  4. Viv Wilson
    Posted December 28, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    This is such a great idea!!

    Is there anything out there for the Literacy community? I know of an ESOL Community that exists and there should be one for Literacy too.

    Any comments greatly appreciated.

  5. Posted December 31, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    We are using our wiki for development of an open source privately funded return to the moon mission. See http://www.openluna.org/wiki – What is Open Luna?
    The Open Luna Foundation seeks to return mankind to the lunar surface, and to do it in such a way that it is accessible to everyone. Our research will be open source and one of our specific aims is to reach out to the community and educational systems to spread interest, enthusiasm, and involvement.

  6. Debbie
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi Elaine,

    If you send us an e-mail at help@wikispaces.com with a bit more information about your school we’ll see what we can do. For example – is your school for K-12 education or higher education? Have you already created a wiki on Wikispaces?

    Cheers,
    Debbie

  7. Debbie
    Posted January 13, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Hi Viv,

    You can go to http://www.wikispaces.com, sign into your account, and use the search bar on the upper-right hand corner to search for literacy wikis.

    Cheers,
    Debbie

  8. Posted January 14, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    In Tampa Bay, we recently launched the Tampa Bay Homeless Resource Wiki under the leadership of the Homeless Coalition of Hillsborough County.

    http://tampabayhomeless.wikia.com/

    Our goal is to have a comprehensive homeless resource website – a virtual “one-stop shop” where advocates, service providers, government, people in crisis and people helping those in need can share and find information they need on services, resources, news and volunteer opportunities to get help and give help.

    We envision the wiki growing into a central point of collaboration and a channel to disseminate all types of information and tools to use in helping homeless citizens and meeting the ultimate goal of Hillsborough County’s 10-year plan to end homelessness.

    We have been very fortunate to have the guidance and support of David Beall who started http://SFHomless.net – San Francisco’s homeless resource wiki – and Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia to help us.

    Wiki technology provides a great tool for collaboration that can allow the greater community to get involved and take responsibility for getting the word out about services, needs, and successes. Initially, our biggest challenge is getting folks trained and comfortable editing and using the wiki. While almost everyone has used Wikipedia at some point to find information, very few have ever edited a wiki and are not yet comfortable with the idea that anyone can contribute. That said, we are very lucky to have David Beall from San Francisco helping us by leading a webinar training session for us on Feb 1st. You don’t have to be local to contribute – if you want to help check out the wiki, attend the virtual training & jump in! http://tampabayhomeless.wikia.com/

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