Knowledge management and non-profit organizations : catalyzing sustainable international development initiatives
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Subjectcommunity knowledge; international development; knowledge management; knowledge sharing; non-profit organizations; sustainable development
Though small and medium-sized non-profit organizations have a great deal to contribute to the delivery of international development initiatives with sustained outcomes and impacts, there remains the prevailing issue of securing the resources to do so. Competition for shrinking financial support is increasing and funders are becoming more selective with their investment dollars, often favoring NPOs that demonstrate the capacity to implement sustainable quality programs. As non-profit organizations strive to achieve its social mission it may look to the knowledge management practices that for-profit organizations employ for achieving its capital mission when faced with the same issue. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to gain an understanding of knowledge management practices that small and medium-sized NPOs may adopt to better deliver on its social mission with the potential to better position it for funding opportunities. Its focus is on exploring the knowledge needs and sharing strategies of the NPO among its community knowledge groups. Included are its beneficiaries, staff and volunteers, funders and donors, experts, community partners and stakeholders, and cultural knowledge that will contribute to developing an integrated approach to implementing impactful and sustainable outcomes in the communities in which they work. Valuable insights to the more common strategic elements for effectively addressing the many and varied complexities in an international development context were mostly of a social tacit or community type knowledge and employed sharing practices of a social interaction nature such as (a) connections and partnerships, (b) participation, (c) collaboration, (d) decision-making, (e) building capacity, and (f) establishing an exit strategy to deliver an integrated and long-term sustainability effort. Keywords: knowledge management, non-profit organizations, international development, community knowledge, sustainability, knowledge properties, knowledge sharing
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