We've been working on this blog for a few months now and it's been a great way for us to continue to hone our thinking on nonprofits and how to build a community of excellence and capacity-building. As we've surfed the Web and worked on our posts, we've been exposed to tons of great people and ideas, which have only made us more passionate about what we want to do in this space.
Lately, we've been feeling like we're a little all over the place, though, and have been talking about how to refine our focus. We think that one of the great values of a blog is that it serves a niche. There's so much information on the Web, so many directions in which we could go, but if we follow all of those roads, it can be hard to pull it all together at the end.
So we've decided that, in the interest of continuous quality improvement, we need to re-visit our purpose here. We need to get clearer about what we want to accomplish with The Bamboo Project. Influenced by our friend, Guy, we've come up with our Bamboo Project Mantra:
Educate, Advocate, Innovate, Collaborate to build nonprofit capacity and community.
Ok, great. What does that mean?
We believe that the greatest opportunity for nonprofit capacity-building lies in using new, collaborative web-based technologies to create a community that shares resources, ideas, information, etc. In the past, nonprofits were bound by geography and limited resources. But in a new networked world where technology tools are cheaper and easier to use than ever before, there are no boundaries to what can be done, other than those imposed by lack of will or imagination.
It’s not just about the technology, though. It’s not just about having the technical skill to create a blog or record a podcast. It’s about marrying this technical knowledge with the right content, the right stories, the right practices. It’s about leveraging the transformative power of multimedia and web-based applications to operate more effectively. It’s about using these tools to more effectively educate, advocate, innovate and collaborate, marrying technology with the best practices necessary to do each of these things well.
We think that as more people turn to the Internet for information, expressions of self, and inclusion in community, this creates a perfect door into a broader world than most organizations have ever known. For non-profits, it means that individuals who don’t even live in your community can be aware of and supporting your cause because they found out about you on the Web. It means you can gather more information faster. And you can use that information differently to provide better services and to tell important stories. In this world, you can use e-learning and knowledge sharing to train staff from 20 different organizations that share the same mission. Or you can create a weekly podcast to communicate with your community about what you’re doing.
We recognize that most nonprofits feel that they don’t have the time or the energy to really delve into what technology can do for them. We know that you are so busy doing your work that it can be overwhelming to consider doing things a different way. So with The Bamboo Project we want to do some of the thinking for you. We want to consider your real problems and the concrete solutions that can “heal your pain.” We want to see how we can build community and share resources in new and innovative ways so that you can take your organization to the next level. We want to see how you can do things better than you have before. And then we want to see how you can "turbocharge" your efforts by using technology to do it even better or faster or cheaper than you ever imagined.
We see The Bamboo Project as a resource to support your non-profit's efforts to join and thrive in the web community. We also want to know what you think and where you see problems. Please add comments or email us. We look forward to building community with you.