Philanthropy Australia Takes On a Wiki
18 June 2007 at 4:23 pm
You may have heard of Wikipedia – the cyberspace encyclopaedia. Now get ready for the Third Sector’s own version called PhilanthropyWiki!
Philanthropy Australia is developing an exciting new information sharing tool – the PhilanthropyWiki. Funded by a capacity building grant from the Macquarie Bank Foundation, the PhilanthropyWiki will be a major knowledge management and ICT initiative for the Australian philanthropic sector.
To be created and maintained by Philanthropy Australia, and made accessible to its members, the Not for Profit community and the general public through the internet, the PhilanthropyWiki will be an online encyclopaedia and archive of knowledge on philanthropy in Australia.
Philanthropy Australia’s Research and Training Manager, Vanessa Meachen says the innovation will provide a first-port-of-call to the philanthropy and NFP sectors, nationally and internationally, on philanthropy and on the related fields of grant-seeking and charitable organisations in Australia.
Meachen says PhilanthropyWiki will contain both internally generated information and links to external resources on philanthropy, and will be easily searched or browsed.
Each topic within the PhilanthropyWiki will have its own central page, containing explanatory or summary text along with related resources. These may be in the form of downloadable documents, links to external websites, or link to resources in the Philanthropy Australia Library Catalogue.
The kinds of information the PhilanthropyWiki will contain are:
– types of giving – including foundations and trusts; individual donors; corporate foundations; PPFs; payroll giving programs; bequests;
– corporate community investment
– sample policy and procedural documents for grantmakers
– wealth and generosity
– profiles of philanthropists and of selected philanthropic grants
– community foundations
– fundraising and submission writing
– social enterprise ventures
– philanthropy in different countries, particularly Australia, and our Asia Pacific region
– overseas aid
– civil society, welfare, poverty, community development, social change issues
– fields and populations in which foundations fund (eg. aged, Indigenous, emergency relief, environment etc.)
– government policies and legislation relating to philanthropy
The defining feature of wikis is that users are able to edit or comment on the content of each page, and thus contribute to the development of the wiki.
Vanessa Meachen says the PhilanthropyWiki will utilise these inherent features to encourage collaboration in a secure, accessible environment. While the public will not be able to edit PhilanthropyWiki pages, Philanthropy Australia members, selected colleagues and members of focus groups will have access to contribute their expertise and resources to the PhilanthropyWiki.
While encyclopaedic in style, offering essential summaries on all aspects of philanthropy, the PhilanthropyWiki will also serve an archival purpose for Philanthropy Australia.
Meachen says there is an acknowledged dearth of statistics and research on philanthropy in Australia. The PhilanthropyWiki will, over time, provide a sustainable, secure and respected repository for historical data on Australian philanthropy.