On‑Line Communities For Civil Society Organisations

Civil Society organisations face increased demands to provide on-line communities for their stakeholders, be they employees, volunteers, donors or service users. Further, Civil Society organisations are often spread far and wide through federal structures, networks of volunteers/fundraisers and/or distributed service units. On-line communities are especially helpful in bringing diverse and distributed organisations together to help fulfil common purposes.

Communities share a number of characteristics – a common history, shared knowledge, common practices, co-location in space and time, common action and a shared vision of the future (Ian Harris and Michael Mainelli, (2011) The Price of Fish, p. 99, Nicholas Brealey Publishing). As the City of London’s leading commercial think tank, we believe that on-line communities can facilitate knowledge sharing, encourage innovation and enable the development of sound strategies to achieve objectives. We develop on-line communities within all the sectors we work with, including financial services, technology firms and public sector bodies, as well as Civil Society organisations.

Z/Yen helps organisations to strengthen community ties with tailored approaches for each situation. Where necessary, we build customised technologies to ensure that solutions are tailored to specific needs. Having provided the relevant community building tools, Z/Yen can manage and maintain community engagement, for example:

  • creating and supporting easy to use financial recording and reporting systems for branch-based charities and membership organisations, for example The Church of England;
  • initiating and running Long Finance. Z/Yen manages an active community of more than 3,000 members, which is researching ways in which to implement long-term thinking across a global network of people;
  • sharing knowledge through The London Accord: this Z/Yen community enables a dialogue between financial services and policy makers on market-based approaches to sustainability by providing free access to over 250 reports on finance and environmental, social & governance issues, shared by over 50 contributing organisations;
  • working with the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI) to adapt our on-line market prediction game, ExtZy, into the CISIext Educational Tool now deployed in several schools to help young people enjoy improving their financial literacy;
  • building and running a community benchmark of IT costs for theCharity IT Leaders.

Z/Yen’s on-line community work is about the successful design, building and management of stakeholder communities. Z/Yen welcomes discussion with any organisation that seeks to improve its performance and achieve its goals by enhancing and strengthening its community network. For more information please contact Ian Harris.

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