July 3, 2012
To create a quality newsletter, DVD, website or media campaign, nonprofits often look at examples of what others have done. That’s fine a way to get ideas, but here’s the problem with that approach: the finished product doesn’t reveal much about how it was made – and what insights fueled it creation. Or, what kind of impact it had on its audiences.“And the blog gives us a lively voice that ties everything together. We want to help people raise the bar on quality and discover some practical ways to do more with less.”
Those are just the questions the new KnowBetter blog seeks to answer.
“Good knowledge products don’t succeed by accident,” said Tom Springer, blogger and internal project manager at WKKF. “From design through production, there are key steps, decisions and problems-solved that add up to make a big difference. These are the ‘back story’ details we’ll share on the KnowBetter blog.”
The blog will also stress the principle that money alone can’t determine product quality.
“We’ve seen nonprofits spend $1 million for ho-hum products and as little as $80 for something that really gets the job done,” Springer said. “Money matters, but not as much as a well-executed idea does.”
The idea for the blog came from a survey taken by WKKF’s Learning and Innovation unit. They pored through more than 1,000 grantee-produced books, videos, newsletters and other materials. From these, they identified 25 standout projects. In-depth interviews about how and why the products were developed will be featured on the innovations page of WKKF.org. Related content includes a highly readable guide and animated video about the basics of knowledge transfer.
“We’ve combined the 101 concepts of good knowledge products with some fascinating how-to stories from WKKF grantees,” Springer said. “And the blog gives us a lively voice that ties everything together. We want to help people raise the bar on quality and discover some practical ways to do more with less.”