Key Points

Most foundations don’t think of themselves as publishers, yet many of them act as such – making information available by funding research and publications, or by authoring their own. And failing to think of these activities as publishing efforts has serious consequences for shared learning in the social sector.

The shift toward knowledge-sharing strategies and approaches that embrace new search technologies, the logic of open access and open source, and the realities of the Internet as a largely decentralized and dynamic selfpublishing space offers the possibility of coordinating publishing efforts, and possibly agreeing to the use of shared practices that can facilitate shared learning while acknowledging the independence of individual organizations.

While there are some common obstacles preventing foundations from moving toward shared systems and practices, there are also a number of publishing practices being widely adopted that together address most of those obstacles and represent a set of shared practices around which the social sector might coalesce and coordinate.

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