Research Resources

An important step will be to capture and catalogue the global research resources that are developing. One of the areas we should all be watching over the next years will be the ways civil society actors “layer,” partner, complement, and ally themselves in different contexts. Useful examples here include the research of Lab Around the World, Nesta, the Nominet Trust, and the Building Change Trust in Northern Ireland. MIT’s Center for Civic Media, for instance, is working with data from the Digital Activism Research Project and cataloguing stories and case studies in an online book, Global Dimensions of Digital Activism. The visualizations and map at show one research set of innovation examples. A good next step would be to connect it with the resource databases held by others.

Just as we’ve expanded our frame for thinking about social good from nonprofits and philanthropy to the dynamics of the social economy, we need to push ourselves another step further to take in the potential of digital change. If we focus only on how nonprofits are using digital tools, we will miss much of the experimentation in digital civil society. More importantly, we would miss much of what actually matters about digital tools — that they allow for new forms of action, new types of networks, and new methods of exchange.

Takeaways are critical, bite-sized resources either excerpted from our guides or written by Candid Learning for Funders using the guide's research data or themes post-publication. Attribution is given if the takeaway is a quotation.

This takeaway was derived from Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2015.