NCVO launches 'voluntary sector version of Wikipedia'

Chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington says iKnowHow will build on the knowledge and expertise of voluntary organisations

Sir Stuart Etherington
Sir Stuart Etherington

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has launched a new initiative that it calls "a voluntary sector version of Wikipedia".

The iKnowHow service, launched yesterday, will allow users to edit, add to or debate content on the on NCVO’s KnowHow NonProfit website.

The site provides information on running charities for founders, trustees, volunteers and staff of charities and other non-profit organisations.

The scheme will be piloted by allowing people to change the three areas of the site about collaboration, public service delivery and setting up a charity.

Wikipedia is an online encyclopaedia that allows users to create and change entries.

The pilot, which is funded by the social investment charity the Nominet Trust, runs until June. If it is successful, the approach will be expanded to other areas of the site. The NCVO said it would share lessons learnt from the pilot later in the year.

The pilot will also test whether allowing users to edit the site reduces the time and cost of updating it. At present, KnowHow NonProfit pays experts to update the site periodically, but the pilot will involve people from the sector doing so free of charge.

Contributors to iKnowHow will be awarded points that can count towards films, concert tickets or music CDs on the website Blue Dot, which rewards people for donating to, volunteering for or sharing information about charities on social networks.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, said: "iKnowHow is a new model for centralising and building on voluntary organisations’ vast knowledge and expertise. We hope that it will address the need for accessible, cost-effective and comprehensive advice and support that people across the sector can play a part in, learn from and enjoy."

NCVO took over KnowHow NonProfit from City University last year.

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