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Kristen Summers

Kristen Summers works as a Grants Manager at Saint Luke's Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. She is interested in Knowledge Management in order to further her career in philanthropy. In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her husband and two dogs.

You know the saying in the field of grantmaking, “If you've met one foundation, then you know one foundation”? It means that foundations all have different priority areas in what they fund, their geographies differ, the way they accept applications and make decisions can vary greatly. The same is true for a foundation's Knowledge Management (KM) needs and the solutions that would be most appropriate to address those needs—there are a lot of different options out there so it is very important to spend time researching what the most fitting solutions would be for that organization.

Fortunately, Becerra-Fernandez and Sabherwal (2015) give us this seven step methodology for identifying appropriate KM solutions (p. 279), and I will give a basic overview here:

  1. Assess the contingency factors—This step requires you to examine the organization's environment in terms of contingency factors (characterizing tasks, knowledge, environment and organization) and how they contribute to uncertainty (p. 279).
  2. Identify the KM processes based on each contingency factor—When you have identified the contingency factors that are relevant to your organization, you then have to discover which KM process corresponds to that (p. 281). For example, if environmental uncertainty is high, then you would use combination or socialization for knowledge discovery, but socialization for knowledge sharing would not work as well (p. 282).
  3. Prioritize needed KM processes—Once you've identified the needed processes in the previous step, then you need to prioritize them. To help with that, you can assign scores based on appropriateness and then rank the processes (p. 281).
  4. Identify existing KM processes—This is where you will need to survey the employees of the organization to assess which KM processes are being used and to what extent (p. 281).
  5. Identify additional KM processes needed—Based on what you discovered in the previous steps, this is where you can recommend which other processes would be appropriate based on the priorities (p. 283).
  6. Assess the KM infrastructure and identify the sequential ordering of the KM processes—It is important to consider the current infrastructure to support these solutions, including the organization structure and culture, as well as the physical environment and IT infrastructure (p. 283).
  7. Develop additional needed KM systems, mechanisms, and technologies—This is where all the previous work comes into play and changes are actually made. This means creating KM systems, mechanisms, and technologies to support the KM processes, through teams or by buying or building systems (p. 283).

As I stated earlier, this is a very basic overview of the methodology, but I hope you can see all the work it would take to find the appropriate solutions. However, this work performed in order to determine the best solutions is far more efficient and cost-effective than if you were to do trial-and-error with various KM solutions that are not appropriate for your organization. Moreover, implementing the wrong solution and seeing it fail might make senior leadership gun shy about deploying any further KM solutions. So, it is better to follow this methodology and figure out what is best for your organization.


Reference List

Becerra-Fernandez, I., & Sabherwal, R. (2015). Knowledge management: Systems and processes. New York: Routledge.

Nation’s First Knowledge Management Nonprofit Establishes

Nonprofit Incubator Space in Kent, Ohio

Contact:  Edwin K. Morris, contact@ pioneer-ks.org 330.593.5850

For Immediate Release

KENT, OH, March 22, 2017:  Following its mission to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, Pioneer Knowledge Services has launched an incubator space for fledgling nonprofits in Northeast Ohio.

Located at 1949 State Route 59, Suite 103 in Kent, the Pioneer Knowledge Services (PKS) headquarters offers nonprofits knowledge management services; skills needed for any 21st century organization.

The Incubator 17 program offers low-cost office spaces with shared resources, capacity-building workshops, networking opportunities and other services that start-up nonprofits need to grow and thrive.

PKS President and Founder Edwin K. Morris says the initiative follows best practices established by incubators across the country.

“We see small business incubators popping up all over because the incubator idea is a tried-and-true model that fuels the start-up culture and economic development,” says Morris. “The same holds true for the non-profit sector.”

Morris, an adjunct instructor of knowledge management and digital sciences at Kent State University, is creating opportunities for graduate and undergraduate internships focused on knowledge work.

“Our proximity to Kent State, in particular, enables us to access to a wide range of talents among the student body – people looking for credit and volunteer experiences to build their professional portfolio,” says Morris.

Morris says PKS can serve as the clearinghouse, home base and organization of record to supervise, mentor, and align the skills and talents of interns with the needs of nonprofit organizations.

In addition to recruiting and overseeing interns, Pioneer Knowledge Services provides knowledge management support to nonprofits, which helps organizations effectively leverage their people, technology and information.

Morris also envisions the incubator as a convener of nonprofit partnerships that can result in joint grant applications and other ventures that create a “rising tide for all ships.”

“We see ourselves as capacity builders, and we are eager to engage the ideas and energies of our colleague nonprofits to create greater relevance to and outcomes for the populations we exist to serve,” says Morris.

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by Edwin K. Morris

​In the world of nonprofits there is a little word that means a lot. It is philanthropy. The image above is the definition. It highlights the essence of why nonprofits even exist. Philanthropy can pack a whole lot of action in the meaning around an organization's mission. This requires great communication skills and understanding of the organizations mission along with the clients they serve. Once they understand that clear connection between all of these elements of the organization then identifying the giving audience is a crucial next step to provide funding and sustainment strategy and plan to the nonprofit operation.

To clarify consider that fund raising is not philanthropy. To aid in this differentiation between fundraising and philanthropy consider this:

Fund-raising is an activity undertaken with the goal of eliciting charitable or philanthropic giving. Fund-raising is related to philanthropy as preaching is to faith; that is, one is intended to inspire the other, with no guarantee of success because the response lies within the power of the respondent to determine. (Worth 2013)

So there may have been a misconception for some that between philanthropy and fundraising, but as highlighted in the box above nowhere does it state generation of funds or anything around money. Which then leads us down the trail of what is electronic philanthropy otherwise referred to as e-philanthropy. According to Ted Hart E-Philathropy is:

"the building and enhancing of relationships with volunteers and supporters of nonprofit organizations using the Internet. It includes the contribution of cash or real property or the purchase of products and services to benefit a non-profit organization, and the storage of and usage of electronic data and services to support relationship building and fundraising activities.

The key thing for me in philanthropy is we are talking about building relationships. Relationships that just so happen to coincide and support the mission of the nonprofit. Sorter similar terms to philanthropy?  Words that show up in the thesaurus for philanthropy are: charity, patronage, compassion, humanity, generosity and benevolence. To me these are words that scream out connection and relationship. So how does one build relationship, gain trust and fundraise?

I hear you saying it. You're saying okay what is it all mean? How do I get e-commerce or EPhilanthropy or whatever you call it connected, up and running?!? According to the National Philanthropic Trust (NPT) as of May 2015 there were approximately 1,521,052 charitable organizations in the US. That averages out to 30,421 per state. NPT also states that in 2013, 100 of the largest charities reported receiving 13% more in online donations, and 25 of these charities collected more than $10 million each in 2013 from online gifts.

Your first stop is going to be building a web site strategy. This is an extremely humongous scope is not only are you presenting your content consideration the graphic design and visual artistry must be represented properly. I would suggest having two primary operational components of your web presence. One being fundraising and other being brand building.

I will exampled how Pioneer Knowledge Services researched options for collecting electronic donations. Early 2015 leadership embarked with organization called the Network for Good. This provided a very easy interface with not only streamlining and adding credibility to online donations but provided a back of the house accounting and automated receipt generation all for a monthly fee. The system also generates a fair amount of analytics and reports to start understanding the donor base and how they donate. Network for Good also has additional add-on services that can scaffold with customer growth and be a plug an play type add on components as needed.

After working with Network for Good we decided to explore other avenues as this system was not matched well for our small size. In 2017 we decided on setting up a nonprofit account with PayPal and in the social media platform Facebook.

Consider that in 2008 about 5% of total giving in the United States was done online (Sargeant 2008).  In 2013 that percentage grew to 6.4% (NPT).  Do you want to know how much nonprofits generated in 2012? The total revenues was $1.65 trillion.  So let's take the 2013 numbers of 6.4% of online giving times the grand total of revenues in 2012 of $1.65 trillion just in order to get some idea of the gravity of Internet-based giving. We get an estimated total of $105,600,000 that was generated online.

Let those numbers sink in because an organization has to think of the gravity of their front door on the web. Being able to conduct philanthropy and generate funds together is a very crucial element to brand and to donor awareness. One aspect to consider around perception is a term called halo effect that is explained, "People can draw conclusions about a stimulus on the basis of only one characteristic when they should consider more" (Bagozzi, 1996).

Good or bad, perception can be queued up to only one element. The halo effect meaning and emotional perception and appearance that sways the donor or volunteer. Thus having a critical eye and understanding of your audience will allow you to craft and design your web presence and content in accordance with the mission of the organization. The end state design should elicit a strong emotion that may translate and cause action to the donor to become involved and participate. Ultimately you're representing your brand and building relationship therefore shine that halo instead of tarnish I say.

Yours in knowledge,

Edwin K. Morris
President and Founder of Pioneer Knowledge Services

References

Bagozzi, R. P. (1988). The rebirth of attitude research in marketing. Journal of the Market Research Society, 30(2), 163-195.

Hart, Ted. "ePhilanthropy: It's Much More Than Raising Money." E-Philanthropy Review. July 1, 2002. Obtained from: charitychannel.com/printer_51.shtml

National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), Charitable Giving Statistics (page) Retrieved from the internet 4 October 2015, http://www.nptrust.org/philanthropic-resources/charitable-giving-statistics

Sargeant, Adrian; Shang, Jen (2010-03-04). Fundraising Principles and Practice (Essential Texts for Nonprofit and Public Leadership and Management) (Kindle Locations 10830-10831). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

Worth, Michael J. (2013-04-17). Nonprofit Management: Principles and Practice (Kindle Locations 8614-8617). SAGE Publications. Kindle Edition.

Guest Blogger Dr. Marvin BorenMarv Boren 1.jpg is a passionate knowledge management professional and forward thinker.​

Challenges

Picking up where I left off, I will discuss some of the challenges or barriers to HIT adoption.

It would be easy to compile a long list of challenges to the adoption of HIT. Nonetheless, I'll limit my discussion to a brief review of two general areas that I believe are of greatest importance: stakeholder attitude and technology challenges.

Stakeholder Attitude:

If the goals set forth by the HITECH Act are to be realized, healthcare providers must make the transformation from paper to digital records - no small feat. Thus far, the transformation has been met with considerable resistance. As reimbursement for services continues to decline along with increasing overhead expenses, efficiency and productivity must be maximized. Many stakeholders feel that the workflow changes needed in order to achieve Meaningful Use are burdensome and counter-productive. In addition, some question the value of the information gained from the Meaningful Use objectives. The consensus is that at the very least, the use of EHR is more time consuming than traditional charting methods. Statistics show that adoption of EHR and achievement of MU has grown substantially since the Program's inception in 2009 to date. Nonetheless, measurable achievement of the aforementioned goals arguably, has yet to be realized. Accordingly, there is no shortage of skepticism among stakeholders whether there is a direct correlation between achieving Meaningful Use and enhancing health care quality and efficiency. Additionally this attitude contributes to the perception that adopting CEHRT lacks value.

 In order to overcome these barriers, it is essential that organizations establish a culture of trust. I would expect that those organizations most successful transitioning to CEHRT had already established a culture of trust and encountered the least resistance to change. While I am not aware of any such studies substantiating my expectation, it may be an interesting study worth pursuing.

Technology:

"The HITECH Act seeks to improve patient care and make it patient-centric through the creation of a secure, interoperable nationwide health information network. A key premise is that information should follow the patient, and artificial obstacles -- technical, bureaucratic, or business related -- should not be a barrier to the seamless exchange of information. Therefore, secure information exchange needs to occur across institutional and business boundaries so that the appropriate information is available to improve coordination, efficiency, and quality of care." ("How does information exchange")

Although there has been a proliferation of local, regional and state Health Information Exchanges (HIE the noun) to facilitate information sharing, for the most part, data remains siloed in disparate EHR systems.

Most industry leaders would agree that in spite of a greater prevalence of structured data, primary obstacles include a lack of standardization and a lack of a nationwide interoperability infrastructure to facilitate Health Information Exchange (HIE the verb). Adding fuel to the fire so to speak, are accusations that information blocking has contributed to the challenge of establishing nationwide interoperability. The seriousness of these accusations prompted a request by Congress for the ONC to produce a report on the extent of health information blocking and a comprehensive strategy to address it.  It was also requested that "the report should cover the technical, operational and financial barriers to interoperability, the role of certification in advancing or hindering interoperability across various providers, as well as any other barriers identified by the Policy Committee."

According to the REPORT TO CONGRESS, APRIL 2015 - Report on Health  (ONC, 2015) (pp.15-16) as a result of current economic and business incentives, some stakeholders have knowingly and unreasonably interfered with the exchange of electronic health information by limiting its availability or use.  The Report goes on to say that "ONC's understanding of information blocking is informed in part by a substantial body of complaints and other anecdotal evidence. However, this evidence has significant limitations that prevent ONC from confirming individual cases of information blocking. Identifying and confirming specific instances of information blocking is a difficult and highly fact-specific task. Empirical data on information blocking is also limited at present. There is little quantitative data available with which to reliably identify and measure the extent of information blocking." Finally the report suggests that "successful strategies to prevent information blocking will likely require congressional intervention". ​​

Dr Marvin Boren is the Meaningful Use Program Coordinator at Akron Children's Hospital (Akron, OH) which has successfully attested for Stage 2 Meaningful Use. He formerly practiced podiatry in Canton, OH and has over five years of experience consulting in Electronic Health Records. He is currently working on a Master of Science degree in Health Informatics at Kent State University. He can be reached at marvboren at google.com


References

1. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Department of Health and Human Services (April 10, 2015). Report to Congress on Health Information Blocking. Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/reports/info_blocking_040915.pdf

2. EHR incentives & certification, How to attain Meaningful Use.  Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/how-attain-meaningful-use

3. How does information exchange support the goals of the HITECH Act? Retrieved from http://www.healthit.gov/policy-researchers-implementers/faqs/how-does-information-exchange-support-goals-hitech-act

4. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Office of the Secretary, United States Department of Health and Human Services (September 21, 2015). Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020. Retrieved from: https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/federal-healthIT-strategic-plan-2014.pdf​​​