Open Philanthropy

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Value Proposition for Open Philanthropy

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Our collective commitment to open philanthropy is rooted in a theory of change which promotes transparency, sharing, and collaboration to effect real social change in education. Free and open education within a networked global ecosystem is inherently renewable, sustainable and scalable. WikiEducator and the OER Foundation are developing open models for granting organizations / funders and nonprofits / NGOs to:

  1. learn about mutual interests
  2. develop content that can be re-used, modified/updated, localised, contextualised, translated and adapted (i.e. not having to reinvent the wheel throughout funding cycles)
  3. develop technologies that can be re-used, modified/updated
  4. to support projects and initiatives using a scalable and sustainable strategy

Our Recommendation

WikiEducator / OER Foundation recommends that all funding proposals and funded content be released under free cultural works approved licenses (i.e. CC-BY, CC-BY-SA or Public Domain declaration). The power of the open model when focused on grant funding for the development of open technologies and free content is the fact that it doesn't matter who gets the funding. We all benefit by sharing the outcomes and outputs of these projects.

Benefits for Granting Organizations / Funders

  • Greater ROI and sustainability -- by releasing materials into the public domain early and frequently
  • Leverage network-based production ecologies to reduce cost and resource usage, and increase quality.
  • Greater knowledge and information-sharing across projects
  • Greater re-use and scalability -- across sectors, geographic, cultural and linguistic boundaries
  • Development of living content repositories -- rooted in information-sharing, knowledge-transfer and good practices
  • High international visibility throughout global OER ecosystem

Benefits for Nonprofits / NGOs

  • Open Education = a parallel funding channel to conventional activities
  • A visible international presence on a top 100,000 website, with 10 million hits per month (October 2009), 10,000+ members in 110 countries
  • Access to successful funding proposal development and templates
  • Access to strategic partners -- including WikiEducator / OER Foundation
  • Access to an international network of support
  • Access to new models of learning program design and delivery
  • Access to re-usable and modifiable content (including proposals) -- which can be contextualised, localised and translated

The OER Foundation will gladly host and share access to all our past successful proposals --- We have no problems with grant writers remixing and sharing components our successful proposals in building the future sustainability of open education.

Strategic Partnerships & Sustainable Investments: An Open Dialogue

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Natural, sustainable partnerships

With the recent near-collapse of the world's financial system, and reduced availability of support, both funders and NGOs are considering new models of investment that are open, sustainable and scalable.

  • How can the successes of the Open Source movement benefit BOTH funders and nonprofits / NGOs?
  • How can can content developed for one organization be leveraged across other organizations, sectors, etc.
  • How can NGOs collaboratively develop funding proposals -- based on successful examples, case studies, models, good practices etc.
  • How can WikiEducator / OER Foundation help? What are the opportunities for pilot projects?
  • What is the timeline and metrics for success?
  • How will we know when we are successful?
  • How can we report / communicate/report our successes?

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Action Items

We can enable strategic, scalable and sustainable return-on-investment by:

  • encouraging governments and philanthropic funders to freely release all funded content under a license which permits sharing (CC-BY or CC-BY-SA).
  • supporting nonprofits/ NGOs to share content openly with each other (CC-BY or CC-BY-SA)
  • supporting educational institutions and research organizations to share content openly (CC-BY or CC-BY-SA)
  • supporting the development of joint-venture funding proposals / grant applications (i.e. one of WikiEducator's core values: networking on funding proposals developed as free content.)


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