Learning Circles: How shared knowledge can build nonprofit capacity

Bill KitsonThe following was first published in the November issue of Smart Business magazine.

Lately, United Way of Greater Cleveland seems positioned as a community convener – often bringing together the right people and organizations to get things done. That’s why United Way partners with more than 100 local nonprofits to create a healthy community where all kids graduate and individuals and families are financially stable.

As part of our partnership, United Way sees beyond investing in the agencies’ education, income and health programs. We also help increase volunteer capacity and encourage knowledge sharing through learning circles. Learning circles are beneficial to the nonprofit sector and have been used to advance work in other entities such as government, education and professional associations.

Learning circles, also known as communities of practice, are an ongoing opportunity for learning and are proven to increase the ability for professionals to do their jobs. The sessions are peer-directed with attendees collectively deciding each element from intended outcomes to meeting frequency.

Click here to continue reading my November column in Smart Business magazine.


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