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HandsNet Information Consulting and Knowledge-Management Services

Advances in information technology tools are changing the way that individuals access information and the way that organizations operate, collaborate and partner to accomplish mutual goals. The "Information Age" is not only about "dot-coms," but is fundamentally about how information and organizations are structured. HandsNet offers consulting services to organizations planning to take advantage of these evolving information technology trends.

A study by the Pew Partnership, "Coming of Age in the Information Age," found that non-profit organizations in general are behind the technology curve when it comes to integrating a "knowledge-management process into their organizational culture." Other findings included: "Most non-profits know they should be learning more and thus are missing out on important information for their organizations;" and "non-profits see a role for a knowledge broker;" and, "non-profits are hungry for the 'real story.' They want to hear about the struggles, failures, obstacles and barriers other faced."

The goal of the HandsNet's Information Consulting and Knowledge-Management Services are to identify, define, make recommendations about, plan and implement:
  1. the use of information technology to strategically increase capacity for non-profit services;
  2. assessment of the potential for collaborative work, using information technology tools, between selected non-profit organizations; and
  3. implementation of a suite of information organizing and knowledge-management tools and services.

HandsNet consulting and implementation services can include:

  • Assessing the strategies, target markets, organizational structure and information technology capacity of selected organizations;
  • Analyzing the opportunities and the benefits that these organizations might achieve through a greater degree of collaboration;
  • Identifying the role that technology can play in facilitating collaborations between organizations;
  • Recommending and planning for a suite of information organizing services;
  • Implementing information organizing and knowledge-management services.

Specific Information Consulting Services


  • identify strategy for organizational objectives and target markets
  • identify people, organizational structure and culture of organization, including size and scope of the organization, hierarchical structure, and participatory or command and control style of management
  • identify processes, systems and technology for internal and external communications mechanisms, technical infrastructure and staff technical capacity

Data collection

  • request information from Executive Directors, technology staff, program staff, and when appropriate program participants

Analysis of data

  • assessment of internal collaboration readiness
  • assessment of external collaborative capacity
  • benefits-cost analysis of use of information technology tools

Recommendations and planning

  • make recommendations about how organizations could benefit from use of information technology and a more collaborative process
  • offer implementation plans for using information technology to improve the knowledge-management process

Specific Knowledge-Management Implementation Services

Information organizing services

  • Topic development services
  • Current news gathering and presentation services for chosen topics
  • News clipping services for specific topics
  • Addition of technical infrastructure

Discussion management

  • Outreach to targeted audience
  • Professional agenda development and moderation of selected topics
  • Technical support

Training for efficient use of information technology

  • Internet Basics
  • Searching Effectively Online
  • Professional Discussions Online
  • 7 Habits of Web Savvy Leaders
  • Web Site Design

HandsNet History

HandsNet has worked since 1987 to make online collaboration and information sharing a reality for organizations by building one of the most widely respected online communities. HandsNet is unique in that it is the only national non-profit organization providing Web-based information and training to help human service professionals strengthen programs and policy work to foster cross-sector collaboration. Since its inception, HandsNet has brought over 10,000 organizations and 50,000 people online.

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