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Rhode Island History Online Directory Initiative - RHODI Supporters

In 2008, British entrepreneur Marcelle Speller and the UK Community Foundation Network (the national body of the UK’s 57 community foundations) launched LocalGiving.com, a searchable web-based directory of Britain’s local charities and community groups.  The following year, Ms. Speller donated her half of LocalGiving.com’s shares to the Ardbrack Foundation whose mission is to support communities worldwide through the impact of technology. LocalGiving.com has demonstrated its usefulness in collecting and sorting information from a host of small organizations.

LocalGiving.com has provided the inspiration and guidance for RHODI’s:

  • Information gathering systems
  • Standardization of information
  • Web-access interface (making the information available online)
  • Content management (easily searchable and updated)
  • Page template design (based on drop-down menus)
  • Ability to take payments

LocalGiving.com provided RHODI with a series of best-practices guidelines and has shared the ‘lessons learned’ of the past four years.  These included advice on sustainability (for example, the use of match funds, membership fees and corporate sponsorships), updating mechanisms (such as incentives for directory members to keep their information current), developing a help desk (for example, developing escalation policies in times of technology crises), as well as measurement and reporting.

Central to the creation of a supportive network for the project is a committee of 8-10 representatives from a cross-section of organizations and potential user groups to act as both advisors and ambassadors for the project.

The Advisory Committee will:

  • Define the parameters for inclusion in the directory
  • Assist in expanding existing lists of relevant organizations
  • Review the content and phrasing of survey questions
  • Promote support for the directory (contact peer organizations, assist with press relations)
  • Meet regularly throughout the year to comment on the progress of the information gathering effort
  • Comment on the survey findings and assist in drafting the final document.

RHODI Project Advisory Committee Members: