Hey, the folks at KaBOOM! are the real deal, building playgrounds for kids who otherwise wouldn't have 'em, and that means a lot. (I'm thinking of my own childhood, maybe like you're thinking of yours.)
A lot of good, very small, very effective groups get stuff done; the hard part is either scaling the group up, or maybe finding a way to reproduce their efforts in a lot of places.
The KaBOOM! folks, working with others, have figured out a lot about how to do this, with success already.
Check out Breaking New Ground: Using the Internet to Scale: A Case History of KaBOOM!
The Path to Growth is Paved with Challenges
Without an existing model to copy, we have had to learn by doing. The
Monitor Institute case study enables us to share the seven key lessons
we have learned so far in the hopes that other nonprofits can move up
the learning curve faster.
- Keep it simple and concrete.
- Treat your online strategy as mission-critical.
- Build your own technical competency.
- Nurture your online community via its leaders.
- Create incentives for action.
- Give up credit to increase your impact.
- Care more about real-world outcomes than online metrics.
Despite a few false starts, KaBOOM! has seen a positive impact from
the new strategy. In 2009, a dollar spent by the organization on online
tools helped to improve 10 times as many neighborhoods as a dollar spent
more directly on playground equipment. Online outreach efforts helped
people build more than 1,700 do-it-yourself (DIY) playgrounds in
communities around the United States last year—almost as many as KaBOOM!
has assembled directly during the past 14 years. By persevering on this
new path, we have accelerated our growth and affected the lives of many
more children and communities.