What big businesses can learn from nonprofit intranets

Two nonprofit organizations showcase how passion can help build great intranets with limited resources.

That’s according to Ephraim Freed, community manager at Digital workplace group, a guest host on the December episode of IBF Live, the monthly broadcast from the Intranet Benchmarking Forum. Big businesses could learn a thing or two from nonprofit organizations with regard to passion, Freed said.

To prove it, IBF Live’s hosts toured two nonprofit organizations’ intranets. Elkie Wills, senior communications manager at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA, took them through her organization’s intranet, Fetch, which runs on a tiny annual maintenance budget. Wendy Jordan, internal communications coordinator at the Glasgow Housing Association, showed off her intranet, Holmes.

She said an Orson Welles quote is often in her mind as she works to improve the intranet with limited resources: “The enemy of art is the absence of limitation.”

Both intranets harness employee enthusiasm to create buzz instead of filling pages with pricy bells and whistles. For example, Holmes has a section titled “Think Yes,” where employees can vent about situations in which red tape or other constraints keep them from helping the housing association’s tenants in the ways they’d like to.

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