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Chapter 2 - Assessing impact

A goal of this ninth project was to access the impact of these eight projects to determine if smaller grants to community based organizations would make a difference in the natural resource community. Could this cohort of grantees be used as a resource or model for future grantees based on their experiences and the resources they developed? The critical success factors and the overall impact that each of the projects achieved are a testament to the success of this venture. Not only will this toolkit assist future cohorts as they explore information technology as a means of knowledge sharing, it provides a means to reach out to colleagues who can act as the knowledge base for future endeavors. As one grantee stated, “I am not used to this type of collaborative environment within a grant structure – normally I am competing with each of you. This has been refreshing to come together and share success stories and challenges so that there is a knowledge sharing among like entities.”

This toolkit sheds light on these questions and others that the team and the sponsors found as they explored this new territory. The results speak for themselves; each of the projects found that although the grants were small, each had a notable impact on the ability of the organization to share knowledge with extended audiences in ways that were previously impossible or too costly to contemplate. They were also able to grow capacity and capability within the teams to explore potentially new opportunities based on these experiences. The following chapter discusses the impact these programs had, not only on their own community, but also on the natural resource community as a whole.