Things to know before you start

Get inspiration from other people and organisations if you want to learn more about who, why and how to work in the open.

What is working in the open for non-profits?

🤲 Working in the open is as simple as sharing your work with others - inside or outside your organisation - and using work that’s been done by others to help you with your project. Read our definition of what working in the open is:

The public sector has been working in the open since 2012

📈 The UK government has been advocating for making things open since it put hundreds of websites onto GOV.UK and point 10 of the government design principles - which every newly-designed service must follow - is:
Make things open: it makes things better
"We should share what we’re doing whenever we can. With colleagues, with users, with the world. Share code, share designs, share ideas, share intentions, share failures. The more eyes there are on a service the better it gets - howlers are spotted, better alternatives are pointed out, the bar is raised."

Working in the open is valuable for both people sharing and using the work

🔄 Two blog posts, written several years apart and from people with very different jobs, come to the same conclusion: that it's worth the effort to work openly as you gain so much.
"Making things open is a principle that has allowed individuals and teams to create and share many of the toolkits and and pattern libraries used in the public sector on a daily basis."
"There has been so much value in sharing what we’re working on, what we’re learning or thinking about so openly. It’s created community and interest around the work. It’s given the work more validation internally to be able to show the interest in it externally and I can’t tell you how helpful this is when you’re trying to do new or different things."
Image shows a person holding a bat with the words 'don't overthink it... just hit it!'. CC-BY-ND Bryan Mathers of WAO.

A definition of 'open'

📖 The Open Definition sets out principles that define 'openness' in relation to data and content: “Open data and content can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose”: