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Open Actions XML -- An Introduction

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Saved by Peter Deitz
on September 28, 2009 at 2:25:55 pm

The Basics


Open Actions XML is an open standard for publishing up-to-date information about opportunities to take action in XML. Open Actions XML is key to unlocking information about opportunities to take action in a way that’s independent of any particular aggregation. Open Actions XML is both profoundly linked and clearly distinct from the Social Actions API. We see the development of a versatile XML schema for publishing information about opportunities to make a difference as of a as a critical component of the philanthropic web.


Some Context


The nonprofit technology community is filled with many bright minds and innovative thinkers. For better or worse, this passion often gets channeled toward one-off projects that benefit a single organization or a coalition of organizations.


Social Actions would like to see the brightest minds and most innovative thinkers in the social sector come together to create open standards that lift all organizations. The open standards we'd like to see developed and adopted would have the following outcomes:


  • Open standards would help social benefit organizations seamlessly publish rich information about their donation opportunities in a structured format, helping major grant-makers and citizen philanthropists make smarter choices about their giving
  • Open standards would help organizations publish rich information about their volunteer opportunities and the events they are hosting, helping individuals connect with service opportunities and events effortlessly; and
  • Open standards would help nonprofits fill out their social media profile once and have it syndicated everywhere and anywhere on the fly.


From a technological perspective, these are modest goals. Where they become difficult to achieve is at the level of organizational culture, grant-making priorities, and leadership. We understand fully that this conversation has been launched on many occasions over the years. We hope that in the years ahead, we can overcome cultural, funding, and leadership barriers to create a social sector that charts its own course toward open standards, open data and collaborative innovation.


Our Goals


  1. To ensure that standards exist that serve the creation of the philanthropic web, allowing participatns in the Social Actions API to share rich information about their opportunities to make a difference, reflecting the diversity of datapoints represented in their content but united by a common XML syntax.
  2. To strengthen the community and work of people who share Socila Actions' excitement about open standards. Every opportunity for subtantive collaboration will be built into the development and profliferation of Open Actions XML.


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