The design of effective communities of practice can benefit from the best available evidence and the professional experience of technical assistance providers.

“Communities of practice were originally envisioned as groups that worked together in the same location. Today, proximity is no longer a necessity. Technology can overcome the challenges of time and distance and provide opportunities for interacting with peers, even if those peers are widely dispersed and in remote locations…Another advantage of virtual communities is that the work of the group can be structured so members can participate whenever they have time” (p.2).

“The same benefits hold true for any group of organizations or practitioners working within a similar domain. For instance, nonprofits seeking to capitalize on their use of volunteers can benefit from sharing practices around volunteer recruitment, development, supervision, and support. Regardless of the area of practice, organizations of all types benefit from shared learning” (p.2).

“EnCorps—a community of practice hosted by Education Northwest for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)—was a three-year professional development opportunity that resulted in an online treasure trove of national service resources. Members of the community vetted hundreds of resources from 81 programs across the country. The program directors who participated were able to discuss and share practices and tools on common concerns such as volunteer recruitment and training, site management, resource allocation, and transition out of service” (p.2). (Abstractor: Author).