Towards scalable and sustainable networks of community hubs

Over the past several years, 2i2c has built a platform for serving community-centric hubs that provide a digital home for workflows in creating and sharing knowledge. See our three-year retrospective for a report about the growth and impact this service has had.

During that time, we’ve experimented with several models for funding and sustaining this infrastructure. We’ve tried everything from direct cost-recovery from individual communities, to institutional contracts that cover several hubs, to grant-based models that fund many communities at the same time.

There are pros and cons associated with each, and we believe that a combination of all of them is important for a long-term service sustainability model for 2i2c. However, with this post we’d like to share the community funding model that strikes the right balance between short-term sustainability and scalability.

In short: 2i2c aims to serve networks of communities that are joined by a domain or workflow, and fund the network at once rather than through one-on-one contracts.

A model of the funding and service relationships we aim to build.
A model of the funding and service relationships we aim to build.

We believe that this model strikes a balance between “scalable and very simple hubs” (which require a lot of administrative toil) and “fully bespoke hubs” (which are expensive and unscalable). By using a single funding contract to serve many communities, we can reduce the amount of sales and contracting toil for each community. This will let us raise funds more quickly, and focus more of our time on delivering service.

We are seeking community leaders to collaborate #

If you’re part of one or more communities that would benefit from cloud infrastructure for creating and sharing knowledge, and believe a network like this would benefit you, please reach out! We are seeking leaders collaborate in designing service for networks like the ones described above, and identifying potential funding sources for it.

If you’re interested in collaborating on this, send an e-mail to .

Learn more #

You can find more information about this fundraising and service strategy in our Team Compass documentation .

Chris Holdgraf
Chris Holdgraf
Executive Director