How Nonprofits are Leveraging Innovation Management Platforms

Filed Under Innovation

How Nonprofits are Leveraging Innovative Platforms

by
July 7, 2014

At the core, all problems are a failure to identify a solution or apply the right fix. Innovation management platforms, when implemented correctly, consistently prove to be one of the best problem solving tools businesses can employ; they help organizations uncover hidden challenges and overcome existing roadblocks with new, out-of-the-box solutions.

As with every business, nonprofits and humanitarian agencies are increasingly adopting innovation management programs in order to discover new solutions to deal with operational and other business challenges.

Opportunities and Possibilities

Encouraging a collaborative culture of innovation, and supporting it with an efficient innovation platform, can do wonders for nonprofits. Innovation management can create some of the following opportunities for nonprofits:

  • Better Funding. Although the government and big corporations are the two major sources of funding for nonprofits, many rely on a variety of other, smaller sources. Nonprofits are now tapping into innovation to diversify their funding base or make the most of their hosts. Nonprofits apply innovation to make their foundation proposals, special events, online campaigns, and other fundraising efforts more successful — for example, tapping into mobile technology to orchestrate a text-to-give campaign.
  • Internal Efficiency. Nonprofits can apply innovation management to cut costs, improve their efficiency, and improve their sustainability. By establishing an innovation platform that promotes open debate and critical thinking amongst stakeholders, nonprofits can discuss ideas and formulate paths to reach their objectives. These debates don’t just breed new ideas — they also help organizations to: rationalize suggestions; understand whether what’s being touted as “new” is really new, or something old that failed; dissect the underlying merits and worth of ideas; determine the scalability and transferability of an idea; and, identify the relevance of the idea to the nonprofits’ core objectives. Cross-sector collaboration helps to deliver collective impact.
  • Unlock Growth. The success of most nonprofits depends on growth and the ability to reach out to a wider audience progressively. Innovation helps nonprofits discover new insights, identify workarounds through existing barriers, and use the power of innovation to further their core values and objectives.

Real Life Examples

Nothing stands testimony to these possibilities better than the case of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which launched a “UNCHR Ideas” platform. UNCHR Ideas offered the agency a way to break through the restraints of thought and process flows posed by bureaucracy, and create a culture of innovation to further its core agenda of protecting refugees and resolving refugee problems worldwide.

How can you use innovation management software for your nonprofit? Talk to us in the comments!

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