In an article by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the authors addressed a recent study from the Bridgespan Group that identified an innovation in the nonprofit sector. Although 80% of nonprofit leaders consider innovation an imperative, only 40% of those leaders consider their organization ready for innovation. SSIR went on to discuss the six characteristics that empower nonprofit innovation.
This case study explores the results of an innovation research process undertaken by Oxfam, which compared internal feedback vs. general public feedback to identical sets of ideas. In comparing responses between these two audiences, Oxfam discovered an immediate and obvious divide between their staff’s opinions about which fundraising ideas would perform the best, versus what the general public preferred - an important lesson about avoiding the bubble of the echo chamber.
Crowdsourcing is often associated with start-ups and blue-chip companies who are trying to innovate, but it has the potential to reach far beyond those with seed money and infinite endowments. The beauty of crowdsourcing is that it is rooted in grassroots fundamentals—an environment that is ideal for non-profit businesses.
Can we create innovations for the greater good? Where else could innovation have greater impact than in the charity sector of society?
With everyone and her aunt now involved in innovation and a never ending stream of articles, blog posts and books being published on the topic, we need to be sure we are clear on the basics of innovation, particularly corporate or organizational innovation.