Open innovation can be organized into a more inclusive granting mechanism. In the past, nonprofits and other organizations would fund social enterprises by asking for a written proposal—but combining mentorship and crowdsourcing creates new opportunities and community solutions. Find out how it worked for Pact and the US Department of State in this case study.
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.
When IdeaScale put out a call for speakers at this year’s Open Nation (the annual innovation conference hosted by IdeaScale), we were pleased to see an influx of interest from some surprising sectors.
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.
The list of problems that need to be solved is growing almost as fast as our solutions are. Some are concerned about the lack of food and water security, others worry about access to education and a whopping 45.2% of millennials think today’s most pressing problem is the destruction of natural resources. But with the proliferation of problems, organizations and enterprises are broadening their search for innovative solutions and many of them are looking to the crowd for ideas.
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.