By Jenn Lisak
Nonprofits sometimes think that innovation is not for them: it’s too cutting-edge, too complicated, or too expensive. But the fact is, nonprofits are engaged in doing business like anyone else — and they can also benefit from innovation and innovation technologies.
The number of nonprofits is actually on the rise. Between 2001 and 2011, they increased by 25%, and this growth means that the competition for donations and funding is also growing. Organizations need to show donors that their programs are effective and have a wide reach. By thinking and doing things differently, they have a better chance at gaining access to more funds and a wider audience.
Why Nonprofits Need To Use Innovation Platforms
So: how can nonprofits use innovation software platforms?
Fundraising. Apart from implementing and planning programs, the biggest task facing nonprofits is fundraising. With innovation platforms, agencies can tap into a wider audience to come up with fundraising ideas. Plus, by inviting volunteers and outsiders to participate, you can create more awareness about your project or campaign, and grab the attention of potential sponsors. You may even discover a new issue that can be solved by your agency!
Transparency. Crowdsourcing and innovation platforms allow for transparency. Each idea can be recorded and saved for future reference, and the collaborative nature of the software cuts across geographies and linguistic boundaries. Since everything is discussed on one centralized platform, ideas never slip through the cracks.
Community. Innovation platforms also help create a sense of community, which is always welcome in an industry that can use volunteers. Plus, it can help build partnerships with other organizations and for-profits. Since nonprofits often find it difficult to sustain themselves solely on charitable donations, partnerships and crowdfunding provide opportunities to fund their mission.
Measuring Impact. Nonprofits need to check how well their projects are doing, and continuously assess and evaluate. There is a lot of data coming in, and, with innovation software, all of that data can be sorted, organized, and made more accessible to those who need it. When data is centralized and available for analysis, it’s easier to gain insight and make strategic decisions. Plus, leaders can account for funds received.
Streamlining. With innovation technology, nonprofit teams can automate tasks to get more done in less time. Who doesn’t need more time nowadays?
An Environment of Engagement
Not every fancy software out there is meant for large businesses; using enterprise innovation software for nonprofits will serve the greater good while streamlining organization goals and processes. It allows you to source ideas form anywhere, create an environment of sustained engagement with rewards, and quantify program investment with analytics and reports. And, with easy voting, discussions, and leader boards, you can have total transparency throughout the organization.
The bottom line? Nonprofits that utilize innovation software drive more than just a culture collaborative innovation; they ensure that more of each dollar they receive goes directly towards the causes that need them most.