Nonprofit Solutions for Innovation

Nonprofit Solutions for innovationIn the last post from this series, we talked about the nonprofit situation and how the nature of nonprofits leads to inherent problems. At the end of the post there were some solutions bullet-pointed, and today the first two of them will be visited and explained in more depth to offer more valuable insight.

Harness the shared interest among all participants.  

What sets nonprofits from other organizations? Well, at its core, a nonprofit works toward a greater good, following a mission itself and not seeking profit as a primary concern. Donors, volunteers, staff, stakeholders, government officials, and even people who benefit from the work of the organization, all contribute to an active community with a shared interest, generating momentum and knowledge. And it’s of great value to offer a sense of purpose in the workplace: people feel more engaged, have better job satisfaction, and even perform their tasks with more accuracy. Having a way to harness that diversity of insight and perspective could be vital to implementing new ideas into existing work practices. Organizations like these attract many people who are aligned with the mission the organization has in the form of employees, volunteers, donors, and stakeholders, all seeking to have an impact towards finding a solution to the large-scale problems they tackle. All of these people, in general, have a genuine motivation for putting in the hard work that has to be done. It is said that any company’s best asset is the people that work there, and in this case, people who work for nonprofits tend to have higher motivation and put more effort into achieving the goals of the organization.

This shared interest is vital because if harnessed, it represents a strong surge of motivation leading to increased productivity, better workplace environments, better coordination, and a smoother path to implementation. The Salvation Army is a great example of how nonprofits have the potential of leading the way in one of the most crucial sectors of them all – motivation and productivity. With the personal feeling of satisfaction in one’s actions as payment, the salvation army has made a massive impact in American society.

Leverage the manager’s influence

Use the authority of a manager to break down internal barriers and use available resources collectively for sparking new ideas. Several times in nonprofit organizations internal conflicts arise because of the diversity of stakeholders. Good leadership can use authority to break internal barriers and promote shared values and communication within the different sections of the organization. Transparency in innovation is essential for a more productive process, and the manager can be a vital piece for getting rid of all internal barriers and problems that occur within the organization and its departments. Many times the only people that have a holistic view of big nonprofits are the managers and other leaders because employees are tasked with small tasks and only focus on their part. A manager has the power to connect different people in different places in the organization and generate a better understanding of the organization as a whole, leading to new ideas and new conversations occurring. Besides this, the empathy created for others that are trying to achieve the same mission can be very helpful as it fosters better relationships within the organization. The DREAMS innovation challenge does a magnificent job with this. This video portrays the call to action from good leadership, being inclusive with all parties.

Find these ideas interesting? Next week we will tackle two new solutions for nonprofits. Keep yourself posted and check back in to read more about the solutions you can try today!

This blog is part of a three-part series focusing on opportunities for innovation in the nonprofit sector, authored by our Accounts Fellow, Aaron Shildrick. The following blog posts (released every Thursday) will be focused on the solutions, providing a better insight into each of these solutions mentioned. 

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