Innovation Inspiration From Nonprofits

Innovation is commonly associated with companies seeking to provide higher value to their customers – most often, for profit organizations competing in the marketplace. Though chartered for other than profit-making activities, nonprofit organizations have too been keen to adopt innovation principles. In fact, they often manage to do so in a way that inspires small, medium-sized and even large organizations from all industries.

The following article amasses a number of distinct innovation examples from nonprofit organizations. These latter have successfully and creatively adopted innovation in various forms, including new business models, products and application of ideas to deliver a novel service. A few examples include:

  • Streamlining the Payment Process: Philanthroper. The firm founded in 2011 allows people to donate $1 to vetted non-profits with a click. Its founder Mark Wilson affirmed “I wanted to modernize the world of donation to appeal to today’s Internet culture”. The lesson: think small and simple.
  • Making It Fun for Your Customers: FreeRice. It presents a novel concept: visitors to the website are asked simple questions. Every time a correct answer is submitted, 10 grains of rice are donated to a needy country. The rice is paid by advertisement and distributed by the UN World Food Program. What can be learned? Make your site fun, and think about using “gamification” to enhance customer interaction.
  • Mastering Video to Woo Your Audience: Khan Academy. This site seeks to deliver world-class education to anyone, anywhere, anytime. It is based on an extensive video library with more than 2,400 video resources. Around 75 million videos have been viewed over the world. The lesson: Video may be the future of the Web. Learn how to produce it to effectively reach more people.

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