6 ways to make innovation part of your work

One of the things that makes fundraising hard is the changing landscape we’re in. Costs go up. Generations come and go. New technologies change the way people interact with us.

Innovation is a must for survival. And it’s the difference between greatness and failure.

That’s why you need to make innovation part of your job as a fundraiser. And you need to get rid of things that are holding you back. Here are some great ways to do that from Clairification, at 6 Strategies to Stop Killing Nonprofit Innovation:

  1. Let Yourself Be Stupid. Show me an organization that never does anything weird, risky, or crazy — and I’ll show you an organization that isn’t innovating. Creating something new means taking risks. Most new ideas fail.
  2. Prove Everyone Wrong. Knowledge is good, but it can also be a curse. “We know what works, and we’ve always done it that way” is half wisdom, half innovation-killer. Tackle those things that you “know” to be true.
  3. Stay Curious, and True to Yourself. Be careful to stay who you are as an organization. Innovation that distorts your mission is not a good thing!
  4. Address and Solve Problems Creatively. Innovation takes time. If you have a culture that demands fast turnaround for everything all the time, you won’t innovate much. On the other hand, if you have a culture that makes decisions agonizing and slow, you won’t get much innovation either.
  5. Attack Opportunities to Learn. Look for information and inspiration — especially in your failures. And don’t let “not invented here” keep you from thinking about new things.
    learning, it stagnates and eventually withers.
  6. Set Aside Budget for Innovation. If you value it, you’ll be willing to pay for it!


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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