"Innovation is overhead."
If you want to ensure that your nonprofit stays relevant, which is code for continues to inspire funders, employees, and other key stakeholders. And achieve greater IMPACT in the world! Then you MUST innovate.
Because the world keeps turning! Technology shifts, governments collapse, businesses go out of businesses.
Don't believe me?
Borders. Kodak. Circuit City. May they all RIP.
You simply can't stay still and remain a success.
The challenge for nonprofits is innovation = overhead. You can't develop new programs or services, change the way you communicate with constituents, update your brand identity, and overhaul IT without paying for it and this money goes to overhead, not programs.
There is currently much buzz in the nonprofit sector about changing the conversation regarding how to evaluate nonprofits. Namely, some folks are tired of being judged by the percentage of their fundraising spend vs. the merits of their impact. Great!
If we want innovation in charitable organizations (and we do!) this is another reason to investigate how we think about overhead.
Do we really want a dearth of innovation for the programs, services, and communities that need change most?