My work at a Florida nonprofit resource center often revolves around educating people about social entrepreneurship and innovation. This even happens inside my own family as my father is extremely interested in the work I do. Recently we had a conversation that portrays this:
In our conversation I told Dad about how we utilize technology and cost effective resources to further our mission. He says “that’s innovative”. I replied “social entrepreneurship IS innovation”. Specifically explaining the two are intertwined.
Finding an innovative way to address a societal challenge is the essence of social entrepreneurship. I speak with nonprofit professionals frequently who seek new ways to share their story and reach key stakeholders while also saving money. This is where entrepreneurship and innovation intersect.
There are many tools and resources out there to help communication with donors, volunteers and constituents. Nonprofits can utilize social innovative tools to help them further their missions and build their capacity.
Here are 3 of my favorite innovative nonprofit tools:
- Is a text messaging service customized for the nonprofit sector
- Helps nonprofit organizations and NGOs communicate with constituents, the community and key stakeholders
- Allows organizations to receive messages from the public as part of competitions or surveys
- Exchanges information with staff and/or key stakeholders
- Offers easy, user-friendly, monitoring and evaluation
- Is used globally for activities such as field data collection, community surveys and educational programs
- A way for people to come together, from across different generations, cultures and places
- Made up of photographic images, videos, audio clips and narrative text
- Aims to get people from different generations talking more, sharing more and coming together more often
- Enables organizations to “tell their story” in unique ways
- Created by the nonprofit organization We Are What We Do through a partnership with Google which creates ways for millions of people to do more small, good things
- Connects nonprofit organizations with volunteers
- Categorizes volunteer opportunities by zip code nationally
- Nonprofit organizations create profiles and community members are connected with volunteer opportunities based on their personal interests
- Endorsed by the University of Florida Department of Family, Youth & Community Sciences
Undoubtedly, the creators of each of these communications platforms are social entrepreneurs. Their innovations make communication easier for nonprofit organizations everywhere. The best part about using each of these resources is that they are free of charge. Taking advantage of social innovative resources enables nonprofit organizations to perform at a higher level, makes fulfilling their missions easier and often times saves money.