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NFP Innovation Index Revealed

19 March 2015 at 10:35 am
Lina Caneva
A landmark report has revealed the most innovative Not for Profit organisations in Australia.

Lina Caneva | 19 March 2015 at 10:35 am


NFP Innovation Index Revealed
19 March 2015 at 10:35 am

A landmark report has revealed the most innovative Not for Profit organisations in Australia.

The 2015 Innovation Index – The Australian Not-for-Profit Sector was unveiled yesterday by Australia Post and digital giving provider, GiveEasy.

The report was commissioned to find out how innovative Australian Not for Profits are, with the sector receiving an overall innovation index of 66 per cent, indicating there is significant room for improvement.

The report surveyed 700 professionals working in the sector and used a peer-based ranking to name Movember, Oxfam and Charity Water as the top three most innovative Not for Profits.

It also found that there was a direct link between how innovative an organisation is and how much revenue it raises.

Small to medium-sized organisations were revealed to be the most innovative as they are more likely to be “nimble and market-responsive”.

Speaking at the launch, Director of GiveEasy, Dr Jeffrey Tobias, said Not for Profits were facing an uncertain future and they needed to make sure they were taking innovation seriously.

“Now more than ever the Not for Profit sector, as is every sector in the community and marketplace, is being disrupted and as such is need of significant innovation,” Tobias said.

“The power has shifted from the organisation to the consumer and an organisation that doesn’t meet a consumer’s needs and expectations will find that the consumer will transfer her dollars and her loyalty to an organisation that does.

“While innovation may have been on the agenda of some of the Not for Profits and the Not for Profit Boards in the past the imperative to innovate and to change has never been greater than it is today.”

Tobias said the global community was moving away from simply sending money to charities and people wanted to ensure that their donations were having real impact.

He said a charity could expect to receive more donations if it seriously tackled the issue of innovation.

“Merely sending an arbitrary sum in response to a fundraising campaign is often now seen as passive, non-committal and maybe not even of the 21st century,” he said.

“The overall innovation index of the sector came out as 66 per cent. One can argue that 66 per cent is great. I’d put it to you that the most innovative organisations in the world would be around 95 per cent.

“There is a significant correlation between the innovative nature of the organisation and revenue from new sources.

“The more innovative the organisation, the higher the innovation index of the organisation, so the more revenue there was from new sources.”

Chairman of the Australian Centre for Social Innovation, Nicholas Gruen, said the Innovation Index would help the Not for Profit sector address major challenges facing it.

“Innovation is really the dark matter of our economy. It’s the biggest thing and the thing we really understand the least,” Gruen said.

“They say that what gets measured gets managed and we’re now trying to measure innovation.

“This is the first year the Index has been completed and it will be a success if, and only if, it gains wide currency in the sector.”

Gruen also said that he agreed with the way the most innovative charities were ranked, with the survey marking them according to the visibility of their innovation to the outside world.

Founder of Movember, Adam Garone, said one of the ways his charity tries to be innovative is to shake up other sectors.

“In the charitable sector the nature of giving has fundamentally changed,” he said.

“How do we pivot, how do we innovate our core product, how do we become more efficient and how do we create new ways to engage the community to contribute funds? But also, a big part of what we look at is how can we disrupt the research industry.

“Movember now is in 21 countries and we’re the major funder of prostate and testicular cancer research.

“When you get into the research industry it’s quite shocking how that industry is not built around collaboration. They get rewarded for being written up in journals and they get rewarded with grants. There is no incentive whatsoever  to collaborate and particularly share what’s not working.

“Our model now if a researcher wants funding from the Movember Foundation is all around collaboration and innovation.”

The report can be found here.

Lina Caneva  |  Editor  |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years. She was the editor of Pro Bono Australia News from when it was founded in 2000 until 2018.

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  • Anonymousmvbb says:

    Great to see more indexing of charities! shouldn't donors be most concerned with whether their money is going to be used by a charity that Can demonstrate the effectiveness and difference made by their work? If giveeasy and centre for social innovation can come up with a way to rank impact of a charity without forcing charities to adopt the same evaluation methodology that will really shake up the industry!!

  • Stranger says:

    What a great report. If this can make 1% difference to the sector. Then it has huge ramifications on the whole economy. Great that a public service institution is behind it. Who would have thought government businesses embracing innovation and helping others become better? Thanks to the authors.

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