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Australia’s Most Innovative NFPs Highlighted


13 September 2018 at 8:41 am
Luke Michael
There is a clear link between innovation and employee engagement in not for profits, according to new research, which identifies some of Australia’s most innovative NFPs.


Luke Michael | 13 September 2018 at 8:41 am


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Australia’s Most Innovative NFPs Highlighted
13 September 2018 at 8:41 am

There is a clear link between innovation and employee engagement in not for profits, according to new research, which identifies some of Australia’s most innovative NFPs.   

Results from the GiveEasy Innovation Index 2018 survey were released on Thursday, showing the innovation performance of Australian NFPs has increased by ten points over the past four years.

The sector received an overall innovation score of 66.0 – up from 63.3 last year and 57.7 in 2015.

The most innovative NFP based on innovation index score was Burn Bright – which runs leadership and wellbeing programs for teenagers in schools across Australia – followed by Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and Culture At Work.

Burn Bright CEO Andy Skidmore said in the report, that innovation was the only way forward when working with teenagers.

“Young people are constantly pushing the edge of what’s new and interesting. It forces us to stay innovative. The way we deliver our leadership programs has to be relevant, cutting edge and stimulating,” Skidmore said.

For the second year in a row, the most innovative NFPs based on peer perception was Thankyou, followed by Australian Red Cross and the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Jeremy Tobias, CEO of digital giving provider GiveEasy, told Pro Bono News this highlighted how organisations investing time in innovation would “continue to stay ahead of the pack”.

GiveEasy added new questions to the survey this year to measure the correlation between innovation and employee engagement, and Tobias said the results highlighted a clear link between the two.

“Highly innovative organisations have engaged employees and engaged employees work for highly innovative organisations,” he said.   

One area the sector could improve in, according to the report, was around rewarding and recognising innovation.

“For the past four years, rewards and recognition has seen the smallest increase of any vector in the Innovation Index,” the report said.

Tobias said reward and recognition was pivotal, as employees in the sector required “recognition for the innovative ideas they bring to the fore”.

“It’s not just about money, you can reward employees by patting them on the back, taking them to lunch or just congratulating them just for making an effort, even if they’ve tried something and failed,” he said.

“Another thing we noted is that low innovative organisations on the whole felt they were less innovative this year, than last year. So they’ve actually gone backwards and that’s perhaps concerning.

“Especially given these should be the organisations pulling their socks up and actually trying to make great strides.”   

Now in its fourth year, the innovation index provides a year-on-year assessment to track and measure the innovation progress of the NFP sector.

Organisations are measured according to their capacity to develop and deliver innovation according to eight key vectors.

More than 1,000 employees from charities, NFPs, schools, clubs and social enterprises participated in this year’s study, which asked respondents to indicate their level of agreement with 32 statements around their organisation’s innovation capability.        


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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