Monday 29 September 2014

Innovation. Really?

Innovation really is the word of the moment.

Yet some of the biggest, most successful and most memorable fundraising moments of the past few months weren’t planned or created. They didn’t originate from an innovation process or team. It wasn’t someone like me.

I’m thinking #nomakeupselfie and #icebucket challenge as two really big examples, but there are lots of others.  When these moments occur it’s because the act of getting involved captures the public’s imagination, participation is simple and there is an element of sharing and of being challenged to take part by a friend.

Let me be very clear, I’m not anti innovation by any stretch of the imagination. So let’s not go there…

I totally appreciate that innovation means we need to continually improve what we’re doing. Small improvements and big steps forward, innovation is about pushing things on and getting better and better at raising the money. We can’t keep still or we will fail. Someone awesome once told me (over and over again) “if you keep on doing the same things, the same things will keep on happening”…

But I’m convinced that as a sector we’re missing a trick.

Maybe you don’t need an innovation team?

Maybe you need a rapid response team. Or at least a single person in your organisation who is responsible for spotting opportunities and ensuring that your organisation has the relationships, infrastructure and processes in place to react quickly and to follow up with skill.

Maybe we should all be focused on that?


  1. Now that's innovative! At SolarAid I took on the role of "Chief Fundraiser" with no line reports to spot opportunities and help help join the dots across our fundraising. It's amazing what you can see when you have the bandwidth i.e. time.

    And totally agree about being ready for that moment.

    1. Well it took me a long time to respond! Thanks for your comment Richard!