What Does Innovation Mean to Nonprofit Practitioners? International Insights From Development and Peace-Building Nonprofits

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Charitable nonprofits strive to meet their organization’s goals, address external demands, and secure resources to pursue their missions. Management scholars have recommended that nonprofits promote innovation and innovative practices to maximize profits and gain a competitive advantage. However, the voices of nonprofit practitioners who implement this strategy have not been heard. We used data from interviews and focus groups with 47 practitioners representing development and peace-building nonprofits across six continents to probe what innovation means to them. Five themes emerged: (a) experimentation and social transformation, (b) financial sustainability, (c) collective solutions, (d) new means for achieving missions, and (e) adaptations to local contexts. These findings reveal discrepancies in the meaning of innovation between theory and practice. The findings from this study suggests innovation and innovative practices can have different meanings in different sectors. Perspectives on nonprofit innovation are multifaceted, yet the overarching emphasis is finding transformative ways to attain organizational goal(s) for social change.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly | http://journals.sagepub.com/action/showFeed?ui=0&mi=ehikzz&ai=2b4&jc=nvsb&type=etoc&feed=rss  

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