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Innovation is regarded as a secret weapon to success within the technology startup space. This association with tech companies, though, signifies that when we think about innovation, we frequently consider some new gadget or invention idea. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on having a top engineering team as well as a big research and development budget. Fortunately for nonprofits and social enterprises, this is not the way it is.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as “a new idea, device, or method.” Though it can come such as a whole new machine or microchip, innovation can even be a whole new method of an issue, a modification of behavior, or a new method of using existing resources. Innovation can occur at any organization in any sector.

Many of the most successful and celebrated innovations of the past decade center primarily on a new approach or even a new strategy for using resources. Organizations from the for-profit and nonprofit sector used existing methods and technology differently in order to revolutionize their space. Use their breakthroughs to inspire your team to help make game-changing creative leaps in your mission.

Funds are power. That has always been the status quo. Not only will the wealthy choose what products to buy for his or her own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become open to the wider public. Although this method is still prevalent, the arrival of crowdfunding has opened investing up to a much wider population.

In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was introduced to aid musicians fund projects with direct contributions by fans, as an alternative to from record labels. Crowdfunding platforms for all sorts of campaigns, projects, and products quickly followed. Sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have formulated a brand new avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to get funding. Much like a social networking profile, users can create a page introducing their project and attract relatives and buddies for support.

Crowdfunding allows regular customers to contribute a little investment to films, clothing designers, food products, and a lot more. Because the price tag on admission is very low, nearly anyone can become a venture capitalist, and the potential risk of funding a project is spread widely across its backers. By channeling existing payment and social network systems, crowdfunding sites allow regular consumers to support projects inside their infancy with minimal risk. The entrepreneurs can also draw on existing connections and social sharing to finance their ideas.

Crowdfunding has even spread towards the nonprofit sector, where organizations begin using these platforms and others to fundraise for projects.

Landmines would be the weapons that carry on taking. Mainly because they are created to be challenging to detect, they carry on and kill and maim civilians years right after a war. What’s worse, landmines tend to be positioned in developing countries with few resources to discover and neutralize them.

While new technology often seems at the core of solving problems, APOPO took advantage of an indigenous creature and standard animal training solutions to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats are extremely smart animals having a superior sensation of smell. APOPO conditioned these to identify landmines. By training the animals to use their powerful experience of smell to detect the deadly weapons, APOPO has disabled over 68,000 landmines in Tanzania, Mozambique, Cambodia, and other countries.

APOPO didn’t invent animal training plus they didn’t genetically engineer a new rat. They took good thing about existing resources and techniques and used them to make a new strategy to a longstanding problem.

Twitter and Facebook could be most commonly known for allowing us to share the moment information on our everyday lives on the net, but social organizers have unlocked its power as a tool for mobilizing people and spreading information.

Starting in December 2010, a wave of political protests and demonstrations known as the Arab Spring spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa. “People who shared curiosity about democracy built extensive social media sites and organized political action. Social networking became a critical section of the toolkit for greater freedom,” said Philip Howard, who led research of methods social networking shaped the movement’s activity.

While these political actors weren’t the first one to spread content and news of demonstrations on Twitter and other platforms, the Arab Spring represents a change in how people viewed and used social platforms. This change in the method of organizing people has rippled to causes around the world, including #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. Needless to say, a tweet won’t solve a social issue by itself. But smart usage of social platforms will help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to investigate and publicize the situation.

While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber appear like a higher-tech strategy to transportation problems, their power lies more inside their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, inventions ideas, and survey systems to change just how people use cars.

As Lyft CMO Kira Scherer Wampler explains, 87 percent of commuter trips are people traveling alone. This means more cars on the road and more traffic. This matter, along with unreliable taxis and poor public transportation, made commuting an expensive, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology individuals were already using every single day to create a new solution.

By synthesizing mapping data with driver profiles, ridesharing makes the whole process of getting from point A to point B faster, cheaper, and a lot more fun. “Our vision would be to fundamentally change car culture,” says Wampler. To achieve this, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles and even building new devices. They can be mobilizing people to use the tools they have got more proficiently.

Despite having the success that a great many cancer of the breast organizations had in spreading awareness, the ailment was still being seen as a problem only for older people. This meant that a tremendous part of the population wasn’t being open to the detection methods and preventive lifestyle changes that will save lives.

Keep-A-Breast, whose mission is “to empower young people all over the world with breast health education and support,” has begun to bridge the gap by reaching younger people in a completely new way. Teens have become understanding breast cancers risks at one of their favorite summer events.

The Vans Warped Tour is really a music festival containing traveled all around the U . S . each summer over the past 21 years. Over half a million kids attend, spending the time watching performances and visiting booths. For 15 years, one of many attractions continues to be Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and present information regarding cancer of the breast and preventive tips. KAB says, “The brings cancers of the breast education to younger people independently turf.” By changing the direction they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has taken life-saving information into a population that was being left out of your conversation.

While we work to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s vital that you realize that innovation will not be limited to tech startups and wealthy corporations. What every one of these organizations share is a new idea, a new way of doing things. They investigated instances and resources that they had and asked, “How could we do more?”

For older nonprofits, it might be especially tempting to keep using the well-trodden path, but a brand new approach can bring about huge progress. You don’t have to build a new road to be able to “take the path less traveled.” You need to simply spot the path and pursue it.

Daily, social impact organizations are creating and scaling new strategies to the world’s toughest challenges. Hopefully you’ll join us at the Collaborative and Classy Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations like these.