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Innovation is known as a way to succeed in the technology startup space. This association with tech companies, though, implies that whenever we imagine innovation, we regularly think of some new gadget or new invention idea. This mindset makes creative breakthroughs seem predicated on possessing a top engineering team along with a big research and development budget. Fortunately for nonprofits and social enterprises, this is not the situation.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines innovation as “a new idea, device, or method.” Though it comes in the form of a whole new machine or microchip, innovation may also be a brand new method of an issue, a change in behavior, or perhaps a new way of using existing resources. Innovation can occur at any organization in every sector.

Some of the most successful and celebrated innovations of history decade center primarily with a new approach or perhaps a new method of using resources. Organizations from your for-profit and nonprofit sector have used existing methods and technology differently as a way to revolutionize their space. Use their breakthroughs to inspire your team to make game-changing creative leaps inside your mission.

Funds are power. That happens to be the status quo. Not only will the wealthy choose what products to buy for their own enjoyment, backing from large investors often determines which products and projects become available to the wider public. Even if this technique is still prevalent, the arrival of crowdfunding has opened investing to a much wider population.

In 2003, the platform ArtistShare was released to help musicians fund projects with direct contributions by fans, instead of from record labels. Crowdfunding platforms for all kinds of campaigns, projects, and merchandise quickly followed. Sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter have formulated a brand new avenue for entrepreneurs and inventors to get funding. Much like a social media profile, users can produce a page introducing their project and interest friends and relations for support.

Crowdfunding allows regular people to contribute a compact investment to films, clothing designers, food products, and much more. Because the cost of admission is indeed low, nearly anybody 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 could also take advantage of existing connections and social sharing to fund their ideas.

Crowdfunding has even spread for the nonprofit sector, where organizations use these platforms as well as others to fundraise for projects.

Landmines are the weapons that continue taking. Since they are designed to be tough to detect, they still kill and maim civilians years after having a war. What’s worse, landmines are frequently put into developing countries with few resources to locate and neutralize them.

While new technology often seems at the middle of solving problems, APOPO took advantage of an indigenous creature and standard animal training methods to mitigate the danger. African Giant Pouched Rats can be extremely smart animals with a superior experience of smell. APOPO conditioned these people to identify landmines. By training the animals to work with their powerful feeling of smell to detect the deadly weapons, APOPO has disabled over 68,000 landmines in Tanzania, Mozambique, Cambodia, and also other countries.

APOPO didn’t invent animal training plus they didn’t genetically engineer a whole new rat. They took benefit of existing resources and methods and used them to create a new solution to a longstanding problem.

Facebook and twitter could be well known for allowing us to share the minute information on our everyday life on the net, but social organizers have unlocked its power like a tool for mobilizing people and spreading information.

Beginning in December 2010, a wave of political protests and demonstrations known as the Arab Spring spread with the Middle East and North Africa. “People who shared curiosity about democracy built extensive social networking sites and organized political action. Social media became a critical area of the toolkit for greater freedom,” said Philip Howard, who led a report 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 along with other platforms, the Arab Spring represents a change in how people viewed and used social platforms. This shift in the strategy to organizing people has rippled to causes worldwide, including #BlackLivesMatter and #YesAllWomen. Needless to say, a tweet won’t solve a social issue by itself. But smart use of social platforms might help a movement reach a wider audience and compel traditional media outlets to investigate and publicize the problem.

While ridesharing platforms like Lyft and Uber look like a very high-tech solution to transportation problems, their power lies more inside their social model than their apps. Ridesharing took existing GPS technology, how to get a patent, and survey systems to alter the way in which 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 highway and a lot more traffic. This matter, in addition to unreliable taxis and poor public transport, made commuting a high priced, frustrating problem. Lyft and Uber took the technology everyone was 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 much more fun. “Our vision is always to fundamentally change car culture,” says Wampler. To get this done, ridesharing companies aren’t designing new vehicles and even building new devices. They can be mobilizing individuals to utilize the tools they may have more efficiently.

Despite the success that numerous cancers of the breast organizations had in spreading awareness, the ailment was still being viewed as a problem just for the elderly. This resulted in a tremendous section of the population wasn’t being exposed to the detection methods and preventive lifestyle changes that can save lives.

Keep-A-Breast, whose mission is “to empower younger people all over the world with breast health education and support,” has started to bridge the gap by reaching young people in another way. Teens are researching breast cancer risks at one among their most favorite summer events.

The Vans Warped Tour can be a music festival containing traveled everywhere in the U . S . each summer over the past 21 years. Over 500,000 kids attend, spending the day watching performances and visiting booths. For 10 years, one of several attractions is Keep-A-Breast’s Traveling Education Booth, where volunteers speak 19dexhpky youth and present information about cancer of the breast and preventive tips. KAB says, “The patent a product brings breast cancer education to young people on their own turf.” By changing the way they reach people, Keep-A-Breast has brought life-saving information to some population that was being left out of your conversation.

As we work to solve the world’s most pressing social problems, it’s crucial that you know that innovation is just not limited to tech startups and wealthy corporations. What all of these organizations share is a new idea, a whole new means of doing things. They investigated instances and resources they had and asked, “How can we do more?”

For older nonprofits, it can be especially tempting to keep with the well-trodden path, but a fresh approach can lead to huge progress. You don’t must create a new road so that you can “take the path less traveled.” You just need to spot the path and pursue it.

Every day, social impact organizations are coming up with and scaling new strategies to the world’s toughest challenges. We hope you’ll join us on the Collaborative and Classy Awards in Boston in June to showcase and share innovations such as these.