Reimagining Fundraising with innovation

How 14 leading NGOs teamed up to re-shape fundraising with innovation

The year 2020 shook things up in ways no one would ever have thought possible. Countless NGOs who rely heavily on fundraising operations were facing immense challenges.

Reimagining Fundraising: an open call to innovation

To address these challenges, 14 of the world’s leading NGOs partnered up and launched Reimagining Fundraising; an open call to ideators around the world to reinvent fundraising for the future. 

Given Board of Innovation’s background in helping NGOs and non-profits tackle innovation and operational challenges – sometimes even specifically validating new fundraising concepts and business models –, this open call certainly piqued our interest. Here’s what happened and the lessons that they learned.

Embracing collaboration to share a bigger pie

An impressive group of NGOs joined the rallying cry. From Amnesty International and UNHCR to Greenpeace, Plan International, WWF, UNICEF, SOS Children’s Villages, and many other renowned help organizations. 

By embracing collaboration, they looked to reshape a sector that had been stagnating for years. This was a bold move, setting aside what might at first look like conflicting interests to bet on a joint effort. After all, they all have to share the same pie. This joint effort would make them stronger, by simply expanding the pool of funding through innovative techniques.

Team up to speed up

The need for innovation, and therefore the initiative, ran deeper than the immediate issues raised by COVID-19. Unparalleled challenges were standing in the way of NGOs’ objectives and them achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Although the sector of fundraising has been growing in the previous decades, the commitment to SDGs requires faster growth. That’s why the NGOs needed to team up to speed up.

By launching the Reimagining Fundraising initiative, the group set out to speed up the innovation process around fundraising, channeling more resources, and getting more people to support the non-profit sector around the world.

The results: surprising, overwhelming, and fit-for-use

So, what results did the open call deliver? The open call reached over 1,500 participants, generating over 230 submissions. These submissions were evaluated by over 113 industry experts nominated by the participating non-profits. Ultimately, 10 fundraising concepts were selected as finalists by the jury.

It was a combination of innovative ideas and proven concepts, ranging from a mobile app making pocket-sized donating simpler (GiveASip) to predictive modelling software helping organizations run cheaper, higher-yield fundraising campaigns (Dataro) or a video-player solution enabling charities to convert online video assets into instant donation portals (Playcart).

All the submissions – both proven concepts and innovative ideas – were fed into a Submissions Mind Map, visualizing the links between the different proposals. The Submissions Mind Map also allowed users to understand how the submissions could reinforce each other. This is a valuable tool for organizations running fundraising programs as it can be used as a starting point for brainstorming exercises. 

Delve into the subject: crucial background information

Want to read the full report? Check out the Reimagining Fundraising Innovation Manifesto and Digital Playbook.

Want to read up on Board of Innovation’s work with NGOs and non-profits? Discover our client cases with SOS Children’s Villages and UNHCR PSP.

An actionable innovation strategy for SOS Children’s Villages

Tackling fundraising challenges in times of Covid-19 with UNHCR

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