The Value of Innovation

Mission Capital has six powerful core values that serve as the foundation for our mission and vision. These values guide how we work within our organization and in the communities we serve.

As an organization, we strive to incorporate our core values in our daily interactions, our program and service delivery and measurement, our hiring process, our employee development, and our rewards and recognition practices.

In this segment of our Value of Core Values series, we’ll explore Mission Capital’s core value of innovation.

At Mission Capital, we’ve identified innovation as one of our core values because “we relentlessly pursue creative solutions to improve our work and our community.” Not only do we do this in our day-to-day work, but we also utilize this ideal beyond our office walls, guiding our clients in doing the same. Through offerings like the Innovation Lab and our new earned revenue service offering, we work hand-in-hand with our clients to continuously improve their ideas so they are ready for success.

Innovation serves as a catalyst for change, bringing much-needed diversity and stability to the mission-driven sector.

Defining “Innovation”

Innovation is “the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value or for which customers will pay.” In the mission-driven sector, an innovative approach is transforming an established practice that enhances an organization’s mission, while earning revenue for the organization. It might sound straightforward, but trust me, it isn’t.

I recently had the opportunity to participate in Mission Capital’s Innovation Lab, a workshop that provides organizations with mentoring and real-time market feedback to build out the business model for a new program or service. I was so struck by the power of the experience, and the many facets of innovation, that it led me to contemplate what innovation really is.

Innovation at Work

Creating value in a product or service is a tough prospect. An offering that possesses obvious value to you can quickly turn “sour” once you consider all the factors necessary to transform the possibility into a reality. You start with ideas that, on the surface, appear ready to “take to market”, but then they start to crumble under the weight of the market.

After a closer look, it becomes clear that your offering isn’t quite right or your exploring channels that don’t make sense for your organization. It can feel defeating, but then innovation comes back into play, taking the form of a “relook” at the original plan. Now, you have the opportunity to make a few tweaks to get your prospective offering moving in the right direction. And the cycle continues until you find the sweet spot and you’re off to market with a new and improved plan.

These Changing Times

In our current environment, innovation for nonprofits can carry a risk perception that is often unsettling. This is the time, however, when innovation can provide the most value to organizations through diversifying their revenue streams, eliminating the struggle with funding. Now is your chance to pursue new solutions, such as earned revenue possibilities, and position your organization for success. You can turn uncertainty into opportunity by integrating innovation into your organization’s practices.

If you’re interested in earning revenue, but are unsure of where to start, we can help! Our team of consultants serve as trusted advisors and customize each project to meet your goals. We can help you identify and validate potential earned-revenue ideas. We will also work with your organization to implement a plan to evaluate viable products and services that will enhance your mission and reduce your reliance on philanthropic support.

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