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Innovation Index to provide insight for charities

Charities are urged to join the nationwide research Innovation Index 2018 to gain insight into how innovation can shift organisations.

Now in its fourth year, the GiveEasy Innovation Index 2018 is designed to identify the pivotal levers charities can use to make their work more meaningful and productive. The survey is now open from 20 February to 23 March 2018.

Developed by GiveEasy in partnership with Westpac, eWAY and AGSM @ UNSW Business School, the Innovation Index has grown significantly in numbers doubling, year on year over the past four years.

Last year’s leading innovator, Breast Cancer Network Australia, found the Innovation Index to be important to their charity.

“Innovation is essential to continuing to engage our community. As cancer touches all ages and backgrounds, our solutions need to encompass all possibilities,” said director of programs and services at Breast Cancer Network Australia Kirsten Pilatti.

“The Innovation Index has given us a measurable outcome and shows our progress each year. The index helps to motivate our team and last year they were certainly proud of our achievements. This index encourages every team member to be involved and find new ways to solve problems.”

Shifting focus to employee engagement

This year new questions have been added to help charities measure the correlation between innovation and employee engagement. Jeremy Tobias, CEO of digital giving provider GiveEasy, said that innovation research in the not-for-profit sector is pivotal to measure progress on the most critical aspects of change.

“We know that highly engaged employees will stay with an organisation long-term if they believe that their leaders are constantly evolving to meet the needs of their community, employees and donors,” Tobias said.

“Charities are intrinsically serving communities, and ideally want to build strongly engaged employees to bring passion and interest to their job, which leads to innovation in the workplace. The Innovation Index shows the innovation capability of each organisation.”

Innovation Ambassadors

This year an Innovation Ambassador program has been launched which includes 10 charities of varying sizes, and service models, all of which have added significant value to innovation within the not-for-profit sector.

Westpac’s national head of social sector Sharon Watkins has invited those involved in the giving sector to take the survey.

“Charities are at the forefront of solving the most complex social issues everyday, and innovation is the way to shift from traditional charity to highly effective change maker. That’s why we opened this research to all those involved in this vital sector,” Watkins said.

“Everyone can participate, from the leadership teams to employees and volunteers to find ways to innovate their charity. We encourage employees working for charities at every level to be part of this research.”

Valuable insights for charities

Over the past four years, increasing number of people have responded, growing the list of charities embracing innovation across Australia. This year, eWAY has thrown their support behind this research, to enhance social good and encourage innovative practices in Australia.

Business leader of eWAY Tony McGrath said the research not only aligns with our vision for the future, but is crucial for empowering the non-profit sector.

“Innovation is the key to unlocking the most complex social issues, to be innovative, you have to engage with people authentically. Along with our current NFP merchants, we are encouraging all charity employees and volunteers to join the survey, to enrich the insights from the data. The more diverse views we have contributing, the more relevant the results for the organisation and the sector as a whole,” McGrath said.

Each organisation receives an overall scorecard, which is an aggregated result based on their employees responses. Full insights and innovation report will be published in August 2018.

Measurable capability in innovation

The Innovation Index offers a series of future-oriented questions and each organisation receives a unique scorecard. Based on each scorecard, charities can see where to focus their resources going forward. The 2018 research will offer a unique opportunity to uncover trends across charities.

Measuring capabilities in:

● Employee engagement

● Collaboration, both internal and external

● Focus on innovation

● Openness of culture and vision

● Organisational velocity (Willingness to take informed risk)

● Rewards and recognition

● Stakeholder centricity (Focus on stakeholder needs), and

● Use of technology

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