Charities are being held back by a “culture of tentative innovation”, according to a free guide published today.
Outrageous Impact interviewed people from eight charities including Cancer Research UK, WaterAid, Which? and the Small Charities Coalition.
The report says most interviewees felt that too many other charities are struggling with a culture of tentative innovation, with many shying away from innovation altogether.
Reasons cited by the interviewees were:
- Leaders are afraid of innovation
- Charities are not diverse enough
- Staff, at all levels, are not supported to lead innovation
- Charities do not develop the ideas they pilot
- Data is seen as something to be closely guarded, not shared widely
- Investment in innovation is too fleeting
Patrick Olszowski, founder of Outrageous Impact, said: “Our research suggests that at present charities lack the bravery or culture to take the risks needed, consistently, to help.
“Right now many charities look, think and act in the same way. It is no surprise that this is not leading to the radically better answers needed. Failure to innovate will mean charities failing to serve beneficiaries.
“The innovators featured in this report show what can be done with wit, bravery, precision and persistence.
"At the heart of this guide is what happens when you design exciting new things to support people living their lives.”
The guide is available for download here.