Socially Responsible Innovation Part Three: Non-Profits

Non-profits need to keep their mission at the heart of innovation.

Socially responsible innovation is often the mandate of a non-profit. Yet, despite this, organizing and implementing innovation, especially in partnership with governments and for-profit companies, can present unexpected needs and challenges.

In the final part of our three-part series on socially responsible innovation, we explore the challenge non-profits face, and how they can best be overcome.

Detailed Approaches

It can also help with specific needs that may not be visible otherwise. Say, for example, you develop a product with a for-profit entity. Who owns the product? If the product is sold elsewhere, is the revenue divided, and in what proportion? Who holds the right to the product and the research behind it? Your mission will help guide the answers to these questions.


Remember that this applies to governments as well as private entities. Depending on your mission, you may need to request more details from the government, as well as ask to be informed of other approaches, impending policy decisions, and other matters.

How can innovation embrace everyone?


This also brings a degree of risk, especially if trust has been carefully built. Make that level of risk clear to partners and internal committees alike.


Socially responsible innovation is fundamental to achieving your non-profit’s goals. To learn more about innovation from this perspective, read parts one and two of our three-part series. And to learn more about innovation in the non-profit world, join our newsletter!

This article was originally published on the IdeaScale blog here.