The Importance of Philanthropic Innovation
Today’s society is constantly changing and continuously growing. Everyday there are millions of new ideas brought to the table on all kinds of different subjects. One of those subjects that must be brought to the forefront is philanthropy. In this ever-changing world, institutions must adapt to be able to survive. This holds true with philanthropies as well. Innovation is a driving force of society, and human advancements through innovation, especially in the past century, have sky rocketed. In order for philanthropy to keep up and continue to grow with the rest of the world, we must connect traditional philanthropic practices with the emerging world of innovation.
Cordaid in Africa
One organization that is embracing innovation and applying new ideas to its own programs is Cordaid (Catholic Organization for Relief & Development Aid). Cordaid is one of the largest development organizations in the Netherlands, working in 28 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
Innovation is the most effective tool in developing a sustainable strategic philanthropic approach. Cordaid believes that innovation is a crucial factor in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaption efforts, and demonstrates this with their “Linking and Learning PfR Ethiopia” project. Cordaid invests in Linking and Learning to increase innovation capacity within its partner organizations. Through this program, partner organizations will be linked with each other and community level practices will be linked with education or research institutions.
The goals of this project are to help partner organizations improve their innovation capacities and program quality by supporting Non-Governmental Organizations and CBO’s to establish cooperation with other knowledge and resource organizations, and then place Ethiopia’s most pressing issues on the agenda for this cross sectorial network to combat together. Establishing partnerships is key to this program’s success, and facilitating partnerships between multiple sectors expands their ability to overcome global challenges. Differing perspectives working together on a solution is what stimulates innovation and turns ideas into action.