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Archive for November, 2013

Innoweave, au Québec!

At Innoweave, we believe context is as important as language when creating tools for both Anglophone and Francophone organizations.

NFPs in Montreal attend an Innoweave event at Santropol Roulant (photo credit: Kim Auclair)

For Marc Ouimet, Innoweave spoke to a long-standing pet peeve.

“What I really appreciate about Innoweave’s approach,” he says, “is that it creates support that is not only centered around technology itself, but also in supporting the human capacity to use the technology.”

Ouimet is a Director at Pilote Numérique, a co-operative that supports nonprofits in their web and cloud computing needs, and a coach and facilitator for Innoweave’s Cloud Computing module in French.

“Sadly, most programs focus on hardware and softwares and don’t help people to use them to their full potential, which often leads to discomfort or even abandonment of potentially great solutions.

“Developing team digital competencies has been a part of my work as a consultant for years now and I really think (the human element) is the key to a successful implementation and use of technology.

“Innoweave bridges that gap, and that’s huge in my opinion.”

But it’s not the only gap Innoweave aims to bridge.

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One week left to submit an Expression of Interest for Funding!

Leading up to our January 6, 2014 grant application deadline, we’re featuring various Innoweave grantees and their experiences getting funding to further their goals. Organizations that have not attended an Innoweave Workshop may submit an Expression of Interest by December 3, 2013. Successful organizations will be invited to apply for a grant. Click here to learn more.

Hamoon Ekhtiari of Cx got an Innoweave grant in a few simple steps.

There’s an ugly truth that people don’t like to talk about: A tool, however sharp and perfectly honed, is only useful if the organization wielding it is ready and able to use it.

Innoweave takes this truth seriously, which is why there’s a simple 5-step process that an organization typically follows. The process is designed to help you focus on what matters and avoid spending precious time on things that aren’t valuable. Typically, you can:

  1. Learn about new ways to enhance your impact on the web or on webinars
  2. Take a short self-assessment to determine whether a new approach is worth developing for your organization
  3. Attend a workshop with your leadership team to figure out how you’ll apply the approach and what you need to do next
  4. Connect with a coach who can help you answer key questions and get ready to implement (Innoweave has a database of 80+  skilled coaches)
  5. Access funding to hire a coach

But what if your organization is already really clear about what it wants to do and what questions it still needs to answer to move forward? What if you’re confident that your organization is ready to connect with a coach?

This is exactly what happened with Rolling Horse, a community bike-repair program under ForestView Church who used the Expression of Interest process to apply for a Social Enterprise implementation grant. “I would have loved to have attended a workshop to really learn more about what our options are and the ways to get there,” says Paul Millar, Director of Outreach at ForestView Church. While the timing of the workshops wasn’t right for ForestView, they had already begun developing their social enterprise idea, which provided the foundation for an EOI created in consultation with their coach, Chris Moss.

Here’s how the process works:

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Stories from the field: 40 nonprofits create roadmaps for impact. You can too!

Innoweave’s Impact and Strategic Clarity module helps organizations increase their impact and make better decisions. Learn more about the module, by signing up to attend for our one-hour introductory webinar on November 29th at 11:00am EST. Applications to participate in the fourth wave of the module are now open.

Impact and Strategic Clarity module wave II wrap up event in Montreal, September 25 (Image courtesy Kim Auclair)

“It’s funny because you go through your day thinking that everyone on your team understands a particular term the same way, but they don’t,” says Saman Ahsan, Executive Director of Girls Action Foundation, a non-profit that supports a network of more than 300 girls’ and young women’s programs across Canada. “So it becomes difficult to then be on the same page about what our goals are. What are our strengths? What is the impact we want to have?”

Sound familiar?

Many NFPs struggle with clarity about how the various branches of their organization and activities feed their primary goals. And with funders demanding accountability, organizations are also having to come up with ways to track and measure the impact they’re having.

Saman Ahsan, ED of Girls Action Foundation speaking at a conference in Toronto.

For Ahsan and her team at Girls Action Foundation, the decision to sign up for Innoweave’s Impact and Strategic Clarity module was made at a time when, “Our strategy wasn’t very clear; we wanted to think through it with our management team and other stakeholders and weren’t really sure how to start.”

Enter Innoweave coaches Stephanie Garrow and Lara Evoy.

“The Impact and Strategic Clarity module asks organizations to move out of their comfort zone,” says Evoy. “Not only does it ask groups to understand the impact they having in the community, but it also demands that groups hold themselves accountable to these outcomes.”

How do you do this?

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