Archive for April, 2014

Innoweave + NESTA’s DIY toolkit = even more practical tools for Social Innovation

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Sometimes, the idea of inventing a new way to work towards your organization’s intended impact can seem daunting. Even adapting an existing approach may present challenges. What if you had a simple, easy to access tool to help your team get clarity on a pressing issue, and dive straight into action?

Advancing continuous social innovation in your organization requires investment of time and resources, which are often scarce. Innoweave is proud to have partnered with hundreds of organizations to begin to implement new innovative approaches to enhance their impact. We recognize, however, that large scale changes require large scale investment. Sometimes more discrete work can provide invaluable insight.  With the right tools, insights can flow quickly.

Innoweave is a proud supporter of a new the new DIY Toolkit, created by Nesta, an innovation charity based in the UK with a mission to help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. The website contains 30 simple, expertly crafted tools that can help non-profits across a range of issue areas. These easy-to-understand tools offer users a variety of ways to look at issues within their social innovation space, and understand the factors that contribute to them achieving their impact. The DIY toolkit was developed with practitioners in mind, and provides the type of rapid support tools that many practitioners felt was needed (while the toolkit focuses on development organizations, it also provides useful guidance for community sector organizations). Each tool identifies the action desired (“I want to…develop a clear plan/generate new ideas/know the people I’m working with”), and provides a one-page template for working through the majors components of that challenge.

Over the next 18 months, Innoweave will be growing to incorporate specialized adaptations of tools from the DIY toolkit, as well as other tools specifically designed and tested to help nonprofit leaders generate greater impact. Innoweave will be working alongside Nesta to adapt these tools into selected parts of the Innoweave platform, linking specific tools with the Innoweave modules to help disseminate them more effectively to non-profits working through a particular challenge.

For example, a nonprofit looking to…

Start a Social Enterprise….

…might be interested in accessing the Business Model Canvass, or Value Mapping tool to help understand the core focus of their prospective business.


A nonprofit looking to….

Work with other groups to form a Collective Impact initiative…

…might look to the Building Partnerships and Target Group tools for guidance on who to engage, and how.

part map

As Innoweave continues to engage with non-profit leaders to identify tools and approaches to help advance the impact of the community and nonprofit sector, we believe the Nesta DIY Toolkit will help drive the continuous culture of social innovation Innoweave and its partners are working to build.

Click here to explore the DIY Toolkit

The DIY toolkit is supported by Nesta and the Rockefeller Foundation

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Got a Great Idea for a Social Enterprise? Meet A New Social Enterprise Grantee and Learn How Innoweave Can Help!

Innoweave provides small grants to help organizations access the coaching that they require to implement a new approach. If your organization has attended an Innoweave workshop, you can apply for a grant between now and July 2nd! Organizations that have not attended an Innoweave workshop can submit an Expression of Interest to be considered for a full grant application until May 15th, 2014. Click here to learn more.

Innoweave helps successful community organizations take their impact to the next level by providing multiple layers of support, including access to coaches and grants. We’re pleased to introduce you to one of our latest Social Enterprise Implementation Grant recipients, and highlight the exciting venture they’re embarking on!

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper

Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (“LOW”) is a Canadian charity working for clean water and a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future.  Their work promotes sound environmental policy, transparent and informed decision-making, public education, and community-building programs since 2000. Their social enterprise idea? Finding a way to make their hugely popular mobile app, the Swim Guide, a self-sustaining entity.

The Swim Guide started with a simple question: “Is it safe to swim in Lake Ontario?” As it turned out, basic information such as a list of beaches on Lake Ontario simply didn’t exist. The organization started compiling information, phoning beach information hotlines every day, and putting the information into spreadsheets. As this knowledge base grew, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper realized they had a valuable resource on their hands.


Find the Swim Guide in the iTunes App Store or on Google Play!


Innoweave is honoured to be among the 2013 Tides Top 10

Each year, Tides Canada honours Canada’s most innovative social change efforts that inspire people to take action, to think in new ways and to make the world a better place.

J.W. McConnell Family Foundation Trustees and staff, and Innoweave coaches, with Tides CEO Ross McMillan

On April 10th, Innoweave and the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation were proud to be included among the Tides Canada Top 10. “Our Tides Top 10 award is an opportunity to shine the spotlight on some of Canada’s most innovative social and environmental initiatives,” said Ross McMillan, President and CEO of Tides Canada. “Each of this year’s recipients has demonstrated innovation, creativity and impact while working at the intersection of social, ecological and economic considerations. We’re pleased to recognize and celebrate their collective dedication to social change.”

The Tides Top 10 recipients gather in Toronto, April 10, 2014

It is a privilege to be recognized along with the extraordinary work of the other Top 10 changemakers – all of whom are helping to lead social change across Canada in new and innovative ways:

Innoweave looks forward to working with Tides Canada, our fellow Top 10 recipients and changemakers across Canada!

Click here to read more about the Tides Top Ten recognition event.