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Introducing Our New Model: Innovating for Social Impact

Community Science is pleased to announce the launch of a new and powerful approach aimed at improving organizational effectiveness for philanthropic, nonprofit and government organizations. Using a five-point model called Innovating for Social Impact, Community Science works with organizations for which change management is an ongoing process and finding solutions for complex social problems is an urgent mission. 

Innovating for Social Impact improves upon traditional knowledge management and learning organization approaches by emphasizing the goals of innovating and impact. It is also borrows from systems theory and models to emphasize the interconnectedness of different organizational functions and a feedback loop. It was developed to help organizations move beyond their typical “siloed” practices and think and act more systematically and holistically about innovation.

The model guides organizations to assess and take action in the following five areas: 

  1. Establish partnerships for knowledge exchange and collective learning and action, so that there is a structure in place to generate the knowledge and information needed for optimal impact.
  2. Cultivate habits for systematic inquiry, analysis and learning, both individual and collective.
  3. Target the kinds of knowledge and insight they need so that learning partnerships and habits can be geared toward those needs.
  4. Create a supportive environment with rewards for innovating. It can be difficult to break out of “siloed” thinking and behavior, or to step out of the usual grantmaking mode to reflect and learn. .
  5. Improve the use of knowledge —none of this matters if improvement is not a focus so that optimal impact can occur.

Innovating for Social Impact can be integrated into any evaluation or technical assistance project or implemented separately via workshops, coaching, or other form of consultation, which are services that Community Science is ready and available to offer.

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