“All of us nonprofits are struggling to find different ways to accomplish our mission in changing environments with tightening budgets – just like entrepreneurs! There is a lot we can learn from each other. We have found Paul to be an enthusiastic teacher, coach and partner.”
Three of our staff from the last accelerator group have been promoted within the organization. This process is not only a necessity for nonprofits to consider, additionally it develops people who go through the process. Very grateful!
Ideas are the currency of progress and good ideas have the potential to change the world. Coming from government and being new to philanthropy, at first, I was deeply skeptical of applying startup methodologies for social change. However, innovation is built on ideas, feedback, moments of failure and breakthroughs. Through lean, Paul turned a skeptic into a believer. Halfway through the course, I discovered my project needed to pivot quickly. Paul helped me identify the gaps in my analysis, refine my pitch, and create a project that inspires and improves communities.
Since participating in my first Innovation Accelerator event, the IdeaJam, I’ve been introduced to concepts that prior to this experience, were just not on my radar as possibilities for revenue streams that could help to fulfill CEP’s mission. As a result of that session, I decided to move forward and join the fall 2018 cohort of Innovation Accelerator. Through a structured yet supportive, well-developed model, the course challenges my mentality to think beyond the struggles of the cash strapped non-profit organization. CEP is now developing two products that, if successful, will enable us to better serve our constituents, maintain integrity to our mission, and reduce the constant stress of operating on a shoestring budget.
Over the course of our participation, we were able to do direct planning for a new training initiative that we are launching this year, however, even more importantly, participation has helped us reframe our thinking as we plan all programming. Using the thought/planning process developed through these workshops, we have expanded and adapted our offerings to be better in line with the needs of our members. This program helps develop a method of looking at what we do and why we do it to help keep us on the track of successfully meeting our mission.