Funders have the power to drive innovation for impact.

Innovation isn’t just a matter of luck, eureka moments or alchemy. Innovation can be managed, supported and nurtured. Foundations and donors, who have acted as investors in social change, can be stewards of innovation as well.  Funders can look to 3 different models to drive innovation, each with a selection of methods to source and nurture promising means of tackling complex problems.



Open innovation methods involve publicizing your interest in the problem and extending an open invitation to solve it. Some open innovation methods incentivize participation through awards; others tap existing excitement around solving a particular problem.  Learn more>>

Organizations work closely with users to elicit ideas, inputs and refinements on new innovation opportunities and solutions. In some cases, the organization elicits and nurtures the user’s innovation directly, and supports the user to increase its value.  Learn more>>


Discover and compare innovation methods.

While this guide present characteristics and details of individual methods, in reality they are typically used in combinations, adopted and modified to suit your unique problem and situations. Explore alternative ways to evaluate innovation methods, including Method Comparison Tables comparing relevant variables, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from funders.