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Innovation and technology in nonprofit

FastCompany has a really interesting article on IRC, a nonprofit that provides aid and assistance to refugees:

To Miliband, the refugee crisis is the defining issue of our era—a metastasizing geopolitical disaster that spills across datelines and borders and threatens the very foundations of international order. Mitigating it, he argues, will take more than a few small successes. It will require an entirely new approach, one in which social media outreach and data mining matter as much as bags of flour and mosquito netting. At the IRC, Miliband explains, this means melding “the mentality of a startup and the maturity of an 80-year-old organization.”

For those of us in tech, taking risks is just part of the job. Not so in nonprofit.

In Silicon Valley, failure is worn as a CEO’s badge of honor—proof that he or she has simply dreamed too big. In the arena of humanitarian aid, that notion is a luxury. Failure for an organization like the IRC means starvation, sickness, lives lost. But if the IRC can succeed in finding innovative solutions during this time of unprecedented crisis, it will demonstrate how important it is to take risks, even when—or especially when—so much hangs in the balance.

IRC created an R&D lab to explore new technology and new ways of maximizing the impact of every dollar they spend.

This is really cool stuff. Go read the whole article.