There is no shortage of books published to help nonprofit leaders improve their operations. Often, such books are highly repetitive and offer the same basic advice. Not so with Leah Kral’s recently released Innovation for Social Change: How Wildly Successful Nonprofits Inspire and Deliver Results. Kral delivers a well-organized book that cleverly couples real-life examples of nonprofit excellence with actionable ideas that any nonprofit employee can put into practice.
Innovation for Social Change consists of four parts: (1) Tools for Sparking Innovative Ideas; (2) Transform Innovative Ideas into Action; (3) Build Innovation into our Organizational DNA; and (4) Bring Your Innovation A Game. Each part contains a few chapters with clear and logical names, allowing readers to go back and easily find relevant information they might look for. Each chapter also stands on its own, which would prove incredibly valuable for people looking to share just a few central ideas with colleagues.
While each chapter offers something of value, the most helpful chapter for many readers might be chapter 7, titled "Evaluating, Learning, and Adjusting." In this chapter, Kral challenges readers to think about evaluation and measurement in ways that many nonprofit leaders traditionally do not, simply because humans and organizations have a tendency to do things the way they have always been done. In a sector driven by data collection and the distracting noise that comes with that data analysis, Kral offers suggestions for pragmatic and commonsense evaluation.
Chapter 10, titled "Attract Donor-Partners Who Fuel Social Change Breakthroughs," provides creative strategies that fundraisers can employ when thinking about the long term success of their organizations. The chapter would also be invaluable to nonprofit board members seeking to understand many of the challenges that career fundraisers face when attempting to navigate donor partnerships in the current environment where mission integrity is crucial.
Innovation for Social Change is a well-written book that will prove to be a valuable resource for many people in the nonprofit sector. This book would be ideal for social entrepreneurs, volunteers, nonprofit staff, nonprofit board members, and donors.