2013 Innovation Grants Program Award Recipients
AAMC used the grant funding to find new ways to engage staff with their organization and ideas about innovation. Contests for travel grants disbursed as part of the IGP award invited staff to be creative with their ideas and their proposals. AAMC staff came together to view and vote on the proposals to choose a winner for one of the grants. The contests opened up opportunities to learn about innovative ideas to all AAMC staff.
Through their IGP grant, AAMC experienced how engagement and networking can drive innovation in an organization. By engaging their staff in their innovation efforts, AAMC built interest and commitment to innovation within their offices. Through their networking efforts with AMI and others, AAMC increased organizational knowledge and helped expand a community of innovators.
CFM collected extensive feedback from these participants and other advisors on the online content. Through the feedback and their internal experiences, CFM created recommendations to guide the incorporation of digital badging into the Alliance’s professional education program, as well as evaluating how CFM might improve this particular badging course for future iterations. The experience invited reflection on the implications of the project not only for their organization but also for the entire association community. Digital badging, or some similar form of microcredentialing, is an opportunity associations will need to consider if/as the trend endures. Associations who move forward with digital badging will need to decide what to credential and what determines the completion of the requirements. The success of digital badging is also inevitably tied to building “brand” value associated with the credentials and the recognition of microcredentialing more broadly.
Opus was launched April 1, 2014 and response has been extremely positive. Several new members joined the Colorado Nonprofit Association specifically for access to Opus. The Association was also able to secure sponsors for Opus to offset the ongoing support costs. Next up for Opus and the Colorado Nonprofit Association is the launch of the full assessment system in spring 2014.
With the grant award, IADD purchased several tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, conference cams, and other equipment/software to support the production of videos and remote conferencing by IADD staff and members. To make these tours available to IADD members, IADD built a Think! media website that currently hosts four video tours to showcase their members’ companies. More videos will be added as they are formatted and approved.
IADD’s key takeaway was that investment in innovation not only unlocked a creative approach that addressed several challenges, but the equipment remains an investment that can be creatively deployed to take advantage of other opportunities. It also underscored the need for even small organizations to take risk and “invest in ourselves and more fully utilize technology to stay fresh and deliver new products and services.”