Bashpole Software is participating in the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps (Innovation Corps) program. Created in 2011, the program’s goal is to connect the “laboratory” with the “marketplace.”
We believe that understanding the marketplace should come before jumping into the laboratory. Understanding the needs of the nonprofit sector will help us develop technologies that do concrete good in the world. We need to have conversations with nonprofit leaders about their obstacles, fears, and successes in order to understand which areas of research and development we should prioritize. Innovation begins in conversation, not isolation.
We have interviewed over 350 nonprofit leaders so far about their strategies and challenges related to communications, development, volunteerism, and decision-making. We will release a report that shares our overall findings with everyone who is interviewed. We will also present recommendations for research and development to address common barriers to the National Science Foundation in hopes that we, other companies, or university researchers will be given funding to develop solutions.
Example interview questions/themes include:
- To become positioned to make up for lost time and budget, what creative investments are you making now?
- What new Internet outreach and other technology have you tried and with what results?
- How may one best motivate the public to action when social distancing is required, such as via the Internet?
- What are your organization’s challenges and concerns about trying new technologies and techniques?
- Is there information you need to have more comfort around difficult decisions, eg the expected Return On Investment for advertising or grant writing services?
- Are there any technologies you wish existed but currently don’t?
We are grateful to the nonprofit leaders who have participated in our interview project thus far, and as a thank-you we provide free information to participants about common strategies and trends if they are interested. Our goal is to be helpful to nonprofits in any way that we can and to expand the reach of people doing good.