'Idea Storming' for Nonprofits
[Editor's note: This is the full interview with Bryan Mattimore, author of "Idea Stormers." The abridged version was printed in our February print issue.]
In a fundraising climate where oversaturation, more competition for funds and new technologies make attracting and retaining donors that much more difficult, innovation is vital for nonprofit organizations looking to survive and thrive not only today, but in the future.
In his book "Idea Stormers: How to Lead and Inspire Creative Breakthroughs," author Bryan Mattimore lays out techniques and frameworks on how to encourage an atmosphere of innovation. Mattimore, co-founder of innovation agency The Growth Engine Co., has worked with companies and nonprofits big and small for nearly 30 years, including the City of New York, homeless shelters, child-welfare organizations, museums, libraries and YMCA chapters.
Mattimore spoke with Fundraising Success about his book and how fundraisers can utilize its teachings.
FundRaising Success: What was your motivation behind writing the book?
Bryan Mattimore: Over the last 20 years, since my first book was published, there's been a tremendous advance about how to design and facilitate ideation sessions and also how to successfully do innovation programs with companies. I wanted to share that learning in part because the smaller and medium-sized companies often can't afford the work we're doing, but these techniques are valuable for them as well. It was a way to really multiply the impact of the research and work and empirical validation of all these techniques we use to share in a broader and bigger way.
FS: Why should fundraisers read "Idea Stormers"?
BM: First of all, we know that fundraising has gotten tougher because of the economic climate. I think everybody will agree to that. And that's a situation where, frankly, you need new ideas. If you're going to compete and win in this environment, it's just like every other corporation — you've got to innovate or die. It's really about coming up with new, creative ways to do your work, so the book is filed with techniques and processes and approaches that can help teams generate all kinds of new ideas and ultimately improve their bottom line. That's the intent.