Social Innovation

The Redwoods Group Foundation is committed to supporting innovative ideas

THE INNOVATION CHALLENGE

Every year, The Redwoods Group Foundation accepts applications for innovative projects happening in community serving organizations all across the nation. The innovation process—of developing, testing and learning from new ideas and new ways of working—is essential to creating a future that’s closer to the vision we have for our communities than where we are today. If we play it safe and avoid being uncomfortable, then we lose out on the opportunities to find breakthrough solutions that open up greater possibilities for the communities we serve.

Before you apply, we encourage referring to the innovation resources at the bottom of this page to help guide the ideation process. We are looking to award projects that are:

  • Unique and distinct at your organization. Something that you’re creating, rather than a signature or nationwide program that is common across other similar organizations.
  • New and early stage. An effort that has launched or is ready to, rather than an idea that hasn’t taken much shape yet or an approach your organization has successfully implemented for some time.
  • Scalable and significant. Efforts that other communities could consider adopting, and that have the potential to address an important problem at a significant level in the communities you serve.

The Innovation Challenge is open to Boys & Girls Clubs, Jewish Community Centers, Non-Profit and Certified B Corp Camps and YMCAs. Applicant organizations do not have to be a Redwoods customer, and customer status will not be a factor in the decision making process.

Read more about our 2017 award recipients, including the YMCA of Greater Birmingham’s Y Reunify $25,000 winning proposal, and our top three matching grant recipients.

Apply Now

To learn more about this year’s Innovation Challenge, visit our 2018 Innovation Challenge webpage or please contact Robin Rennells at [email protected] with any further questions.

INNOVATION RESOURCES

To help businesses and non-profits incorporate innovative strategies into their daily operations, the following resources are beneficial to taking the next step towards building and sustaining positive impact on the community.

Design Thinking
This model can be used to approach big problems, identify opportunities, and develop effective solutions within your organization.

Root Cause Analysis
Prior to designing any program, project, or initiative, organizations should deeply explore community problems to design efforts that address true causes and needs, rather than treating symptoms.

Collective Impact
Leverage your existing network to collaboratively to develop effective, large scale, and sustainable initiatives that best meet the needs in your community.

Social Innovation
Create beneficial impact in your community that is human centered, empathetic, and sustainable.

Abuse Prevention Strategies The CDC has identified living wages, family leave and other key factors for preventing abuse and creating safe, stable, nurturing environments. Below are several resources for incorporating these concepts into your projects and programs.

Spreading Social Entrepreneurship

Our goal is to empower organizations to incorporate innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship into daily projects and operations. We believe that we can collectively advocate for a more responsible and inclusive economy, and that by bringing people together to focus on new ideas, we can create safer communities for all. The Redwoods Group Foundation provides the platform and tools to help more businesses and non-profits grow and sustain their positive impact in their community.

Tools and Guides to Help Businesses and Nonprofits Grow and Sustain Their Positive Impact on Communities
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of people using business as a force for goodTM. Its vision is that one day all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the Best for the World® and as a result society will enjoy a more shared and durable prosperity. Learn more by visiting the B Lab webpage.

Need help in measuring your current impact? You can take B Lab’s quick impact assessment to start measuring and managing your social and environmental impact using this free, confidential tool.

Additional Business Tips, Resources and Ideas for social entrepreneurship

Learnings rom the 2017 Innovation Challenge