When I first started here at the AJ Fletcher Foundation, I would spend Friday mornings digging through old records. From meeting minutes to tax forms, it was a way for me to become familiar with the organization. During one of these forays into our basement, I came across 50 copies of Time magazine from the 1990s. On the cover was a picture of a baby and a light bulb. The cover story detailed some of the advances in brain science that underscored the importance of early learning.
Innovation. It’s one of those buzzwords that has the nonprofit world aflutter. Grantseekers load it up in their proposals. Grantmakers talk to one another about their innovative ideas. People throw around “I read this thing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review…” constantly. Heck, it’s even starting to sound like a bad word to say we work in “nonprofit” industry as compared to “social innovation.”