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Innovation from Within

Redefining How Nonprofits Solve Problems

Stephanie Berzin and Humberto Camarena

Publication Date - 21 March 2018

ISBN: 9780190858797

192 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock


We are in the midst of an entrepreneurial moment, as doers and makers have unprecedented access to crowdfunding and it has never been easier or cheaper to start a business or an organization. And yet, often overlooked among this flood of start-ups that spring up daily is the untapped potential of new ideas that can emerge from inside already-established agencies, companies, and nonprofits.

To build the capacity for innovation requires attention to building organizations and individuals who are ready and have the right tools to develop, implement, and sustain innovations. Innovation from Within provides a framework specifically for nonprofits through the Nonprofit Innovation Model (IN Model), which guides leaders in developing and implementing innovation from within their own nonprofit organization. The time has come to get more people into the business of solving problems in extraordinary ways and to amplify the impact of the field of social innovation by bringing along the people who provide the bulk of services and impact. This book is the guide and a call to action for building that momentum.


  • Book focuses on drawing out the untapped ideas and innovations already happening within existing organizations
  • Focused specifically on fostering change within existing nonprofit organizations, drawing on dozens of real-world case studies from the authors' research and experiences.
  • Written by a pair of authors with an amazing range of experiences from academic, practitioner, management, consulting, and internal change perspectives.
  • Stephanie Berzin is a leader in this field, giving numerous workshops and trainings and a sought-after consultant and keynote speaker, and this is her long-awaited first book.

About the Author(s)

Stephanie Cosner Berzin, PhD, MSSW, is Assistant Dean, Doctoral Program and an Associate Professor, Boston College School of Social Work. She is Co-Founder and Chair of the Social Innovation + Leadership Program and Co-Director of the Center for Social Innovation.

Humberto Camarena, MSW, is a Professor and Administrator at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile School of Social Work.


"Social Innovation often implies starting new organizations, but Berzin and Camarena show us the power of rethinking and recalibrating existing organizational structures so they can achieve greater impact. To address the complexity of social issues in the 21st century, we need new ways of leading organizations, mobilizing teams, and addressing problems. Berzin and Camarena's 'Nonprofit Innovation' (IN) methodology outlined in the book will support both emerging leaders and long-time leaders to thrive in a new leadership paradigm. By harnessing the power of new leadership mindsets and empowering teams to operate in more creative and collaborative ways, organizations that have been working towards social impact over many years can conceive and advance breakthrough solutions." - Marina Kim, Co-Founder, Ashoka U

"The insights revealed in Innovation from Within have come at the most relevant time for all leadership and managers within not-for profits. Today more than ever, our traditional institutions are disrupting or are in dire need of disruption in order to engage stakeholders and ultimately create impact...So, for the social sector, innovation inside and the development of a culture and new mindset for those operating within it are crucial to addressing society's most solvable problems. As the authors suggest, it is not just the new hero's starting new programs, or social businesses, but the innovators inside of existing structures that can more powerfully co-create more lasting impact with new and expanded partnerships, models, and energy . An important read and a most important time." - Cheryl Y. Kiser, Executive Director, The Lewis Institute & Babson Social Innovation Lab

"Innovation is often seen as coming from outside of an organization or field. Innovation from Within offers a counterpoint to this misconception, providing techniques for unleashing the innovation potential of nonprofit organizations and others focused on addressing critical social issues." - James M. Mandiberg, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, Organizational Management & Leadership, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College

Table of Contents


    Part 1: Innovation Redefined
    Chapter 1 Reframe Social Innovation
    Chatper 2 Claim the Nonprofit Role in Innovation
    Chapter 3 Cultivate Innovative Nonprofits

    Part 2: Innovation In Action
    Chapter 4 Initiate
    Chapter 5 Investigate
    Chapter 6 Innovate
    Chapter 7 Integrate

    Part 3: Innovation for the Future
    Chapter 8 Envision the Future of Nonprofits
    Chapter 9 Build the New Nonprofit DNA

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