Innovation is not just a buzzword; it's a necessity. This is especially true in the nonprofit sector, where the challenges of limited resources intersect with the urgent need for effective solutions.

In our sector—nonprofit healthcare—innovation goes beyond mere technological advancements. It involves being strategic and rethinking approaches to healthcare delivery, developing new models of patient engagement and finding creative ways to maximize limited resources. Nonprofit healthcare leaders must balance the drive for innovation with the mission of providing accessible quality care.

As a leader, it's important to envision your healthcare organization's long-term goals and adopt strategies to address emerging needs and demographic shifts. For instance, implementing telehealth services isn't merely a technological upgrade; it's a strategic move to broaden access to care, especially in underserved areas.

To be an innovative leader, you must foster a culture that encourages creativity and experimentation among staff. This means creating a safe space for sharing ideas and embracing a certain degree of risk. A culture of innovation also entails continuous learning and adaptability. Regular training and professional development opportunities keep staff at the forefront of industry trends and best practices. Leaders can never stop professionally innovating themselves, which allows them to constantly sharpen their saw.

The heart of a nonprofit is its community and membership. Understanding the unique needs of the community you serve is crucial. This may involve developing targeted programs to address specific health issues prevalent in the community or creating educational initiatives to promote health literacy. I recommend listening to community feedback, engaging in dialogue with local groups and collaborating with other organizations to develop tailored health solutions.

Partnerships can significantly amplify a nonprofit's capacity for innovation. Collaborations with academic institutions, private sector entities and other nonprofits can bring in new perspectives, resources and expertise.

Securing funding is a perennial challenge for nonprofits. Leaders must be innovative in exploring diverse funding streams—from traditional grants to creative fundraising campaigns. You also must understand the importance of demonstrating the impact of your work to attract and retain donors. This involves not only showcasing success stories but also transparently sharing your organization's goals, challenges and learning experiences.

Read the full article about nonprofit healthcare by Dr. Hudson Garrett at Forbes.