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Innovation and impact are words that we hear more and more often these days in the nonprofit world.  The truth is, we need more of both in an era of stagnant foundation endowments and besieged individual donors reeling from recession. Yet innovation and impact are imprecise terms that are hard to both qualify and quantify. What distinguishes innovative from interesting?

At Tides, we keep it simple: innovation is about creative collaboration, that is, catalyzing uncommon alliances for extraordinary results. As director of the recently launched Impact and Innovation (I&I) department at Tides, my team will be working to demystify the world of I&I and make innovation and its subsequent impact much more concrete. And while we may use Venn diagrams and logical frameworks in our internal processes, we will certainly take advantage of tools like storytelling, network building, and social media, to spark conversations with those in the communities we serve.

To jumpstart the conversation, I am delighted to announce the inaugural issue of Momentum, a new quarterly publication of Tides dedicated to advancing thought leadership and action in support of progressive social change.

In keeping with I&I’s mandate to evolve product and service innovation across the sector, and based on Tides’ seminal Momentum Leadership Conference series, Momentum will spotlight the world’s leading and emerging social changemakers. From issues affecting women and girls in developing countries, to racial justice in the United States, to climate change adaptation globally, Momentum will educate, inspire, and motivate activists and organizations to action.

In this issue, we feature the following social innovators:

  • Gara LaMarche, Tides Fellow, Senior Fellow at NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service, and former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Atlantic Philanthropies
  • Jackie VanderBrug and Joy Anderson, Managing Director of Criterion Ventures, and President of Criterion Ventures, respectively
  • Jan Schakowsky, Congresswoman representing Illinois’ 9th Congressional District
  • Lydia Alpizar Durán, Executive Director of the Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
  • Sonal Shah, Tides Fellow and former Director of the first White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation
  • Suzanne Kelly-Lyall, Deputy Director of George Washington University’s Partnerships for International Studies in Asia (PISA)
  • Jeremy Liu, Executive Director of the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation

Welcome to Momentum!

Chad Bolick is the Director of Impact & Innovation at Tides.