The IDEA Journey for the Nonprofit

ASSESSImpact Pilot and EXECUTEdeployment of solutionin the field,adjust and report RFP DESIGN   solution, changemanagement, M&E, echnology, communications,report RFI/RFPComply withprocurementprocedures,laws, donorrequirements RESOURCESAllocate, raise,timing, cashflow PLANCommunicate,integrate, staff up,estimate efforts,connect withprograms andfunders DREAM BOOKFinalize dream book,publish, reflect IMAGINEEmpathize, Define, Ideate,Prototype, and Test REFINEImprove challenges,develop personas,interviews, virtualsession LOGISTICSSetting the date,the venue, engageparticipants ORGANIZELearn from othernonprofits, adjust,contract STARTPartnerintroduction andorientation calls PREPAREIntegrate it in workplans,surface dreams, allocatecosts, plan resources,and apply KNOWHear about the program for the first time andlearn about it

This IDEA Journey™ resource guide is designed to give you all the information necessary to accelerate your digital transformation journey through NetHope’s IDEA social impact accelerator. IDEA stands for Imagine, Design, Execute, and Assess. It was initially launched and refined under the sponsorship of Microsoft as Dream, Design, Deliver (D3).

There are two ways to begin an IDEA Journey:

  1. For a single nonprofit: Identify an organizational challenge your nonprofit seeks to address and digitally transform (see PREPARE stage for further information).
  2. For multiple nonprofits and other stakeholders: Identify a sector-wide improvement opportunity to address and digitally transform in concert with other nonprofit organizations. In these cases, it may be beneficial to form a coalition (see the IDEA JOURNEY COALITION page).

Member Testimonials

This is by far one of the most transformational and strategic steps HIAS has taken and will truly set us on the path toward transformation, both digital and non-digital.” — Farhan Irshad, COO of HIAS


Knowledge management is complex. The Dream workshop has helped us to identify how to view that complexity through the eyes of individuals, in order to create solutions based firmly on user experiences. This is a powerful methodology and one which we hope will create great dividends for us.” —  Caoimhe DeBarra, CEO of Trócaire


We have created this resource guide from the experience of your nonprofit colleagues. We thank leaders of the British Red Cross, Compassion International, HIAS, International Refugee Council, Marie Stopes International, Medair, Médecins Sans Frontières, Mercy Corps, Norwegian Refugee Council, Pro Mujer, SOS Children’s Villages, Team Rubicon, The Carter Center, Trócaire, Winrock for their collaboration, pioneering leadership, and knowledge sharing. This resource guide would not have been possible without them. We invite you to review a complete list of Dream Blog Posts and Dream Books that chronicle the progress these organizations are making.


The expertise of our Consulting Partners has also made this resource guide possible. Thanks go to Accenture Development Partnerships, AKA, AvanadeRevel, and Wipfli. Microsoft is the sponsor of IDEA as originally concieved of as Dream, Design, Deliver (D3), and we are very grateful for their generosity and collaboration.


As a work in progress, detailed information in this version stops at the Design phase. Keep coming back for updated content. We hope you find this resource guide helpful and we welcome your feedback.


These IDEA Journey Consulting Partners all bring proven track records guiding NGOs through the process.


The Center for the Digital Nonprofit Founding Partners have all expressed interest in working with the International Development community on breakthrough innovation following the IDEA Journey methodology. We thank them for their support. The Center's work cannot be done without them!




NetHope thanks Microsoft for support initiating this program and their sponsorship of the first 15 NetHope members' IDEA Journeys.


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