The IDEA Journey for the Nonprofit

The new nonprofit standard for accelerating digital transformation

ASSESSimpact Pilot andEXECUTEdeployment ofsolution in the field,adjust and report RFPA second RFP ifneeded DESIGNsolution, change management,M&E, technology,communications, report RFI/RFPComply with procurementprocedures, laws, donorrequirements RESOURCESAllocate, fundraise,timing, cashflow PLANCommunicate, integrate,staff up, estimate efforts,connect with programsand funders DREAM BOOKFinalize Dream Book,publish, reflect IMAGINEWorkshopEmpathize, define, ideate,prototype, and test FINALIZEImprove challenges,develop personas,interviews, virtualsession LOGISTICSSetting the date, thevenue, engage participants ORGANIZEOrientations, introductions,and single challenge selection STARTHow to prepare for yourImagine Workshop

Click on the titles in the graphic above to learn more about each phase of the IDEA Journey.

Welcome to the IDEA Journey™ Resource Guide, which 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 is a lot to digest here. Begin by familiarizing yourself with the IDEA Journey (explore that interactive graphic above!) and the art of the possible. As an organization be introspective and talk to your colleagues about identifying a challenge you would like to fix that would benefit from digital transformation. We have examples you can explore from other nonprofits who have already started their IDEA Journeys.

Sometime it may seem that Change becomes the Change and your organization may need external resources to plot the path forward. NetHope is proud to be offering myProteus change management services to our members. More information here (NetHope member only access!)

After you’ve done this homework, connect with NetHope or one of our Consulting Partners, who have a wealth of experience and will guide you on your journey. This is also a good time to reach out to donors or tech partners, who can support or invest in this important work.

Are you interested in cooperating with peers on intractable humanitarian or conservation challenges? Check out the IDEA Journey Coalition page to submit your topic, see what others suggest and express your interest in taking part in a collaborative IDEA Journey.

Start your Journey by taking the Digital Nonprofit Ability (DNA) Assessment today! 
For a preview of how to get under way, review the DNA Assessment Services available to you upon completion of the assessment.


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 our 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 conceived 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.

The work of The Center for the Digital Nonprofit cannot be done without our dedicated Founding Partners. We thank them for their support.



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

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