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How to Innovate for Maximum Impact of Your Fatherhood Program

Posted by Erik Vecere

Most Recent Fatherhood Posts

Jun 27, 2023


Innovation, innovation, innovation. The emphasis in for profit and nonprofit circles these days is inescapable. If you're not innovating in your programs and services, you’re stagnating. 

 But what does innovation mean for your work? How can you foster an innovative approach for engaging dads? 

Innovation is the practical implementation of ideas that result in the introduction of new goods or services or improvement in offering goods or services. The word comes from the Latin verb innovare, which means to renew. 

Your fatherhood program must be innovative in three categories to ensure maximum impact:

  • Program Innovation
    • Program innovation focuses on: 1) offering a unique delivery model (e.g. combining virtual with in-person, or offering one-on-one make-up sessions when dads miss a group session); 2) deploying recruitment and retention tactics that attract dads (e.g. addressing wants and needs, finding great facilitators, offering programs at convenient times, and encouraging dads who complete the program to refer others); and 3) leveraging technology to better engage dads (e.g. using group messaging apps, web-based programs like National Fatherhood Initiative®s (NFI’s) Fathering In 15™ and exploring artificial intelligence applications).
  • Cultural Innovation
    • Cultural innovation requires an assessment of your organization’s father-friendliness. NFI offers a free Father Friendly Check-Up™ that will help you identify action steps to transform your organizational culture. The assessment categories (e.g. Leadership Development, Organizational Development, Program Development, and Community Engagement) will nudge you out of your comfort zone into the waters of innovation.
  • Sustainability Innovation
    • Sustainability innovation requires a fresh look at how you communicate the impact of your work to stakeholders and funders (e.g. presenting your program as a means to help them accomplish their mission and goals) and what types of funders you target (e.g. expanding your portfolio beyond foundations and public funding to include corporate and individual funders, or plugging your program into a larger community collaborative).

I encourage you to take a fresh look at how you can amp up the program, cultural, and sustainability innovations of your fatherhood program. The result will be more dads empowered to be more involved in their children’s lives.

What innovative approaches have you taken with your fatherhood program?

How can you take a more innovative approach in the program, cultural, and sustainability categories?


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Topics: father friendly organization, Featured, General Fatherhood Program Resources, NFI-Specific Programs & Resources, Program Recruitment & Retention, father inclusive

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