Nonprofit Performance Management Consultant Network

A network for nonprofits, funders, and consultants to help nonprofits improve participant outcomes

through consultation to adopt and implement performance management practices

How Does Innovation Spread?

Who invented the light bulb?  Have you ever heard of Joseph W. Swan?  What about Howard Latimer?


Almost everyone thinks that Thomas A. Edison (left) invented the lightbulb!  But in 1878, two years before Edison’s factory began to crank out thousands of bulbs each year, Joseph Swan (center) had a good working lightbulb.  And in 1881 Lewis Howard Latimer (right) patented an improved filament that lasted longer than Edison’s.  What Edison did that no one else did is build a lightbulb factory and hire all the other inventors to work for him.  Together they made light bulbs cheaper and more durable, which is what we needed to get a lightbulb in every living room.

Today, we need a lightbulb factory for nonprofit effectiveness, so to speak.  To promote the expansion of these practices in nonprofits across the country, the Nonprofit Performance Management Consultant Network engages nonprofits, funders, and consultants interested in learning about nonprofit performance management.  All of us — nonprofits, funders, and consultants — can prepare ourselves to invest in the kinds of long-term, intensive engagements described here, intending to lead to improving long-term participant outcomes.  For more information, please visit the Network’s website.