At the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF), the goal of all our education programs is to help develop today’s students into tomorrow’s innovators. We do this by incorporating the timeless lessons and stories of our NIHF Inductees directly into our program curriculum.
While educators have many options when deciding on which STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs to partner with, we believe that nonprofit organizations, like NIHF, carry distinct advantages over for-profit companies, including greater transparency and accountability.
- Unlike private for-profit companies, a nonprofit organization must use its revenue to support its mission. In our case, we must support our mission of recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Unlike private for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations require public disclosure of IRS documentation, which contains income statements and balance sheets.
- Unlike private for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations like NIHF that work closely with government institutions require additional comprehensive vetting processes. In our case, this includes the strictest possible audit, known as an OMB A-133 audit.
- Unlike private for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations are not beholden to the needs of shareholders and do not sell stock, provide stock options or pay stock dividends.
At NIHF, we take pride in reinvesting what we earn into our mission of recognizing inventors and invention, promoting creativity and advancing the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Utilizing Accredited Resources
For entrepreneurs and inventors of all ages, it is helpful to remember that our partner, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, offers many free tools and resources. Instead of reaching out to invention promotion companies that have historically used questionable business practices and promised unrealistic outcomes, it is far more beneficial for creators to partner with reputable organizations whose primary concern is to foster innovation across the country. Even fledgling creators can do enough research on their own to determine the market viability, trademark potential and the patentability of their ideas (at no cost) and equip themselves with a more educated perspective to make their next move.
Similarly, enrolling students from an early age into STEM programs that both understand and respect the importance of intellectual property can go a long way in helping budding innovators learn the value of their ideas. While there do exist quality for-profit education companies, partnering with a reputable nonprofit organization can take a lot of guesswork out of knowing whether a potential partner is fully committed to cultivating essential 21st-century skills, instead of growing their bottom line.