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Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2011

Many nonprofit leaders seek reliable funding but are not sure how best to pursue it. Four guidelines provide a road map for leaders to identify and develop the right funding model for their organization.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

Disseminating insights and know-how across any organization is critical to improving performance, but nonprofits struggle to implement organizational learning and make it a priority. A recent study found three common barriers to knowledge sharing across nonprofits and their networks, as well as ways and means to overcome them.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

Executives from 10 major corporations gathered in New York City to discuss the innovative ways that they are putting societal issues at the core of their companies’ strategy and operations.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

GlobalGiving’s storytelling project turns anecdotes into useful data.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

As Japan shifts from disaster relief to rebuilding, GSB alumni see opportunities for change and renewal.

Resource: News Article
[photo - McKinsey on Africa]

Bruce McNamer, MBA '96, examines how a nonprofit's work in Mozambique and in other developing countries is showing businesses how to break the cycle of poverty.

Resource: News Article

His career has taken Jonathan Reckford, MBA '89, from corporate leadership to his current post as chief executive officer with global nonprofit Habitat for Humanity. His success, he says, comes from following his faith and his heart.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Small Steps Big Leap Briefing]

Invited at Stanford by a group of pro-social scientists from top universities, some 60 U.S. business and nonprofit leaders examined simple, practical, and cost-effective solutions for encouraging donations, volunteerism, social activism, and other responsible, caring, and pro-social behaviors.

Resource: News Article

Researchers find a stronger tie between money and happiness for people paid by the hour than by salary, because hourly workers are more regularly reminded of the value of their time, according to work co-authored by business school Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer.

Resource: News Article

Two alumnae develop a warmer community center for strays, pets and their owners at Humane Society Silicon Valley.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

Under the EPA’s Audit Policy, violators who voluntarily report themselves can get certain penalties reduced or waived if they commit to ongoing self-regulation…. But is that promise any more than window dressing?

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

One Acre Fund feeds the world’s poor by helping them feed themselves.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

Engineers Without Borders’ new website, Admitting Failure, gives new life to “good failures.”  It aims to help organizations learn from others’ mistakes.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

Why local ownership and commitment are the exception and not the norm in most development efforts—and what development professionals can do about this problem.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

Integrated reporting—the combination of a company’s financial and non-financial performance in one document—is a crucial step to creating a more sustainable society. It is being practiced around the globe by companies as varied as Philips, Novo Nordisk, PepsiCo, and Southwest Airlines.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

The recession should be spurring nonprofits, giving organizations and individual givers to regroup and find innovative ways to address urgent social and global needs that only are getting worse because of the growing economic crisis. Foundations are creatively adjusting to the current economic crisis.

Resource: Blog Post

The giving sector, especially in the face of the continuing economic crisis, needs to retool its model for charitable giving and fundraising. Nonprofits, for example, should start looking at building social media into their overall fundraising and communication strategies. Often reluctant to move beyond traditional strategies, whether or not those actually produce positive results, nonprofits should look at social-media tools that are changing the way people communicate, connect and spur one another to action.

Resource: Blog Post

Unionizing charter-school teachers brings to light the ever-present income inequity that takes place within the nonprofit sector. The Nonprofiteer firmly believes that charter schools–like other nonprofits–are the most fertile territory for union organizing, and she’s not surprised to see that organizing professionals have figured that fact out as well. Combine the relative immobility of most nonprofits–the Art Institute of Chicago won’t pick up stakes and move to Singapore–with their routine underpayment and general exploitation of their employees, and it shouldn’t be a surprise when the union comes to call.

Resource: Blog Post

An interview with Gavin Glabaugh, long-time IT guru at the Charles Stuart Mott Foundation, gives incite on where nonprofits have been and where we’re going in terms of using technology.

Resource: Blog Post

Foundations can do much more to address the economic crisis and the human toll it is taking. Instead of hoarding their assets so they can perpetuate their wealth and their power, foundation boards should be voting to pay out more in assets and better fulfilling their governance role by taking a more active role as shareholders. Foundations should be putting all their assets, including those they pay out and those they invest in the capital markets, to more productive use to address the critical and escalating social and global problems we face.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Melissa Bradley]

Melissa Bradley, CEO of Tides, explores how partnerships between for-profit and nonprofit organizations--and everything in between--can increase scale and impact. In this audio lecture, recorded at the Stanford Social Innovation Review's 2011 Nonprofit Management Institute, Bradley discusses the current landscape of the social sector, and what scale and impact really mean. She also shares case studies of successful partnerships and the "top ten" lessons we can draw from collaborations.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Aron Cramer]
Businesses are in the business of business. But they are beginning to be in the business of doing social good as well. As companies shift to incorporate environmental, social, and welfare-based themes into business plans and products, Aron Cramer points out a trend of decreasing poverty and improving the environment as corporations look to increase both profit and human development.
Resource: Audio
Less than one in 10,000 companies will survive long enough to celebrate their 100th anniversary. For those who do, how does brand identity change over the decades while staying true to its core values? In this panel discussion, the CEOs of three such organizations discuss the rewards and challenges of carrying on a corporate legacy in the nonprofit sector: Peter Goldberg, of the Alliance for Children and Families, Cathy Tisdale, of Campfire USA, and Jim Gibbons, of Goodwill Industries International.
Resource: Audio

Despite falling to number 49 on the list of countries ranked by life expectancy, the United States still spends roughly twice as much on health care per capita as other top-ranked nations. In this panel discussion, Dr. David Shern and Father Larry Snyder discuss the role of the voluntary sector in this period of necessary reform, and what their organizations specifically are doing to improve the quality of American lives.

Resource: Audio

Can business be a power for good? Jean Oelwang, CEO of Virgin Unite, would argue yes. Virgin Unite is the nonprofit foundation of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, a conglomerate of more than 400 world-wide companies. In this audio lecture, Oelwang discusses the need to address root causes of social and environmental issues, the unsustainable nature of the growing disparity between rich and poor, and the potential to make a difference by adapting existing product and service innovations.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Remedying Group Disparities in School Achievement]

Inequalities between socially marginalized and non-marginalized groups have led to poorer school and health outcomes for African Americans, Latino Americans, and other non-Asian ethnic minorities. Although many structural factors contribute to these inequalities, this study examines one psychological factor: concern about social belonging — a sense of having positive relationships with others. 

Resource: Video
[Video-A Behavioral Science Perspective on Why People Vote]

The investigation into what messaging motivates people to vote and the effectiveness of facilitating a voting plan during a presidential election.

Resource: Video
[Video-The Effectiveness of Message Framing to Influence Behavior]

Most observers agree that human consumption is on a crash course with the environment. Although recycling programs have been implemented in many cities around the world, people often do not participate as often as they could. This research examines the effectiveness of messages that highlight the negative consequences of not recycling (loss frames) versus those that emphasize the positive consequences of recycling (gain frames) in influencing people's behavior.

Resource: Video
[Video-Using People's Irrationality To Do Good]

Identifying effective obesity treatment is both a clinical challenge and a public health priority. Can monetary incentives stimulate weight loss? Leslie John presents a study that examines different economic incentives for weight loss during a 16 week intervention.

Resource: Video
[Video-Know Your Sector]

Nonprofits in the U.S. generate $1.1 trillion every year, which is more than the entire economies of Saudi Arabia and Sweden combined. "Know Your Sector", a video created  by alum Ben Klasky (MBA '98), is intended as a resource for nonprofit employees, volunteers, and donors to better know the impact of their sector.

Resource: Video
[Video-Using People's Irrationality To Do Good]

Identifying effective obesity treatment is both a clinical challenge and a public health priority. Can monetary incentives stimulate weight loss? Leslie John presents a study that examines different economic incentives for weight loss during a 16 week intervention.

Resource: Video
[photo - Photo: Aronson and Stachel]
What good is new energy technology if it can't be transported to the regions where it is most needed? In this audio interview, Sheela Sethuraman talks with Laura Stachel and Hal Aronson, co-founders of WE CARE Solar, about the international journey that led them to create one of the world's most portable solar energy systems. As The Tech Awards 2011 laureates of the Nokia Health Award, these two innovators work to bring reliable power to health care facilities all over the world.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Daniel Smith]
How can a young nonprofit organization make a tangible improvement in people's health through clean water using only the power of gravity? This was the challenge for Daniel Smith and the AguaClara team when they began work to introduce community-level drinking water treatment plants in Honduras. In this audio interview, Sheela Sethuraman learns from the 2011 Intel Environment Award winners about the importance of using local resources and experts to encourage horizontal learning.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Dean Jansen]

How can nonprofit and crowdsourcing experts collaborate to make media more accessible? In this audio interview, Sheela Sethuraman talks to Dean Jansen, co-Founder of Universal Subtitles, a volunteer platform for doing collaborative subtitling and translation of videos. As the winner of The Tech Awards 2011 Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award, Jansen discussed Universal Subtitles' current challenges and future potential in leveraging internet volunteerism.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Melissa Bradley]

Melissa Bradley, CEO of Tides, explores how partnerships between for-profit and nonprofit organizations--and everything in between--can increase scale and impact. In this audio lecture, recorded at the Stanford Social Innovation Review's 2011 Nonprofit Management Institute, Bradley discusses the current landscape of the social sector, and what scale and impact really mean. She also shares case studies of successful partnerships and the "top ten" lessons we can draw from collaborations.

Resource: Audio
Case Studies : All | Academic Cases

Commissioned by KaBOOM! and authored by Katherine Fulton and alumna Heather McLeod Grant of the Monitor Institute, this case study looks at the challenges KaBOOM! faced and lessons the organization learned while pioneering an online strategy to scale its impact. This strategy involves giving away the nonprofit model online for free to empower others to act on KaBoom's behalf.

Resource: Practitioner Case
[photo - William F. Meehan III]

In 2000, the Rural Development Institute entered India. The organization had to modify its model to address the unique aspects of the situation in that country.

Resource: Academic Case
Multimedia Case
[photo - James A. Phills]

Circus Oz, Australia’s premier, international circus, was exploring offering the new development officer position a higher-than-normal salary. The case and its companion videocase cover the organization’s dilemmas around this, and the situation’s resolution.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Brian S. Lowery]

By early 2006, PacifiCare's African American Health Solution had made significant headway in its two primary markets of Dallas and Los Angeles. Now the health insurance program had to define its purpose more clearly in the face of growing competition for the business of African Americans.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - James A. Phills]

Minnesota Public Radio had evolved from a small public radio station to a network of 38 stations, mainly through social purpose capitalism. The founder came under criticism after creating for-profit ventures to support and build the enterprise.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - James A. Phills]

Teach for America, a nonprofit that places talented college graduates in teaching positions in under-resourced areas, needed to expand its placements in the San Francisco Bay Area. Case A details the challenges of TFA’s attempt to expand into the San Francisco Unified School District.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Laura K. Arrillaga]

A conference at Stanford brought together professionals from foundations to share best practices, discuss emerging innovations, and build professional networks. This summary presents key issues discussed.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Laura K. Arrillaga]

The Altman Foundation was established to serve the people of New York City. By 2005, the foundation was poised to take its strategic philanthropy to the next level by implementing a broader system of research and evaluation.

Resource: Academic Case

In 2002, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, dedicated to building a better future for disadvantaged children, hired a director of social investments. The director faces challenges such as how to enable the long-term sustainability of grantees, track financial and programmatic performance of investments, and resolve the tension between social investment and programmatic strategies.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Chip Heath]

In 1988, Jim Thompson founded Positive Coaching Alliance, a nonprofit focused on helping overcome negative trends in youth involving bad sportsmanship. These cases detail PCA’s efforts to raise awareness of the issues among athletes and the general public with an eye toward changing behavior.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Laura K. Arrillaga]

Practitioners and academics at a 2004 Stanford University conference discussed the field of venture philanthropy. The overview includes topics such as capacity building, relationships between grantors and grantees, and performance measurement.

Resource: Academic Case

This case details the Tipping Point Community's attempts to quantify and grow its impact on poverty in local communities; while it was raising more than $14 million for organizations, it was still struggling to improve performance and outcomes. 

Resource: Academic Case

This case study presents new evidence on the power of social media for social good, using the example of Sameer Bhatia, whose friends created a website to help him find a bone barrow match to fight leukemia. 

 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Walter W. Powell]

Four years after HOPE Services merged with the Skills Center, everyone considered the merger a success. But as with most for-profit and nonprofit mergers, the change was not without its costs and challenges.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Hayagreeva Rao]

In December 2004, the president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement challenged U.S. hospitals to reduce unnecessary deaths by 100,000 in the next 18 months. The case describes a campaign that incorporated lessons from politics and social activism.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Jesper B. Sorensen]

As Green as It Gets was a nonprofit economic development organization supporting small, independent producers in disadvantaged Guatemalan communities. The founder pondered how to grow and sustain the organization.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All

“Ask and you shall receive” is the moral of this research. A series of studies reveals that people tend to grossly underestimate how likely others are to agree to requests for assistance. In a variety of different studies the results were generally the same. When the participants asked for help in a straight-forward manner they generally got the help they needed whether it was for directions, money or time.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Jesper B. Sorensen]

The researchers examine the relationship between income inequality and corporate demography in regional labor markets, and demonstrate how the number and diversity of employers affects wage dispersion.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Sarah A. Soule]

This article examines how interorganizational competition and social movement industry concentration affect the level of tactical and goal specialization of protest organizations associated with the peace, women's, and environmental movements.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Robert J. Flanagan]

Most major symphony orchestras in the United States regularly spend more money than they take in, and some dip so far into endowments that they risk their long-term survival, according to a new report commissioned by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Resource: Research Paper

Asking would-be donors for their time, not their money, is a better way for charities to increase donations, says professor Jennifer Aaker. Asking donors first to volunteer their time can positively shift their willingness to give both time and money.

Resource: Research Paper
Courses : All
[photo - William Meehan]

This course surveys strategic, governance, and management issues facing a wide range of nonprofit organizations in an era of venture philanthropy and social entrepreneurship. It introduces students to core managerial issues in the nonprofit sector, such as development/fundraising, investment management, performance management and nonprofit finance.

Resource: MBA Course
Innovators : All

Jessica Flannery created Kiva to connect lenders to small entrepreneurs without access to financial resources. Her goal? To alleviate poverty.

Resource: Alumni

Jake Harriman starts seed projects in extremely stressed areas of the world. He works to help people lift themselves out of poverty in five years.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Eric Weaver]
Eric Weaver helps working people create assets. He wants to see everyone in the Bay Area achieve financial self-sufficiency.
Resource: Alumni
[photo - Daniel Grossman]

Daniel Grossman's Wild Planet creates toys that parents love as much as kids. His aim is to inspire learning and inventiveness.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Bruce McNamer]

Bruce McNamer empowers entrepreneurs in rural areas around the world to become self-sufficient. He finds helping people to help themselves a noble calling.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Heather McLeod Grant]

Can smaller and local nonprofit organizations still have major impact? In this audio lecture from Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Nonprofit Management Institute, Heather McLeod Grant, senior consultant at the Monitor Institute and co-author of Forces for Good, shares successful strategies of high-impact nonprofits and how small and local nonprofits can apply them.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Beth Kanter]

Nonprofit management is shifting to develop a networking mindset. In this audio lecture, Beth Kanter, author and leader in social media for nonprofits, discusses how nonprofits can utilize their professional networks and develop a “network mindset.” During her presentation at the Stanford Social Innovation Review's Nonprofit Management Institute, she evaluates various tools and experiences in nonprofit management that can develop the relationships needed to create a successful network.

Resource: Audio

What inspires people to act selflessly, help others, and make personal sacrifices? Unusual acts of kindness—like giving something away to someone you don’t even know and getting nothing in return—happens numerous times every day, in the form of blood donation, providing online reviews, and so on. In each case, someone provides a useful good, service, or bit of advice free of charge. In academic circles, this type of giving is referred as “generalized exchange.” Generalized exchange stands in contrast to “direct exchange,” in which payments are made or reciprocity is expected. Professor Frank Flynn and colleagues, Robb Willer and Sonya Zak, looked at these unusual acts of kindness and examined whether generalized exchange systems can create more solidarity than direct exchange systems.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Ask for help]

How can a certain kind of behavior actually contributes to inequalities? Specifically, do children’s social-class backgrounds affect when and how they seek help in the classroom, thereby teasing out children’s own role in educational stratification? We consider how teachers may use such information to correct these dynamics, and thus contribute to more equal access for all children at school.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Recycle]

Recycling programs abound, but people are often lackadaisical about putting plastic, paper, glass, and metal into those bins. How can we get more people to recycle? An intervention recently conducted in Canada is pointing the way, and the message is all about ... well, the messaging.

Resource: News Article
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