Skip to Content
Change lives. Change organizations. Change the world.

Center for
Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Nonprofit Management

Search Resources:

Research Resources


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

Many nonprofits fail to use their volunteers effectively, asking them to stuff envelopes when they could be doing more skilled and mission-critical work, speakers told a Stanford conference. While financial donations dropped in 2008, volunteering rose to more than 8 billion hours of service, worth an estimated $162 billion.

Resource: News Article
[photo - from a crisis emerges a laboratory of innovation]

Stanford MBA students on a service learning trip advise small businesses in New Orleans. They partner with nonprofit the Idea Village to create a model program for business students from all over the world to provide pro bono business consulting services and become part of the rebirth of the city.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Baby Boomers]

Increasingly, older workers are choosing to spend their later working years doing things that matter to them, providing a "wellspring of innovation" by either working for or volunteering with nonprofits, government programs, or foundations. That's good since estimates are nonprofits will need 640,000 new executives over the next decade.

Resource: News Article

The Stanford Project on the Evolution of Nonprofits found that nonprofits are becoming more and more businesslike, with many hiring directors with private sector experience and implementing quanitative measures of accountability to track the "numeric" success of social change and to prove sustainability to donors and grantees.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Natalie Portman]

With a presentation on microfinance, actress-turned-activist Natalie Portman kicked off the Social Innovators Speaker Series launched by the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She also called on students to take social action to alleviate poverty.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

MORE THAN GOOD INTENTIONS: How a New Economics Is Helping to Solve Global Poverty by Dean Karlan & Jacob Appel

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

NONPROFIT SUSTAINABILITY: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability by Jeanne Bell, Jan Masaoka & Steve Zimmerman

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

The political process is chaotic and often takes years to unfold, making it difficult to use traditional measures to evaluate the effectiveness of advocacy organizations. There are, however, unconventional methods one can use to evaluate advocacy organizations and make strategic investments in that arena.

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

The founder of the Kashf Foundation argues that microfinance can improve the lives of Pakistan’s next generation.

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

Venture into a Panera Cares café and you’ll see the same menu and racks of freshly baked breads that are staples at the 1,400 Panera Bread restaurants across the United States. The only thing missing is the cash register. Instead, there’s a donation box where customers pay on the honor system.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

The Collaboration Prize competition entries prove a rich resource for non-profit mergers. A grant of $250,000 will be shared between the co-winners: The Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas and the YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo. But they were not the only winners in this competition; the rest of us now get to mine the wonderful data that remains from the 644 applications submitted to the Lodestar Foundation for the competition.

Resource: Blog Post

Generation Y leaders benefit from acting their age. The key to successful next generation leadership is to be who you are, not what you think an “official” nonprofit leader looks like. Craft your own brand of leadership, and others will see you as an authentic person they can follow and trust.

 

 

Resource: Blog Post

Twitter and Search prove promising to the nonprofit world. 

Resource: Blog Post

Board experience proves invaluable to leadership development.

Resource: Blog Post

Art museums are having trouble drawing a crowd, what are they doing wrong?

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video

Connecting good, effective nonprofits and other organizations that get the job done is the mission of Craigconnects, the latest enterprise of Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. In this audio interview with host Ashkon Jafari, Newmark discusses the organization's philosophy, primary activities, and future plans.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Chong]
Catchafire is a New York City-based, for-profit social mission business that matches professionals who want to give their skills to nonprofits and social enterprises that need their help. In this audio interview, CEO and founder Rachael Chong speaks with host Ashkon Jafari about the ins and outs of the organization, from its founding, to its funding, to how it finds "matches."
Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Jonathan Rechford]

Habitat for Humanity is an exemplary social enterprise that has helped build more than 350,000 houses for low-income people in thousands of communities worldwide. In this university podcast, Jonathan Reckford, the organization's CEO, talks about what it takes to be a great leader. He shares lessons learned from his own career, and how he put his knowledge to work in successfully guiding Habitat for Humanity since 2005.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Stamberger]
Incident responders can use social media as they rush to put aid in place after disasters. Jeannie Stamberger, of the Disaster Management Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, shares her studies of crowd-sourcing. When disasters impact populated areas, social media helps agencies quickly identify the extent of the damage. This audio interview covers utilization of social media for disaster response, planning and risk analysis.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Noah Goldstein]
If you stayed in a hotel recently, you may have seen signs that encouraged you to reuse your towel in an effort to conserve resources. What drives you and others to participate in this environmentally and economically beneficial program? Professor Noah Goldstein studies the factors that motivate individuals to engage in prosocial actions using descriptive norms to design effective messages. He presents his research in this audio lecture presented by the Center for Social Innovation.
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
[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

Connecting good, effective nonprofits and other organizations that get the job done is the mission of Craigconnects, the latest enterprise of Craigslist founder Craig Newmark. In this audio interview with host Ashkon Jafari, Newmark discusses the organization's philosophy, primary activities, and future plans.

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 - Brian S. Lowery]

Neighborhood Health Clinic is a nonprofit health center located in an ethnically diverse, underserved, and complicated community. These cases explore the challenges that staff began to face in working together effectively and efficiently, and what course of action the executive team took to address the problems.

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

The Center for Blended Value is a think tank that promotes the concept of “blended value” investments. The founder wondered how to overcome the challenges associated with encouraging more foundations to adopt a value-mixing strategy of financial asset management.

Resource: Academic Case
Multimedia Case

Innermotion dance company presents performances based on themes related to incest and childhood sexual abuse. This video explores how the founder must reexamine her focus and priorities when faced with the loss of a major grant.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - David P. Baron]

The director of a successful school in Botswana was planning her retirement. How could she institutionalize processes she had personally overseen that had led to the school's excellence?

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - David P. Baron]

The Rainforest Action Network works to protect the Earth’s rainforests and support the rights of their inhabitants. In April 2003, a new executive director began a review of the organization’s strategy and mission.

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

Planned Parenthood is looking for funding to assess the Sand Hill Foundation’s Teen Success Program for replication. Those involved in the program hope to more constructively engage stakeholders in the evaluation process, monitor the program’s impact, and take action on evaluation results.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Rick Aubry]

TransFair USA, the fair trade labeling arm of the Fair Trade Labeling Organization, faced strategic challenges in 2003. The founder needed to convince uninformed mainstream consumers and skeptical large-scale coffee roasters to buy Fair Trade Certified coffee.

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

The McKay Foundation played a key role in convening the diverse constituencies that had a stake in the living wage issue. The executive director considered what to focus on next after a city ordinance authorized worker pay increases.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - William P. Barnett]

The economy of Bozeman, Mont., has grown rapidly, but concerns have arisen over the development of environmentally sensitive areas, impact on local businesses, and affordability. The Yellowstone Business Partnership could have a role in directing the city’s future.

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

The Broad Education Foundation was established in 1999 to focus on K-12 public education reform. As the foundation sought to expand its reach, its ability to transition the management of its flagship investments would become increasingly important, and maintaining accountability to stakeholders would also be critical.

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

The best nonprofits don’t necessarily get the most money, observed William and Flora Hewlett Foundation's Philanthropy Program officer Jacob Harold and president Paul Brest in 2007. From there they started exploring how they could improve the marketplace and how donors give their money. To that effect they hired consulting firm McKinsey & Company to explore the online information marketplace for giving space at a macro level, looking at trends and opportunities. Armed with data they then tried to figure out what to do.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Garth Saloner]

Endeavor selects promising entrepreneurs and helps them develop and grow their businesses through mentorship and guidance. In 2007, founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg looked at the organization's expansion strategy.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Hau L. Lee]

Riders for Health is a U.K.-based nonprofit dedicated to the improvement of transportation systems for health workers in Africa. In 2007, after 11 years in existence, the organization was at a critical point and had to decide what strategies were necessary to expand.

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

The X PRIZE Foundation originated as prize competitions for significant development in the exploration of outer space. Several problems faced the organization as it began to focus on fields outside of space, including whether prize competitions could work in areas such as poverty.

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

In 2006, AARP was one of the largest, most well-known nonprofits in the United States. However, the organization faced numerous public relations and strategic challenges.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All
[photo - Robert J. Flanagan]

This study collects facts about cyclical and trend-related economic developments in the symphony orchestra industry. It also examines influences on performance and nonperformance revenues and expenses of orchestras.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Sarah Soule]

The agendas of organization studies and the study of social movements are converging. Scholars of both fields contribute to a special issue of Administrative Science Quarterly dedicated to building stronger connections among scholars of social movements, organizations, and markets.

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

Despite advances in organizational theory, there has been little progress in understanding how organizational processes shape the evolution of inequality. The paper draws greater attention to the consequences of organizational diversity for matching and wage inequality in the labor market.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Charles O'Reilly]

The authors integrate two complementary streams of research on ‘fit’ with an organization's culture that document impacts of similarity in values and demographics.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Dale T. Miller]

This article describes six experiments that demonstrate the effect of people's tendency to infer that a familiar opinion is a prevalent one among their group. Implications for social consensus estimation and social influence are discussed.

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

Nonprofit executives dedicate their lives to many of society’s most intractable problems, yet are often overstretched and under-resourced. Ken Saxon speaks about founding Courage to Lead to build support and community around nonprofit executive leaders.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Susan Rothstein (MBA '78)]

Susan reflects on her experience volunteering with a grassroots NGO in Cambodia and how she gained a new perspective on both the developing world and herself.

 

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Michael DeLapa]

Michael DeLapa is heavily involved in environmental, land use, and energy issues.  He has launched several non-profits in the Bay Area as well as the California Fisheries Fund.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Chari Ratwatte]

One of the first two Stanford GSB Social Innovation fellows, Chari works to provide economic opportunities to farmers in Sri Lanka.

Resource: Alumni , Fellow
[photo - Court Gould (EPNL '06)]

Court Gould is pushing for Pittsburgh to grow sustainably. He's working hard to inform decision makers about to accomplish that most effectively.

Resource: CSI Affiliates
[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-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-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
[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
Corner