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Nonprofit Management

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Nonprofits can help voters make critical decisions.

Resource: Blog Post
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2007

To find out how best to stem corruption in development projects, a Harvard economist conducted a sophisticated experiment in 608 Javanese villages. His results challenge current wisdom: Send in the outside auditors, rather than rely on local monitors.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2007

Many Iraq War veterans can’t shake the feeling of being constantly imperiled, and their therapists, in turn, may develop traumatic stress symptoms themselves. A new study tells how organizations can protect their frontline providers from psychic distress.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

If marketing isn’t built into your entire organization, you’re lost. 

Resource: Blog Post

Discussions of leadership and accountability in the nonprofit sector are usually overly narrow.

Resource: Blog Post

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 - 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
[photo - Guilt]

Stanford GSB researchers find that how people respond to mistakes can be a "clue to who they are.”

Resource: News Article
[photo - Jennifer Aaker]

GSB Marketing Professor Jennifer Aaker says social media can help for-profits, nonprofits, and government organizations address a deficit of trust in our current culture.

Resource: News Article

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

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2004

Foundations should do their own media outreach.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2004

The investigative reporter for the Seattle Times has written extensively about the nonprofit sector.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2004

Guerrilla marketing surveys power Urban Peak.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2004

Almost half of revenue-seeking organizations are in the black.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2004

Top foundation leaders reveal how they set payout rates, executive salaries, and trustee compensation.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

“For social benefit organizations to truly “work” we all need to be part of the design, the process, the success.” -Hildy Gottlieb

Resource: Blog Post

“Merge Minnesota: Nonprofit Merger as an Opportunity for Survival and Growth” published by MAP for Nonprofits proves a useful source of information about the merging process of nonprofits. 

Resource: Blog Post

There are two kinds of philanthropy products: financial products and information products.  They used to be bundled together, in the form of foundation staff, personal advisors, or community foundation program officers.  In the early 1990s the advent of national donor advised funds showed that a huge market existed for unbundled products.  The market worked, but now we are seeing another change in philanthropic giving due to the rise of the internet.

Resource: Blog Post

Women and giving circles are playing an increasingly influential role in the charitable marketplace.  Women are shaping the future of charitable giving, while giving circles are making a bigger impact in giving.  Those are the conclusions of two new studies that suggest nonprofits should be investing more in getting to know and engaging women and givers who pool and give away charitable funds through donor circles.

Resource: Blog Post

In a recent Harvard Business School working paper titled Goals Gone Wild, the authors make the case that setting goals can be counterproductive.  The gist of the article is that when you set a goal, you tend to pursue it at the expense of everything else. This can be a good thing if the goal is very well defined and captures the core of what you are trying to achieve. But it can also literally blind you to other important things.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Paul Niehaus]

Paul Niehaus is revolutionizing the concept of donating through his nonprofit, Give Directly. For nearly 60 years, people have been giving money to a third party organization, which promises to use that donation to provide relief for a group of individuals in need. However, donors aren’t in love with this anonymous method of helping. Paul created Give Directly to simplify the donation process. In this podcast, he discussed Give Directly’s end-to-end model of connecting US donors with beneficiaries abroad.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Robert Sutton]

Professor Robert Sutton of Stanford University shares his conclusions about a problem he has wrestled with for several years - successful scaling. Professor Sutton highlights a few major lessons, including the importance of keeping team size down when scaling and the role of culture in the ability to scale excellence. In this podcast, Professor Sutton shares his overarching ideas and insights in hopes that listeners will be able to more effectively and efficiently share aspects of excellence.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Benjamin Cohen]

Globally, 700 million people do not have access to a reliable water source. In this audio interview, the Co-Founder and CEO of TOHL, Benjamin Cohen, discusses how he and his team are improving the quantity and quality of water for people in need. TOHL designs, engineers, constructs, operates, and maintains both conventional and mobile water systems to reach its goal of bringing clean water to those who need it most, in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Michelle Kreger]

A small stove is combating the big issues of gender inequality, physical and sexual violence, and the harmful effects toxic emissions. In this audio interview, the founder of Potential Energy, Michelle Kreger, discusses her social venture, which brings energy-efficient stoves to the people who need them most. In the interview, she explains the goal of the cook stove in minimizing the need for firewood and why this invention generates so much social benefit.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Kathy Brennan]

A critical approach to measurement, evaluation, and data collection is needed for nonprofits to expand impact in an increasingly interconnected social world. In this panel discussion at Next Generation Evaluation conference, Kathy Brennan, Patricia Bowie, and Lucy Bernholz give provocative overviews of developmental evaluation research design, shared measurement for collective impact, and the social responsibility of nonprofits employing big data for good.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Robert Sutton: Scaling Up Excellence]

Professor Sutton discusses a challenge that determines every organization’s success: scaling up farther, faster, and more effectively as a program or an organization creates a larger footprint.

Resource: Video
[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
[photo - Paul Niehaus]

Paul Niehaus is revolutionizing the concept of donating through his nonprofit, Give Directly. For nearly 60 years, people have been giving money to a third party organization, which promises to use that donation to provide relief for a group of individuals in need. However, donors aren’t in love with this anonymous method of helping. Paul created Give Directly to simplify the donation process. In this podcast, he discussed Give Directly’s end-to-end model of connecting US donors with beneficiaries abroad.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Robert Sutton]

Professor Robert Sutton of Stanford University shares his conclusions about a problem he has wrestled with for several years - successful scaling. Professor Sutton highlights a few major lessons, including the importance of keeping team size down when scaling and the role of culture in the ability to scale excellence. In this podcast, Professor Sutton shares his overarching ideas and insights in hopes that listeners will be able to more effectively and efficiently share aspects of excellence.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Benjamin Cohen]

Globally, 700 million people do not have access to a reliable water source. In this audio interview, the Co-Founder and CEO of TOHL, Benjamin Cohen, discusses how he and his team are improving the quantity and quality of water for people in need. TOHL designs, engineers, constructs, operates, and maintains both conventional and mobile water systems to reach its goal of bringing clean water to those who need it most, in the most efficient and effective way possible.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Michelle Kreger]

A small stove is combating the big issues of gender inequality, physical and sexual violence, and the harmful effects toxic emissions. In this audio interview, the founder of Potential Energy, Michelle Kreger, discusses her social venture, which brings energy-efficient stoves to the people who need them most. In the interview, she explains the goal of the cook stove in minimizing the need for firewood and why this invention generates so much social benefit.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Kathy Brennan]

A critical approach to measurement, evaluation, and data collection is needed for nonprofits to expand impact in an increasingly interconnected social world. In this panel discussion at Next Generation Evaluation conference, Kathy Brennan, Patricia Bowie, and Lucy Bernholz give provocative overviews of developmental evaluation research design, shared measurement for collective impact, and the social responsibility of nonprofits employing big data for good.

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

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the team’s primary objectives was to investigate sales and distribution challenges in this space. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots, the team hoped to test different models for improving customer access to these safe water products in an effort to identify scalable, sustainable, and replicable solutions. Although specific results varied across the pilots, which spanned India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Kenya, they collectively gave rise to series of important sales and distribution insights.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project. One of the key objectives of this effort was to explore how the private sector could help make HWTS products more affordable. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots in collaboration with commercial partners, the PATH team sought to better understand the effect of different pricing, consumer financing, and subsidy models on demand within low-income population in developing countries. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to evaluate to what extent market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage products by low-income populations.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - William Meehan III]

 

In 2007 a group of eight friends wanted to give. With so many charities out there, the friends wanted dot know which ones were doing the most good. This case covered the history of GiveWEll—a nonprofit dedicated to bringing greater and transparency to the world of philanthropy—and the evolution of its research methodology and philosophy for identifying outstanding charities.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - H. Irving Grousbeck]

Nuru International was founded as a social venture with the goal to eradicate extreme poverty around the world. This case follows founder and executive director, Jake Harriman, through the multiple HR challenges he must face in building his nonprofit organization.

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

Embrace was seeking an infusion of funds to support its product - a low cost infant warmer for mothers and babies in developing countries. In parallel, Acumen Fund was continuing to look for organizations with game-changing products and services in need of patient capital on their way to becoming a self-sustaining business. The potential of a financial partnership arose as did other business considerations. This case explores the persepctive of both organizations in their potential collaboration and negotiations.

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

The Wild Salmon Center was created to provide anglers access to excellent fishing in return for funding research and conservation. The case discusses the Center’s efforts to protect the pristine watersheds of the Kamchatka Peninsula by developing ecotourism to raise funds for conservation.

Resource: Academic Case

John Goldman established the South Peninsula Jewish Community Teen Foundation in 2003, an innovative program that teaches Bay Area Jewish teens to run their own charitable foundation by developing mission statements, raising money, and distributing funds. As of 2009, the program has scaled to four chapters and raised and distributed $178,321 in funds. 

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 provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the team’s primary objectives was to investigate sales and distribution challenges in this space. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots, the team hoped to test different models for improving customer access to these safe water products in an effort to identify scalable, sustainable, and replicable solutions. Although specific results varied across the pilots, which spanned India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Kenya, they collectively gave rise to series of important sales and distribution insights.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project. One of the key objectives of this effort was to explore how the private sector could help make HWTS products more affordable. By conducting a portfolio of field-based pilots in collaboration with commercial partners, the PATH team sought to better understand the effect of different pricing, consumer financing, and subsidy models on demand within low-income population in developing countries. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case provides an overview of the nonprofit organization PATH and its Safe Water Project—a five-year effort launched in late 2006 with $17 million in funding from the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the grant was to evaluate to what extent market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage products by low-income populations.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - William Meehan III]

 

In 2007 a group of eight friends wanted to give. With so many charities out there, the friends wanted dot know which ones were doing the most good. This case covered the history of GiveWEll—a nonprofit dedicated to bringing greater and transparency to the world of philanthropy—and the evolution of its research methodology and philosophy for identifying outstanding charities.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All
[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

When it comes to gift giving, most people are simply not paying enough attention to what others want says Professor Frank Flynn. They miss the boat by ignoring direct requests, wrongly assuming that going a different route will be seen as more thoughtful than something the recipient specifically requested.

Resource: Research Paper

Self-regulation is the private provision of public goods and private redistribution. This paper examines the scope of self-regulation motivated by altruistic moral preferences that are reciprocal and stronger the closer are citizens in a socioeconomic distance.

Resource: Research Paper

To determine whether profit status is associated with differences in hospital days per patient, an outcome that may also be influenced by provider financial goals.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - baron]

Social pressure plays a major role in determining corporate strategy and performance according to an award-winning paper coauthored by Professor David Baron. The researchers find that social pressure and social performance reinforce each other, greater social pressure is associated with lower financial performance, and financial and social performance are largely unrelated.

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

By treating government as a potential partner, nonprofits can find ways to put its resources to productive use.

Resource: Blog Post
[photo - Photo: Christopher J. Elias]
PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology and Health) is a nonprofit organization designed to ensure that the benefits of innovation in science and technology are available to developing countries and remotely located, low-income groups. In this audio interview, host Sheela Sethuraman speaks with Dr. Christopher Elias, president and CEO of PATH, about PATH's origins, accomplishments, and challenges.
Resource: Audio

Shouldn’t nonprofits and philanthropies be aiming for “customer satisfaction” too?

Resource: Blog Post

Nonprofits need to focus on building organizational capacity.

Resource: Blog Post
[photo - Tim Williamson]

The Idea Village was launched in New Orleans by "five guys who wanted to change the world." The more modest goal of these entrepreneurs was to revitalize the city economically--a mission that became especially important when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Tim Williamson shares how his nonprofit has been helping rebuild the devastated city economically, and the progress inspired through a powerful network of talented individuals.

Resource: Audio
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