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Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Philanthropy, Responsible Investing

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Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2011

The time is now for foundations, large and small, to engage in public policy.

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

Chris West takes a businesslike approach to philanthropy, looking for ways to leverage the assets of the Shell Foundation and its corporate parent to improve the lives of low-income people in the developing world.

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

GIVING WELL: The Ethics of Philanthropy by Patricia Illingworth, Thomas Pogge, & Leif Wenar

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

“One death is a tragedy; 1 million is a statistic,” Joseph Stalin is supposed to have said. The more people we see suffering, the less we care.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

In this Spring 2011 Prosocial Behavior Research Column, Frank Flynn explores research showing that the most generous, trusting, and helpful people are not those with more money, but, rather, those with less. Individuals in lower socio-economic classes tend to act in a more prosocial fashion because of a greater commitment to egalitarian values and heightened feelings of compassion for others. Put simply, the life stressors and challenges faced by those who struggle economically often spur greater social cooperation. Might the "haves" take a lesson from the altruism of the "have nots?"

Resource: News Article

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program is helping women in 22 countries in the developing world start and grow businesses, Dina Habib Powell, who oversees the effort told a business school audience.

Resource: News Article

If you want to give money to a good cause, how do you decide which organization to focus on amidst myriad choices? A new enterprise driven by Stanford MBAs, known as Philanthropedia, is making it easier for you to figure it out.

Resource: News Article

Taking from the rich and giving to the poor is the philosophy behind the aptly named Robin Hood Foundation, one of the most influential philanthropies today. Happily, the "takers" in this case are also the givers -- wealthy board members and others who have joined forces in one of the greatest extended campaigns of all time to significantly reduce poverty in New York City.

Resource: News Article

Chase Your Dream Skoll Advises Class of 2010 "Define your dream and chase it with as much rigor and authenticity as you can muster," entrepreneur and philanthropist Jeff Skoll advised Stanford Graduate School of Business 2010 graduates.

Resource: News Article

Peter deCourcy Hero is one of the foremost practitioners of and commentators on philanthropy today. From 1989 to 2007 he was the president and CEO of the Community Foundation Silicon Valley (CFSV) and subsequently Senior Advisor to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. A winner of numerous awards he is on the boards of several foundations. Interviewed by Wolfgang Bielfeld from the University of Bologa, Italy, he comments on the development of venture philanthropy and the new trends in philanthropy today.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

GlobalGiving’s storytelling project turns anecdotes into useful data.

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

DO MORE THAN GIVE: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World by Leslie R. Crutchfield, John V. Kania, & Mark R. Kramer

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

Foundation Source Access, the new eHarmony for family foundations, gives smaller donors access to a wide variety of innovative funding opportunities.

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

Foundations often undermine their own efforts by micromanaging how social problems are solved. Two insiders explore why foundations have developed this way and what grant makers can do to foster high impact strategies.

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

Private foundations are being idealized as neutral, efficient, and effective—but no one is actually monitoring their impact.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

The opportunity has come to reframe, rethink, re-set, and re-build some of the things we take most for granted.

Resource: Blog Post

Wealthy philanthropists are putting off making new gifts, making estates, for the first time, the source of the majority of the year’s top donations. 

Resource: Blog Post

For philanthropy to reach it’s potential, bodies of knowledge need to “jump together.”

Resource: Blog Post

The author breaks down how public funding of the arts should be put towards performance, exhibition, and education leaving the artists and their creative process to private patronage. 

Resource: Blog Post

As the economy continues to shrink, individuals will need to make a more conscious effort towards charitable giving. 

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Cameron Conaway]

In the nonprofit world, people talk about the importance of failure so often it has become cliché. Failure as a way to learn from your mistakes and improve your work. As a former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Cameron Conaway knows a lot about failure and the value of confronting fear and risk head on, literally. At the same time, Cameron also knows the importance of reflecting and pivoting to become more successful – and he has used that understanding to not only win fights but to write powerful poetry. In this podcast, Ned Breslin speaks with the MMA fighter and poet about this difficult balance and how you know when it’s time to “tap out” of the fight.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Photo: Doug McAdam]

How are engaged citizens made? In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Stanford sociology professor Doug McAdam argues that youth volunteering does not directly result in active citizens or a robust civil society. Instead, the responses to youth activism are varied and driven by historical and cultural context.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Mark Kramer]

This audio interview from the Environmental Defense Fund's Future of Green Calls covers complex interactions of the philanthropy sector, socially conscientious nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses with FSG Co-Founder Mark Kramer. Kramer outlines how corporate social responsibility (CSR) acts as a lever to minimize environmental harms done by daily business activities. Also covered are how natural resources are consumed by industries and a discussion about sustainability practices.

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
What can the for-profit market bring to K-12 education reform, and how can philanthropy help such efforts? In this audio interview with host Ashkon Jafari, Gisèle Huff, executive director of the Jaquelin Hume Foundation, discusses the foundation's investment strategy in this regard. She touches on lessons the organization has learned, and what the average citizen can do to raise American education standards.
Resource: Audio
[Video-Does Impact Investing Really Have Impact?]

Impact investing: is it actually investing? Or is it venture philanthropy by another name?

Resource: Video
[Video-Using Entrepreneurial Approaches to Solve the Problems of Global Poverty]

In turbulent times like ours, we need “hard-edged hope,” says Jacqueline Novogratz, the much-celebrated founder of the Acumen Fund. Affirming that the world is indeed a better place now than it was 40 years ago, she traces her own journey from a childhood witnessing racial inequities all around her in Detroit to a career leading the field of social impact investing. Novogratz rallies the community of Stanford business graduates to be part of the new generation of innovative problem solvers.

Resource: Video
[Video-Opportunities In Environmental Area]

How do environmental challenges create growth opportunities, new markets, and innovation? Two Goldman Sachs managers discuss how their investment firm is making the financing of corporate deals contingent upon the incorporation of increasingly stringent environmental criteria.

Resource: Video
[Video-Community Foundations]

Community foundations have become an increasingly common outlet for charitable giving in the United States. In this panel discussion, led by Julie Juergens, the director of the Center for Social Innovation, community foundation leaders discuss innovative models for foundations as well as challenges faced by this sector.

Resource: Video
[Video-Value Creation]

The nonprofit sector delivers social value and the for-profit sector delivers economic value, right? Wrong! Jed Emerson argues that value is nondivisible, whole, and blended. He invites us to think beyond philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, and other limiting mindsets.

Resource: Video
[photo - Willa Seldon]

How do we prevent collaboration from sweeping through nonprofits as a passing fad? In this discussion panel at the Nonprofit Management Institute, Willa Seldon talks with experts Carolyn Nelson and Stephanie Couch on how to avoid wasting time and effort by effectively evaluating goals and necessities before collaborating.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Cameron Conaway]

In the nonprofit world, people talk about the importance of failure so often it has become cliché. Failure as a way to learn from your mistakes and improve your work. As a former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Cameron Conaway knows a lot about failure and the value of confronting fear and risk head on, literally. At the same time, Cameron also knows the importance of reflecting and pivoting to become more successful – and he has used that understanding to not only win fights but to write powerful poetry. In this podcast, Ned Breslin speaks with the MMA fighter and poet about this difficult balance and how you know when it’s time to “tap out” of the fight.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Photo: Doug McAdam]

How are engaged citizens made? In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Stanford sociology professor Doug McAdam argues that youth volunteering does not directly result in active citizens or a robust civil society. Instead, the responses to youth activism are varied and driven by historical and cultural context.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Mark Kramer]

This audio interview from the Environmental Defense Fund's Future of Green Calls covers complex interactions of the philanthropy sector, socially conscientious nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses with FSG Co-Founder Mark Kramer. Kramer outlines how corporate social responsibility (CSR) acts as a lever to minimize environmental harms done by daily business activities. Also covered are how natural resources are consumed by industries and a discussion about sustainability practices.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Using Entrepreneurial Approaches to Solve the Problems of Global Poverty]

In turbulent times like ours, we need “hard-edged hope,” says Jacqueline Novogratz, the much-celebrated founder of the Acumen Fund. Affirming that the world is indeed a better place now than it was 40 years ago, she traces her own journey from a childhood witnessing racial inequities all around her in Detroit to a career leading the field of social impact investing. Novogratz rallies the community of Stanford business graduates to be part of the new generation of innovative problem solvers.

Resource: Video
Case Studies : All | Academic Cases
No Results Found
[photo - Jesper B. Sorensen]

Mobius Motors manufactures and sells low-cost cars in the Kenyan market. The company strives to make the cars such that they are affordable, yet still perform well on Africa’s generally poor road networks. The company has attracted a lot of attention from development and venture financiers, and has ambitious plans to expand throughout the African continent. However, Mobius’s fleet of vehicle is still currently very small, and the company faces many strategic challenges on both the demand and the supply side of the business. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Charles Holloway]

Venture capitalist Atul Kapadia was inclined to provide seed funding for Sujeet Kumar and Michael Sinkula to found Envia Systems, a lithium-ion battery company. Admittedly, Envia was little more than the founders’ vision of an affordable electric vehicle and the potential of playing in a very large market. But for Kapadia, it was precisely these two key ingredients that made Envia attractive and akin to other early-stage investments he had made at Bay Partners.

Resource: Academic Case

In 2009, software giant SAP funded an initiative that aims to reinforce the shea nut and butter value chain in Ghana. The program, which also involves microfinance organizations PlaNet Finance, Grameen Ghana and Maata-N-Tudu, uses microfinance, education, and information technology to improve the conditions of shea women. Since enrolling in the program, women have seen significant improvements in income. This case study examines program progress to date and makes recommendations for program improvements using a value chain development framework.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Robert A. Burgelman]

The Kinetics and Michael J. Fox Foundations both support research on Parkinson’s disease. This second case explores how these two organizations collaborate toward a common mission.

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
Research Papers : All
[photo - James E. Emerson]

A foundation's assets for supporting the process of social value creation should be viewed as part of the organization's overall investment strategy. This paper introduces the concept of the Unified Investment Strategy, an approach to achieving maximum social impact.

Resource: Research Paper
Courses : All
No Results Found
Innovators : All

Mark Cafferty is passionate about empowering individuals to be all they can be. He channels funds to employment and youth service programs.

Resource: CSI Affiliates

Robert Keith and Carl Palmer are restoring and protecting ecologically important properties in the West. They're earning market-rate returns for their effort.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Peter Hero]

Peter Hero has been helping philanthropists make a social impact for two decades. He's now inspiring students to get involved in social entrepreneurship.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Katherine Boas]

Katherine Boas created the Barefoot MBA curriculum with her classmate Scott Raymond while a student in the Stanford MBA program. Her ambition? To teach the world’s poorest entrepreneurs the basic business skills they need to make better decisions with their microloans.

Resource: Alumni

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

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Willa Seldon]

How do we prevent collaboration from sweeping through nonprofits as a passing fad? In this discussion panel at the Nonprofit Management Institute, Willa Seldon talks with experts Carolyn Nelson and Stephanie Couch on how to avoid wasting time and effort by effectively evaluating goals and necessities before collaborating.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Cameron Conaway]

In the nonprofit world, people talk about the importance of failure so often it has become cliché. Failure as a way to learn from your mistakes and improve your work. As a former Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Cameron Conaway knows a lot about failure and the value of confronting fear and risk head on, literally. At the same time, Cameron also knows the importance of reflecting and pivoting to become more successful – and he has used that understanding to not only win fights but to write powerful poetry. In this podcast, Ned Breslin speaks with the MMA fighter and poet about this difficult balance and how you know when it’s time to “tap out” of the fight.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Laura Arrillaga]

Arrillaga created Silicon Valley Social Venture ("SV2") in partnership with Community Foundation Silicon Valley (“CFSV”), a nationally recognized public foundation that had experience working with individual donors and had established credibility within the philanthropic field. Arrillaga formed SV2 as a donor-advised fund to ensure that CFSV staff would help guide SV2 partners leverage their expertise and funding to select high-performing community organizations, thus generating the greatest social impact. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Trae Vassallo, general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and cofounder]

For this venture capitalist, it all comes down to connecting with people – from family to coworkers to customers.

Resource: News Article
[photo - William Meehan III]

This case described the activities of Citadel Capital, a Cairo-based Emerging Markets Private Equity Fund, in Egypt during the tumultuous political environment following the Arab Spring and the country’s first democratic elections. The case focuses in particular on Citadel’s approach to investment exits and liquidation in order to realize value for investors.

Resource: Academic Case
Corner