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Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Philanthropy, Responsible Investing

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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

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

Gates Foundation CEO Jeff Raikes has taken a circuitous path to lead one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations. He started out on the farm then fell in love with software development. As his father advised, he’s flexible.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Professor Jim Phills]

The wealth generated by the dot-com boom of the 1990s produced a new generation of philanthropists, determined to use their capital and their business savvy to solve social problems. A decade later, have they transformed the world of philanthropy?

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
[photo - environmental investment can pay dividends says Mark Tercek]

There are “huge opportunities for companies and other private sector players in the environmental area,” said Mark Tercek, an investment banker who spent the past 24 years at global giant Goldman Sachs. “We’re off to the races there."

Resource: News Article
[photo - Kathleen McCarthy]

Many believe the foundation sector is on the cusp of a golden age. Baby boomers will soon inherit a tremendous amount of wealth and will be able to start to seriously give away their money. But even with this rosy picture, Kathleen McCarthy, director of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy at the City University of New York, says the future of foundations is less secure than most people think.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

According to recent research, people tend to perceive organizations as being either warm or competent, not both—and they are much more likely to do business with the competent one.

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

"The more money a person makes or has, the less generous, helpful, compassionate, and charitable he is toward other people,” says Paul Piff, a doctoral candidate in social and personality psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

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

GIVE SMART: Philanthropy That Gets Results by Tom Tierney & Joel L. Fleishman

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

Impact Investors at Toniic aim to create an ecosystem for impact investing that mirrors the Silicon Valley way of doing deals. They know relationships are the key to keeping money moving.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2010

Grantmaking initiatives often fail when the foundation remains isolated from its grantees and the communities they both serve. To remedy this problem, grantmakers must work more closely with their grantees, community leaders, and other important stakeholders. This engagement helps everyone involved gain a deeper understanding of the problems they are tackling, create new and better solutions, and build more effective organizations

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Recent surveys on giving by corporations and high-net-worth individuals look promising for the nonprofit sector. The author submits how to best obtain these resources in a competitive fundraising environment. 

Resource: Blog Post

Nonprofits should indeed be pushing the incoming administration for a greater voice in helping to shape the policies that affect nonprofits and the communities they serve. But the conversation needs to include the voice of smaller nonprofits, not just large organizations.

Resource: Blog Post

Mergers may require their own specific funding. The author recommends various sources for such funding.

Resource: Blog Post

In a chilly fundraising environment, recruit more volunteers.

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

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
Want to make sure American schoolchildren have enough pencils for a poetry writing unit, violins for a school recital, or microscope slides for a biology class? Go to DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that makes it easy to support any classroom project request nationwide. In this audio interview with host Ashkon Jafari, CEO Charles Best talks about the organization's humble beginnings, its use of cross-sector collaboration, its current initiatives, and the impact it is having in America's classrooms.
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

What if you could influence people to act on their best intentions? Professor Jennifer Aaker has spent most of her career researching the science of getting people to do the right thing.

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
[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
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

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
Want to make sure American schoolchildren have enough pencils for a poetry writing unit, violins for a school recital, or microscope slides for a biology class? Go to DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that makes it easy to support any classroom project request nationwide. In this audio interview with host Ashkon Jafari, CEO Charles Best talks about the organization's humble beginnings, its use of cross-sector collaboration, its current initiatives, and the impact it is having in America's classrooms.
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
No Results Found
[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 - Robert A. Burgelman]

The Kinetics and Michael J. Fox Foundations both support research on Parkinson’s disease. This first case describes the creation, mission, and strategy of the two organizations.

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 - William F. Meehan III]

The Acumen Fund provides modest amounts of capital, combined with business expertise, to help build enterprises that would serve the poor. The case describes the fund’s approach to helping address water resource problems in developing countries.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - George Foster]

The Canary Fund supports the development of methods for early cancer detection. This first case describes the choice to sponsor a high-profile racing event to raise funding and awareness.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All

Young companies trying to enter parts of the health care industry by focusing on helping patients stay healthy and allowing safety net providers to use their resources have a hard time attracting venture capital funds that focus more on traditional profit. A recent article by two Stanford Graduate School of Business researchers argues that it's time to change this pattern. 

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

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
[photo - James E. Emerson]

This study presents fundamental concepts of markets, capital markets, and social capital markets. It also highlights select initiatives underway in early 2007 that sought to improve the functioning of social capital markets.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - James E. Emerson]

This essay explores how the lines are blurring between for-profit businesses and nonprofits that do social good. It outlines examples of companies that embody "blended value" and discusses barriers to sustainable capitalism, and the role of philanthropy in supporting it.

Resource: Research Paper
Courses : All
No Results Found
Innovators : All
[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 - Josh Becker]

Josh Becker combines private, public, and government-sector solutions in addressing big social challenges. His focus is innovation.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - William Meehan III]

This case updates the activities of Citadel Capital, a Cairo-based Emerging Markets Private Equity Fund, in light of ongoing political uncertainty in Egypt and the MENA region.

Resource: Academic Case

The Global Environment Fund (GEF) is a private equity fund focused on investments in environmental and energy solutions in both developed and developing markets. The case recounts two previous GEF investments in emerging markets, a South African forestry company and a Southeast Asian waste management business, as examples of successful management strategies for creating value in emerging markets.

Resource: Academic Case

This case describes the formation and operation of Leopard Capital, a “Frontier Market Private Equity Fund” from its establishment in 2007 up through the end of 2012. The case focuses on the fund’s founder, Douglas Clayton, and his history doing business in Asia and what led him to the decision to start Leopard Capital as a Cambodia- focused private equity fund, and later to expand into other frontier markets such as Mynmar, Mongolia, and Haiti. 

Resource: Academic Case
[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
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