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

Center for
Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Philanthropy, Responsible Investing

Search Resources:

Research Resources


Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2008

Matching grants work – but not for everyone.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

How do nonprofit networks work, and what does it mean for foundation funding?

Resource: Blog Post

Ditch the statistics—to fundraise more effectively use story.

Resource: Blog Post

You can only create what you imagine.

Resource: Blog Post
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2008

How Changemakers’ “collaborative competitions” harness the wisdom of crowds. By Leslie Berger

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
[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 - Gratitude]

Expressions of gratitude motivate others’ prosocial behavior. When people are thanked for their efforts, they experience stronger feelings of social worth, which inspires them to engage in further helpful acts. In short, gratitude proves to be the gift that keeps on giving because it makes others feel valued.

Resource: News Article

Social entrepreneurs, those organizations and individuals who work to improve major social issues, don't have the networks and financial systems of traditional entrepreneurs, Sally Osberg, president of the Skoll Foundation told a Stanford MBA audience. Like Ginger Rogers dancing in a 1940's musical, they face the same issues as traditional entrepreneurs, but must do it backwards in high heels.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Rupert Scofield]

Social enterprises hold potential to "effect the kinds of changes our society needs right now," social entrepreneur Rupert Scofield told a Stanford student audience.

Resource: News 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
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2004

Accreditation prompts higher charitable giving.

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

Nonprofits use metrics to show that they are efficient. But what if donors don’t care?

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

Where the charitable response to 9/11 went wrong.

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

Waste, failure, and Bosnia’s lessons for Iraq.

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

When nonprofits earn taxable income, private donors give less.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Questions about how the Moore Foundation operates.

Resource: Blog Post

What’s the role of foundations in public policy?

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Jacob Lief]

By a simple twist of fate, Jacob Leif found himself in post-apartheid South Africa, staring at a big paradoxical break in philanthropy - success was measured in numbers instead of long-term impact. While working at a local school, he found that supplies of books, computers, and daily lunches for the school children were plentiful. However, once the supporting nonprofit left after the funding cycle finished, the school returned right back to where it started. Lief decided to found Ubuntu Education Fund, an organization that works to support children living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In this episode of The Social Disruptors, Ned Breslin and Jacob Lief discuss the struggles of funding for long-term sustainable impact within the current philanthropic system of 12-month grant cycles.

Resource: Audio
[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
[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 - Jacob Lief]

By a simple twist of fate, Jacob Leif found himself in post-apartheid South Africa, staring at a big paradoxical break in philanthropy - success was measured in numbers instead of long-term impact. While working at a local school, he found that supplies of books, computers, and daily lunches for the school children were plentiful. However, once the supporting nonprofit left after the funding cycle finished, the school returned right back to where it started. Lief decided to found Ubuntu Education Fund, an organization that works to support children living in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. In this episode of The Social Disruptors, Ned Breslin and Jacob Lief discuss the struggles of funding for long-term sustainable impact within the current philanthropic system of 12-month grant cycles.

Resource: Audio
[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
Case Studies : All | Academic Cases
No Results Found
[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 - 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
[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

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
[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 - 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
[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
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 - Roger Coates]

Roger is currently starting an investment partnership for affordable housing in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Jacqueline Novogratz]

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.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen]

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen explains how to make your giving matter more.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Brian Cox]

The poorest regions of the world pose high risks for microfinance. Brian Cox, President of MFX Solutions, discusses how currency risk education can increase the flow of resources to Africa and other high-risk regions.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Daryn Dodson]

Daryn Dodson is passionate about identifying and developing leaders with a social conscience. He has turned that passion into action by promoting entrepreneurship in post-Katrina New Orleans and in his current impact investment consulting role.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Laura Arrillaga]
Venture philanthropy and other new products and trends indicate that philanthropy has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. Donors are younger than ever before and foundations have become increasingly professionalized. In this audio interview, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, philanthropy expert Peter Hero interviews Laura Arrillaga, a leader in Silicon Valley, about developments that are now making philanthropy a powerhouse for social change.
Resource: Audio
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2008

Just do it—later.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2008

One foundation’s approach to maximum impact. —By Kevin Starr

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2008

Using TV as an engine for giving.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2008

Social entrepreneurship and social enterprise have become popular rallying points for those trying to improve the world. These two notions are positive ones, but neither is adequate when it comes to understanding and creating social change in all of its manifestations. The authors make the case that social innovation is a better vehicle for doing this. They also explain why most of today’s innovative social solutions cut across the traditional boundaries separating nonprofits, government, and for-profit businesses.    —By James A. Phills Jr., Kriss Deiglmeier, & Dale T. Miller

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Corner