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Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Philanthropy, Responsible Investing

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Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2009

Uhuru will manage a conventional fund of hedge funds with an attention to social values.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Scared foundations now regret hoarding their grants

Resource: Blog Post

The Peter C. Alderman Foundation uses rigorous analysis to outlast hundreds of failed nonprofits that were launched in response to 9/11.

Resource: Blog Post

As charitable causes are brought to the fore front by the release of movies like “Slumdog Millionaire,” and celebrity actions like the prospect of adopting a new white house dog, questions of how intent should impact charitable decisions arise. 

Resource: Blog Post

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

Resource: Blog Post
[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: 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
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2008

Although the donor-advised fund industry is in a high-growth phase, all boats will rise if we worry less about competing with each other and instead find ways to work together. —By Kim Wright-Violich

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

For-profit businesses can efficiently and quickly raise large amounts of money to fund growth and innovation by tapping equity capital—money that people invest in a company in return for ownership and a share of profits. The nonprofit world has no corollary, making it difficult, costly, and time-consuming to raise money. In this article the author explores ways that nonprofits and funders can create their own version of equity capital, and, just as important, develop an equity approach to doing business. —By Clara Miller

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Time to turn to fundraising fundamentals.

Resource: Blog Post

Major world leaders pledge big money to improve the lives of millions.

Resource: Blog Post

Highlights from the Clinton Global Initiative.

Resource: Blog Post

Clinton’s Global Initiative kicks off.

Resource: Blog Post

The social capital market aims to have a positive impact on the planet.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Christine Kawakami, Sally Osberg, Russ Hall]
A new generation of innovative philanthropists is helping to transform charitable giving. This panel discussion highlights the philosophy of three young, but outstanding, organizations in the strategic philanthropic field. Panelists emphasize the targeted use of wealth to address specific social challenges.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Jed Emerson]

The nonprofit sector delivers social value and the for-profit sector delivers economic value, right? Wrong! Speaking at Bridging the Gap, the 2005 Stanford Net Impact conference, Jed Emerson argues that value is non-divisible, whole, and blended. In this audio lecture, he invites us to think beyond philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, and other limiting mindsets.

Resource: Audio
[photo - James Head, Peter Hero, Richard Kiy]

Community foundations have become an increasingly common outlet for charitable giving and activities in the United States. In this panel discussion, community foundation leaders discuss innovative models for turning dollars into social change, as well as challenges faced by this important sector of philanthropy.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Atlanta Mcllwraith]
How can philanthropy mesh with a company's core strategy? In this panel discussion, executives from cutting-edge corporate donors share the various strategies used by their companies to serve societal needs. They consider issues such as the value proposition of giving for shareholders, and whether for-profits' philanthropic efforts can be purely altruistic.
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 - Scott Ullman]

In this audio lecture, Scott Ullman walks his audience of nonprofit executives gathered at the 2007 Nonprofit Boot Camp through the steps of planning a fundraising campaign, including how to integrate fundraising into the day-to-day activities of a nonprofit organization. This program is geared to people who have never undertaken a fundraising plan before, but offers great advice for anyone looking to sharpen their strategy.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Graham Sinclair, Mike Dorsey, Lila Preston, Devin Zeller]

For years, many believed that socially responsible investments could simply not hold up to traditional investments. In this panel discussion from the Stanford 2005 Net Impact Conference, organized by the Stanford Business School, social capital market experts dispel the myths associated with socially responsible investing, and look toward the future of what is to come as more and more funds offer social choices.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Christine Kawakami, Sally Osberg, Russ Hall]
A new generation of innovative philanthropists is helping to transform charitable giving. This panel discussion highlights the philosophy of three young, but outstanding, organizations in the strategic philanthropic field. Panelists emphasize the targeted use of wealth to address specific social challenges.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Jed Emerson]

The nonprofit sector delivers social value and the for-profit sector delivers economic value, right? Wrong! Speaking at Bridging the Gap, the 2005 Stanford Net Impact conference, Jed Emerson argues that value is non-divisible, whole, and blended. In this audio lecture, he invites us to think beyond philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, and other limiting mindsets.

Resource: Audio
[photo - James Head, Peter Hero, Richard Kiy]

Community foundations have become an increasingly common outlet for charitable giving and activities in the United States. In this panel discussion, community foundation leaders discuss innovative models for turning dollars into social change, as well as challenges faced by this important sector of philanthropy.

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

Allied Equity Partners provided equity-related financing to minority-owned businesses. The principals knew they had to rethink their strategy to raise capital of $80 million for its third and largest fund.

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

In 2005, Robin Hood was the largest private poverty-fighting organization in New York City, and its venture philanthropy model had inspired various foundations nationwide. The management team hoped to have an even greater impact by improving the application of best practices and metrics.

Resource: Academic Case

In December 2000, New Schools Venture Fund was debating the role it should play in helping a for-profit investee, LearnNow, attract new capital. Should New Schools, a public charity seeking to improve K-12 education, be investing in for-profit ventures?

Resource: Academic Case

In December 2000, New Schools Venture Fund was debating whether, as a public charity seeking to improve K-12 education, it should be investing in for-profit ventures. Part B of the case provides an update on how New Schools Venture Fund is approaching these questions.

Resource: Academic Case

How does one think systematically about innovations in philanthropy? Innovations explored include endeavors such as the professional foundation and federated community campaigns, as well as modern innovations such as charitable giving funds, e-philanthropy, and venture philanthropy.

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
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

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

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review 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

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
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