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By focusing and improving how they treat their donors, nonprofits will find a higher giving retention rate. Fundraising is a critical part of a nonprofit’s business, and charities need to move beyond business as usual, stop treating givers as automated teller machines, and recognize that a worthy mission and success in addressing social problems are not enough to attract and retain givers.

Resource: Blog Post

Rosetta Thurman interviews Lindsey McDougle, a doctoral student at the University of San Diego pursuing a degree in Leadership Studies with a specialization in Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies. McDougle discusses what she has learned from her consulting work in the nonprofit sector: just like in the for-profit sector, leadership, strategy, and accountability are elements that all organizations, regardless of sectoral affiliation, must value. Nonprofit organizations often provide the services and goods to those most in need. Without effective leadership, deliberate strategy, and sound accountability, nonprofits run the risk of not only damaging public image of the sector, but also of letting down those who most rely on, and need, their services.

Resource: Blog Post

Grassroots nonprofits get top votes for best environmental nonprofits, according to GreatNonprofits’ 2009 Green Choice Awards.  The contest, held during Earth Month in April, asked people to submit reviews and ratings about environmental nonprofits.  The results provide surprising insights into the kinds of organizations that are considered effective by volunteers, donors and stakeholders.

Resource: Blog Post
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2009

To propel young folks to the polls, a political organization mixed Web 2.0 tools with social science savvy. —By Lee Bruno

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

We must actively withhold support when we see the government acting in a way counter to our ideals and its own. Those of us who supported the President’s election because we share his basic principles and values should express that support by remaining independent and criticizing when necessary, rather than by becoming supplicants to or apologists for the people we put in office.  That’s an idea relevant to each and all of us as citizens.

Resource: Blog Post
[photo - New Technology]

For a d.School course called “Design for Extreme Affordability,” Jane Chen and three of her classmates developed a low-cost baby incubator tailored to the needs of the developing world. That incubator—a reusable heating pouch—became the Embrace Infant Warmer, and ultimately launched Embrace and Embrace Innovations, a joint social enterprise promoting child and maternal health across the globe. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Jake Harriman]

Jake Harriman,'08, explains how rejecting conventional wisdom about financing a nonprofit helped him turn his vision into a real intervention.

Resource: News Article
[photo - What Makes a Happy vs. Meaningful Life?]

Professor Frank Flynn looks at the difference between “happiness” and “meaning” in life –– and how these two concepts relate to being prosocial.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Businesses Impact Social Policy]

New research explores the impact of gay-owned businesses on anti-discrimination laws.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Joshua Rauh]

The symposium was the culmination of massive open online course about retirement and pensions.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2007

When hiring executives, many nonprofits should seek marketing expertise.

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

What nonprofits and donors can learn from the closing of a venture philanthropy firm. By Paul Shoemaker

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

Twenty great leaders on strategic corporate philanthropy.  Review by Regina Starr Ridley

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

Why the powerful have a hard time taking other people’s perspectives.

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

With a new approach to capitalism, writes Peter Barnes, we could simultaneously protect natural resources, reduce poverty, and make everyone substantially richer.  Review by David Vogel

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Mario Morino, chairman of Venture Philanthropy Partners, opines that nothing is more important for the long-term strength of our nation than driving greater levels of innovation across and between all sectors of our economy—for-profit, nonprofit, and public.  Expounding on an colleague's anecdote that innovation is like a coral reef, Morino connects the metaphor to the dot.com boom in Silicon Valley as an example of a healthy innovation ecosystem.  The solution for long-term social and economic success in America lies in a national strategy of combined efforts across all regions, disciplines and walks of life—similar to the combined efforts needed to create a coral reef.

Resource: Blog Post

Many nonprofits may be reluctant to play an advocacy role because they believe they lack the resources or know-how, or because they fear they might put their foundation, corporate or public funding at risk.  But advocacy work can make a big difference in shaping the public policies that affect nonprofits and their clients.  Recent research shows investment in nonprofit advocacy and community organizing yields a big return in benefits for underrepresented constituencies.

Resource: Blog Post

Fundraising professionals play instrumental roles at nonprofit organizations but get less pay and support than they need and deserve.  The way a charity’s fundraising staff treats donors is more important than any other factor in determining whether givers give to a particular charity, according to Adrian Sargeant, Robert F. Hartsook Professor of Fundraising at the Center on Philanthropy.  So if they expect to be more successful in their fundraising, nonprofits will need to increase their investment in fundraising, particularly in paying and supporting the work of their fundraisers and closing the pay gap between men and women.

Resource: Blog Post

“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
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[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 - David Bornstein]

David Bornstein is a leading expert on the global rise of "social entrepreneurism." In this audio interview, Globeshakers host Tim Zak asks how we would know a social entrepreneur if we saw one on the street. More important, why should we care? Who invests in social enterprise and what is at stake for our world if we don't?

Resource: Audio
[photo - Ethan Zuckerman]

As a technologist, Ethan Zuckerman has spent much time working with the new generation of African entrepreneurs, programmers, organizers, and young people who are hooking up their continent to the web. In an audio interview with Globeshakers host Tim Zak, Zuckerman explains how these new netizens are changing the way villagers and urban dwellers learn, organize, network, and face the challenges of poverty, AIDS, political strife, and making a living.

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
[photo - Ayn Lavagnino]

Why should professionals care about the environment? In this panel discussion, executives from environmentally conscious companies talk about their strategies to market clean products and share their personal motivation for working on environmental issues.

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-Leadership in the War Against Extreme Poverty]

Stanford GSB alum ('08) founded Nuru International to maximize local leadership to drive sustainable change.

Resource: Video
[Video-Unleashing Green Chemistry: A Societal Need and Business Opportunity]

A panel on the the importance of mainstreaming and investing in green chemistry for the future of energy and the environment.

Resource: Video
[Video-Jane Chen: Crazy Enough to Change the World?]

Jane Chen (MBA '08) shares her journey to success in tackling one of the world's pressing issues -- low birth rates of premature babies around the world.

Resource: Video
[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
[photo - Peter Eigen]

Many countries that should be thriving are dragged into poverty and strife by the burden of corruption. The loss goes far beyond the sums that change hands dishonestly; the true price must take the ensuing opportunity costs into account. In this audio lecture, Peter Eigen describes strategies that can be used by companies, governments, and citizens to break the cycle of corruption and lift themselves to more efficient, fair, and honest dealings.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Resource Scarcity Will Force Change]

A new era of global environmental threats is changing the work of the world’s largest conservation organization. World Wildlife Fund President and CEO Carter Roberts describes how the organization is changing.

Resource: Video
[photo - Amory Lovins]

In this audio lecture, Amory Lovins demonstrates the value of the "whole system optimization approach" to energy efficiency in the industrial sector. He provides examples of system designs and integration that produce the greatest savings, efficiencies, and optimization.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Amory Lovins]

Where do you save the most energy and capital costs? In this audio lecture, Amory Lovins challenges Industry leaders to consider a different approach for systems analysis, and identifies four target areas where the greatest savings are to be found.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Amory Lovins]

In this audio lecture, Amory Lovins discusses conservation and efficiency strategies that enable industry to eliminate waste, achieve cost savings, lower capital outlays, identify additional capacity, and increase profit. A simple commitment to new energy policies, combined with innovative design strategies and the implementation of cheaper, more powerful, and readily available technologies can provide manufacturing enterprises with a wide array of material and financial benefits.

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 - 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 - Hau Lee]

Before opening its first store in India in 1996, McDonald’s spent six years building its supply chain. During that time, the company worked to successfully source as many ingredients as possible from India. However, French fries (“MacFries”) were a particularly tough product to source locally.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Glenn Carroll]

The case discusses Nike’s sustainability and labor practices from 1998 to 2013, focusing on the successful steps Nike took up and down the supply chain and in its headquarters to make its products and processes more environmentally friendly, and the challenges and complexities it was still facing in its efforts to improve labor conditions.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - PATH]

In late 2006, the PATH Safe Water Project received a $17 million grant form the global development unit of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its purpose was to evaluate how market-based approaches could help accelerate the widespread adoption and sustained use of household water treatment and safe storage (HWTS) products among the world's poor. One key factor to consider in constructing its pilot studies was the affordability of HWTS products. This case study describes PATH's efforts to use consumer financing as a mechanism for making HWTS produce and supplies more accessible to its target market. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - CycleBeads]

To help address the issue of unplanned pregnancy and maternal mortality in the developing world, researches at the University of Georgetown's Institute for Reproductive Health (IRH) recognized the need for a intuitive, natural contraception method that could meet the needs of families that chose not to use medical or surgical alternatives. IRH developed the Standard Days Method (SDM), a family planning system, and CycleBeads. Despite some reservations related to traditional values, IRH seized the opportunity to roll out sDM and CycleBeads in Mali, West Africa. Unfortunately, the initial launch did not go well and had trouble establishing effective delivery and support for the product. This case looks at how IRH adapted its approach to facilitate more effective implementation of CycleBeads across Mali. 

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - d.light]

d.light design is a for-profit social enterprise whose purpose is to create new freedoms for customers without access to reliable power so they can enjoy a brighter future. When members of d.light moved to India to set up distribution of their product, the team quickly discovered would not be as easy as they hoped. They discovered it would be difficult to convince consumers to invest in a d.light product as the market was saturated with low-quality, solar-based lighting products. Distribution posed another challenge. This mini-case study evaluates the strategy d.light adopted to differentiate the company and establish its products as credible and trustworthy to earn the acceptance of consumers and distributors. 

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 - 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
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
[photo - Flu Shot Reminder on Calendar]

Seasonal influenza leads to >200,000 hospitalizations and >8,000 deaths in the United States each year. The influenza vaccine is widely available at low cost and reduces mortality, morbidity, and healthcare costs. Nevertheless, many of those for whom vaccination is indicated fail to comply with CDC recommendations for vaccination. If low compliance is the result of careful calculations by individuals weighing the costs and benefits of vaccination, it may be difficult and expensive for policymakers and organizational leaders to increase vaccination rates. However, if low compliance is the result of forgetfulness or procrastination, low-cost interventions that use psychological tools may be effective at increasing vaccination rates and improving public health.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Collaborative Filtering of Medication Lists]

Evidence suggests that the medication lists of patients are often incomplete and could negatively affect patient outcomes. By predicting drugs the patient could be taking, collaborative filtering can be a valuable tool for reconciling medication lists.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Medical Expenses on tax form]

Workers who earn just below the Social Security tax threshold receive a larger tax preference for health insurance than workers who earn just above it.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - vertical integration & Medicare Reimbursement]

Health care providers may vertically integrate not only to facilitate coordination of care, but also for strategic reasons that may not be in patients’ best interests.

Resource: Research Paper
Courses : All

The two-quarter Elective Course series provides lectures from a diverse group of faculty that expose students to the practical aspects of technology invention and development. The class features a presentation or discussion from one of the guest speakers or faculty. Students work in small project teams in the Biodesign prototyping lab or bench space, collaborating with the fellows of the program.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Jennifer Aaker]

The goal of this seminar is to investigate how social technology (e.g., blogs, websites, podcasts, widgets, community groups, social network feeds) can change attitudes and behaviors in ways that cultivate social change. We study the strategies and tactics used by companies and causes that have successfully catalyzed social persuasion.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Robert Burgelman]

This seminar helps participants develop strategically informed action plans that are imaginative, inspiring, and workable in highly dynamic environments. Through informed debate and the writing and presentation of position papers, participants evaluate and hone their views on the seminar's critical themes.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Rick Aubry]

This course focuses on the efforts of private citizens to create effective responses to social needs and innovative solutions to social problems. It equips students with frameworks and tools that will help them be more effective as a social entrepreneur.

Resource: MBA Course
[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
[photo - Kate Surman]

Kate Surman, MBA '04, Administrative Director of Strategic Operations, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, discusses how she has leveraged the Public Management and Social Innovation certificate to take her career into a new direction.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Farm to Cup - Root Capital Lending]

A grassroots student effort led by Caroline Mullen, MBA ’12, Catha Mullen, MBA ’13, and Monica Lewis, MBA ’12, now has even more impact through a merger with Pachamama Coffee Cooperative.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Robyn Beavers]

Leading a Social Innovation Study Trip lands Robyn Beavers, MBA '10, in a new industry.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Jeremy Sokulsky]

Jeremy Sokulsky, MBA '04, President, Environmental Incentives, discusses how he's drawing upon the tools and training he received from the GSB to help make a difference.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Ashanthi Mathai]

Vision care is something that is practically taken for granted in the United States, but that’s not the case throughout much of the world. Some 300 million around the globe suffer from correctable vision loss, leading, as Ashanthi Mathai, MBA '04, says, “to people accepting their vision impairment and adjusting their lives around it.” The result? A lower quality of life, restricted job options, and even further economic distress.


 

Resource: Alumni
Good education should be a right, not a privilege. So says Piyush Mangukiya, founder of EducateNCare.com, an innovative online tutoring program for students. In this audio interview, Mangukiya speaks with host Ashkon Jafari about how this unique enterprise is bettering the lives of children around the world through quality education and assistance.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Marcia McNutt]

The 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill was one of the most disastrous and costly environmental sustainability crises on the planet. How were cultures affected, how were decisions made to address the situation, and what leadership lessons can be drawn from this unprecedented event? In this university podcast, expert Marcia McNutt offers her insights. The event, part of the Von Gugelberg Memorial Lecture on the Environment, was hosted by the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Photo: Professor Matthew E. Kahn]
Increasing energy consumption poses a serious threat to environmental sustainability. In this university podcast, delivered at the Stanford Climate Policy Instruments in the Real World conference, UCLA professor Matt Kahn reflects on what heat waves and increased natural disaster risk may do to households, landowners, and the general economic climate.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Hau Lee]

Mountain Hazelnut Venture Limited was founded with economic, social, and environemental objectives. It planned to distribute young hazelnut plants at no charge to a large number of subsistence farmers in Bhutan; it was also the first 100 percent foreign direct investment company in Bhutan. This is an example of supply chain management, environment, and entrepreneurship in developing economies. 

Resource: Academic Case
[Video-DC2VC Panel Discussion ]

Government representatives and venture capitalists came together to hear Stanford student teams speak about the barriers that routinely prevent healthcare innovations from getting to market.

Resource: Video
Corner