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Center for
Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Nonprofit Management

Achieve Great Things: The Art and Science of Aspirational Narrative

Speaker(s): 
Doug Hattaway, President, Hattaway Communications
Published: April 18, 2014
[photo - Doug Hattaway]
Download  1 hour 20 minutes,
More from this series: Nonprofit Management Institute
In partnership with: Stanford Social Innovation Review

PATH and the Safe Water Project: Seeking Market-Based Solutions to Global Health

Academic Case Study by:
Stefanos Zenios, Lyn Denend, Tim Elliot
Published: 2013
[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. Over the course of the grant, PATH conducted approximately 10 pilots in four countries. In the process, the Safe Water Project team accumulated substantial insights related to user-centered design, access, and affordability (see OIT-107, OIT-108, and OIT-109 for specific lessons in each of these three areas). PATH also amassed a number of important general lessons about planning and executing pilot projects, which are expanded upon in the case.

GSB Faculty, Students and Staff only may view PDF document, authorization required.

Paper Copy: You may purchase this case from Harvard Business Publishing.

Case No: OIT106

PATH and the Safe Water Project: Making Safe Water Products More Affordable

Academic Case Study by:
Stefanos Zenios, Lyn Denend, Tim Elliott
Published: 2013
[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. 

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. Over several years, the Safe Water Project team experimented with different affordability models, including microfinance loans for water filters and a layaway program. Although specific results varied across the pilots, which spanned India, Cambodia, and Kenya, they collectively gave rise to series of important insights about the affordability of HWTS products.

GSB Faculty, Students and Staff only may view PDF document, authorization required.

Paper Copy: You may purchase this case from Harvard Business Publishing.

Case No: OIT109

PATH and the Safe Water Project: Improving Access to Safe Water Through Innovative Sales and Distribution Models

Academic Case Study by:
Stefanos Zenios, Lyn Denend, Tim Elliott
Published: 2013
[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. 

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.

GSB Faculty, Students and Staff only may view PDF document, authorization required.

Paper Copy: You may purchase this case from Harvard Business Publishing.

Case No: OIT108

PATH and the Safe Water Project: Empowering the Poor Through User-Centered Design

Academic Case Study by:
Stefanos Zenios, Lyn Denend, Tim Elliott
Published: 2013

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. Through a portfolio of field-based pilots, PATH intended to experiment with different sales and distribution strategies to improve consumer access to safe water solutions, such as water filters and chlorine-based water purification tablets. It also planned to test different pricing and consumer financing models to address the affordability of these products. However, extensive market research revealed another problem—few products in the space were both effective and designed specifically to meet the unique needs and preferences of these consumers. 

Accordingly, PATH applied for and was awarded $7 million in additional grant funding from the Gates Foundation to design a water filter product that would meet high standards of efficacy, be desirable—or aspirational—to low income consumers, and work effectively within the rural conditions where the majority of the poor resided. The PATH team would accomplish this through a process that the organization called user-centered design. 

GSB Faculty, Students and Staff only may view PDF document, authorization required.

Paper Copy: You may purchase this case from Harvard Business Publishing.

Case No: OIT107

GiveWell: Real Change for Your Dollar

Academic Case Study by:
William Meehan III, Davina Drabkin
Published: 2013
[photo - William Meehan III]

In 2007 a group of eight friends wanted to give. With so many charities out there, the friends wanted to know which ones were doing the most good. They had two basic questions: (1) what did the charitable organization do with donors’ money and (2) what evidence existed that charity’s activities were helping people? 

After conducting an exhaustive search, the group concluded that useful information to answer their questions was not publically available. Collecting the answers would be a considerable amount of work. Realizing that other individual donors might like to have the same information, the group created GiveWell, a nonprofit dedicated to doing that work and sharing all of its information publically. The organization aimed to bring greater transparency and a focus on demonstrated cost effectiveness to the world of philanthropy. Holden Karnofsky and Elie Hassenfeld, two of the friends, left their jobs to purse GiveWell full time. 

This case covers the history of GiveWell and the evolution of its research methodology and philosophy for identifying outstanding charities. It highlights the skepticism with which GiveWell’s recommendation of GiveDirectly was met as well as GiveWell’s close collaboration with the philanthropic foundation Good Ventures. With GiveWell’s research approach well established, Karnofsky and Hassenfeld’s priorities for 2013 were to grow both capacity and new opportunities: adding people to the GiveWell team, a challenge given its quick to evolve culture, and developing GiveWell Labs, a unique and promising arm of its research process.

GSB Faculty, Students and Staff only may view PDF document, authorization required.

Paper Copy: Contact case_requests@gsb.stanford.edu for availability.

Case No: SI122

Nuru International

Academic Case Study by:
H. Irving Grousbeck, Sara Rosenthal
Published: 2011
[photo - H. Irving Grousbeck]

Nuru International was founded in 2008 as a social venture with the goal to eradicate extreme poverty around the world by helping the rural poor achieve self-sufficiency. The case follows Jake Harriman, founder and executive director, through the multiple human resource challenges he must face in building his nonprofit organization. The first of four vignettes involves Kevin Newton, one of Nuru’s first employees, after his promotion to international agricultural director. In his new role, Newton become increasingly vocal and adversarial, voicing his opinions throughout the organization, and Jake must decide how to best handle the situation. The second vignette describes the poorly-handled termination of Nuru’s contract grant writer and how Jake must deal with the employee and his supervisor. Finally, an unfortunate accident leads to Jake’s absence at the company offsite resulting in two unfortunate situations. In the first, Nuru’s recently terminated director of development publicly misrepresents the circumstances leading to his dismissal to the full group of employees attending the offsite. In the second, the employees compile an overwhelming list of gripes about the company, in Jake’s absence, which he must ultimately address.

GSB Faculty, Students and Staff only may view PDF document, authorization required.

Paper Copy: You may purchase this case from Harvard Business Publishing.

Case No: E417

Acumen Fund and Embrace: From the Leading Edge of Social Venture Investing

Academic Case Study by:
William F. Meehan III, Lyn Denend
Published: 2011
[photo - William F. Meehan III]

Jane Chen (GSB 08) and Brian Trelstad (GSB 99) had known one another for years. Trelstad, the chief investment officer of the nonprofit global venture fund Acumen Fund, had been a mentor to Chen and her colleagues as they worked to develop a low cost infant warmer to meet the needs of low birth-weight babies, their mothers, and healthcare providers in developing countries. Chen, who became the chief executive officer of Embrace Global, the nonprofit founded to achieve this objective, had come to value Trelstad’s guidance and trust his advice. In late 2010, as she and her team were on the cusp getting their innovative new product to market, Chen and Trelstad’s relationship took on a new dimension. Embrace was seeking an infusion of funds to support its product launch and help the company rapidly achieve scale. In parallel, Acumen Fund was continuing to look for organizations with game-changing products and services in need of patient capital on their way to becoming self-sustaining businesses that effectively serve the poor. Suddenly, Trelstad was a potential investor and Chen was a prospective investee. As they explored the possibilities of a financial partnership, one of the key questions facing Embrace was whether or not it should consider adopting a for-profit or hybrid organization structure so it could raise more substantial funding by taking on equity investors. Acumen Fund had to think about whether or not it was interested in investing in Embrace, how to value the company, and how large a stake it might be willing to take if a deal moved forward. This case explores the situation from the perspective of both organization and can be used to support a high level negotiation between the two parties.


GSB Faculty, Students and Staff only may view PDF document, authorization required.

Paper Copy: You may purchase this case from Harvard Business Publishing.

Case No: SM191

Thinking about Talent: The Key to Successful Nonprofit Management

Speaker(s): 
Sal Giambanco, Director of Human Capital and Operations, Omidyar Network
Published: April 26, 2013
[photo - Sal Giambanco]
Download  1 hour 20 minutes, recorded 2012-09-11
More from this series: Nonprofit Management Institute
In partnership with: Stanford Social Innovation Review

Credits:

Steven Ng
Anisha Mudaliar
Zach Jenson

The Art of Collaborative Leadership: Building Networks of Interconnected Leaders

Speaker(s): 
Akaya Windwood, President, Rockwood Leadership Institute
Published: April 23, 2013
[photo - Akaya Windwood]
Download  57 minutes, recorded 2012-09-12
More from this series: Nonprofit Management Institute
In partnership with: Stanford Social Innovation Review

Credits:

Steven Ng
Anisha Mudaliar
Zach Jenson
Corner