There is a sobering reality, a side to scaling that we too frequently avoid: with each upward ratchet in size, as a nonprofit expands facilities and hires more employees, it also increases the amount of money it must raise each year simply to maintain its operations. And if it can't do this, it can no longer build scale.
Posted: 7/1/2014 11:57:17 AM by
As the clock runs down for the Obama Administration, now is the time for it to put more muscle behind its efforts to fund "what works" for social benefit.
Posted: 5/29/2014 9:28:24 PM by
The transformative scale webinar hosted by Stanford Social Innovation Review on April 29 came to a close before BRAC's Susan Davis, Year Up's Gerald Chertavian, and Bridgespan's Jeff Bradach could answer all the participants' questions. Here, Bradach and Bridgespan Consultant Abe Grindle answer several of the more broadly applicable questions.
Posted: 5/5/2014 1:38:29 PM by
In the nonprofit sector as well the for-profit world, innovation is a hot topic and is recognized as a powerful force for good. Unfortunately, we in the nonprofit world can’t seem to agree on just what innovation is, and because of that, we’re mystifyingly irresolute about whether evidence is innovation’s friend or foe.
Posted: 4/17/2014 12:26:49 PM by
There’s a quicker path to transformative scale that doesn’t hinge on the actions of government or business. It focuses on a dramatically under-utilized asset in the social sector: the people we are in business to serve.
Posted: 4/10/2014 11:28:51 AM by
Instead of founding an organization, could you create social, economic, or environmental impact by collaborating—plugging into another founder’s proven approach and taking it to scale? It’s a question that social innovators should be asking. The nonprofit leaders whose stories we’ve published this past month in the series Mergers That Make a Difference show that collaboration does take courage and can be worth the initial pain.
Posted: 3/31/2014 1:25:16 PM by
Katie Smith Milway
In 2010, three public charter schools in Cleveland came together to create Breakthrough Charter Schools. The merger wasn't motived by financial distress nor by academic underperformance. They came together voluntarily in the hopes of increasing their impact. Their story illustrates that the possibility of coming together can be explored with modest risk, provided that organizations have the time, resources, and foresight to follow a thoughtful process.
Posted: 3/31/2014 9:51:40 AM by
Match Education's CEO Stig Leschly runs a “tiny,” highly innovative organization with stellar charter school and teacher training results. Now he’s trying to figure out how best to spread Match’s knowledge far and wide. This is the new frontier for scaling what works.
Posted: 3/27/2014 3:27:25 PM by
Although in recent years the concept of "Congressional leadership" has become questionable, to say the least, our representatives in Washington proved with their additional budget for the SIF in January that the term is not a complete oxymoron.
Posted: 3/27/2014 11:41:15 AM by
There's no room for egos in nonprofit mergers, says AIDS Action Committee's Rebecca Haag. Instead of thinking "How does the merger affect me?" nonprofits should ask "How does this enhance our nonprofits ability to meet its mission?"
Posted: 3/27/2014 6:00:16 AM by
There seems to be a prevailing belief in the nonprofit sector that you can merge the cultures of partnering organizations. But Oakland East Bay Symphony's Steven Payne disagrees. The three organizations that merged to create the Symphony approached their partnership as a new organization, and in doing so, is creating a new culture in the process.
Posted: 3/25/2014 6:05:24 AM by
Nonprofit mergers—and the preparation for them through due diligence—aren’t only about paying attention to finances and other back office functions. They also require what Good Shepherd Services calls "cultural due diligence": spending the time, energy, and money to carefully plan how to incorporate staff from acquired entities into Good Shepherd's culture.
Posted: 3/20/2014 5:51:22 AM by
Rebranding a merged nonprofit is a far greater challenge than most realize, says Linda Johanek, CEO of the Domestic Violence & Child Advocacy Center. Here's how her organization is enduring the short-term pain of a rebrand to realize the long-term benefits of a merger.
Posted: 3/18/2014 5:33:34 AM by
Serena Powell, the executive director of Community Work Services, a workforce development nonprofit, shares how her organization is doing just four months after a merger with Fedcap Rehabilitiation Services. So far, her organization has gotten all it hoped for, and more.
Posted: 3/13/2014 6:03:53 AM by
Must we pick between scaling what works and collective impact? It seems a false choice. Indeed, the greatest impact for society may come from weaving the two together, creating platforms for facilitating local action that incorporates and builds on the best of what's been proven elsewhere.
Posted: 3/12/2014 9:28:53 AM by