Blogs

Letter to Congress on the SIF: Learn Before You Leap

In recent weeks, the Appropriations Committees of both houses of Congress have "zeroed out" the Social Innovation Fund (SIF) despite the publication of net-positive assessment of the program and the assignment of a new high-powered director to the program. Paul Carttar's letter to congress aims to interpret these disparate signs and calls upon Congress to allow current grantees to complete the programs they’re implementing on its behalf and enable SIF management to accelerate and expand its knowledge-dissemination activities.

Posted: 8/5/2015 11:01:49 AM by Carole Matthews

Two Basic Truths of Investing for Social Impact

If we are to achieve the full potential of investing for social impact, first we need to agree on what to call it. And once we've settled on that, we must help organizations strengthen their core activities—programs, products, or services—that actually cause positive social outcomes and develop sound financial models with the most sustainable revenue sources.

Posted: 5/13/2015 7:01:37 PM by Jeanette Hafke

How a Service Provider Can Elevate the Performance of a Field

The nation's 1.5 million nonprofits are a highly diverse group, yet they share many of the same operational challenges: how to raise money, build a sustainable revenue model, grow to the next level, provide talent development and leadership succession, or develop a top-notch board.

Nonprofits typically address these issues by seeking one-on-one advice, an inefficient use of scarce resources. Rather than reinvent the wheel thousands of times a year as one of these core issues comes up, there's a huge opportunity for a service provider to create very low cost repeatable processes and supports with broad application to the nonprofit sector. 

Posted: 4/14/2015 10:46:45 PM by The Bridgespan Group

The Little NGO that Roared

Splash, an international charity dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to children living in urban poverty, is on a mission: to become obsolete in the countries where it works. And working with local partners--like NGOs, governments, and businesses--will help them get there. 

Posted: 3/18/2015 6:31:34 AM by The Bridgespan Group

Paying Attention to the Performance Imperative

"The Performance Imperative: A Framework for Social Sector Excellence," provides a common definition of "high performance" for nonprofit organizations and specifies seven key pillars that are essential to achieving it.

Posted: 3/4/2015 10:51:52 AM by Chris Lindquist

Are Management Tools a Missing Link Between Aspiration and Action?

The abundance of resources available to help leaders improve their organizations' performance includes a wide variety of management tools—practices, activities, or processes ranging from analytical devices such as donor segmentation or organizational diagnostics to elaborate processes such as strategic planning or constituent engagement.

Posted: 2/3/2015 10:24:24 PM by Jeanette Hafke

Can Venture Philanthropy Help Drive Government Innovation?

In this short video, Paul Carttar offer perspectives on the importance of private investors and social entrepreneurs in driving innovation and improvement, even where the default assumption is that the public sector has responsibility for delivering key social programs and services.

Posted: 1/17/2015 12:00:00 AM by Jeanette Hafke

Message to the US: We're Not Alone on Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The world seems astonishingly aligned in embracing the power of social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Posted: 12/18/2014 12:00:00 AM by Jeanette Hafke

Nonprofit Collaborations Webinar 2014

Nonprofit Collaborations: What CEOs & Funders Say Works—and Doesn't (Our view-on-demand webinar and related presentation)

Posted: 12/10/2014 9:23:26 PM by Chris Lindquist

Fulfilling the Promise of Innovation Labs

How can innovation labs reach their full potential to solve some of the world’s most vexing social problems? In this final post from our Innovation Lab series, authors Amira Bliss and Nidhi Sahni note three key milestones that innovations labs and sector leaders must achieve in the coming years: moving from anecdotes to evidence, embedding labs in the communities they serve, and shifting minds in order to shift behavior.

Posted: 12/10/2014 11:24:12 AM by Chris Lindquist

Questions from the Front Lines of Transformative Scale

Here are the five most frequent questions Jeff Bradach has received over the past year about transformative scale--and his initial thoughts on what their answers may be.

Posted: 12/4/2014 8:00:00 AM by The Bridgespan Group

Unlocking Hidden Creativity through Innovation Labs

The Rockefeller Foundation teamed up with Stanford ChangeLabs to work with a diverse group of more than 100 Peruvians to develop ideas for preserving and strengthening the country's declining coastal fishing economy.

Posted: 12/3/2014 10:00:00 AM by Jeanette Hafke

Jobs for Disconnected Youth and Talent for Suppliers

The Rockefeller Foundation, Starbucks and LeadersUp, a nonprofit Starbucks helped found, used an innovation lab to conceive of a new kind of talent pipeline. It’s one that connects millions of young people not in school and not working to train and fill entry-to-advance-level positions gone begging for skilled workers, starting with openings at Starbucks’ 18,000 suppliers.

Posted: 12/2/2014 10:00:00 AM by Jeanette Hafke

Shifting the Focus from Prototyping Techniques to a Prototyping Mindset

The notion of prototyping—mocking up ideas to learn and to adjust for what actually works—has gained credence as an indispensable approach to strategy creation. But I worry that all the buzz around prototyping can lead to a false promise: that using a prescribed set of prototyping techniques will guarantee social innovation as an outcome.

Posted: 11/25/2014 3:25:29 PM by Jeanette Hafke

Innovation Lab Video Library

A collection of videos related to innovation labs

Posted: 11/24/2014 8:49:08 PM by Chris Lindquist
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