As we start a new year, we offer up a collection of influential insights from 2015. This Top 10 list includes the five most-read on Bridgespan.org and five Bridgespan-authored articles published on Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), including three* that were among SSIR’s top 10 for the year.
These knowledge investments aim to strengthen the effectiveness and impact of strategies, funding flows, and leadership in organizations and fields critical to breaking cycles of intergenerational poverty. We hope you’ll find them helpful and welcome your comments.
—Katie Smith Milway, Knowledge Partner
Published on Bridgespan.org
Achieving Kindergarten Readiness for All Our Children: A Funder's Guide to Early Childhood Development
America vastly underinvests in early childhood programs that work, especially in the critical period from pregnancy to age three. This guide offers numerous specific, evidence-based public investment opportunities that private donors and government can pursue immediately to make an impact.
Roger Martin's Unconventional Wisdom
“Don’t confuse planning with strategy” and three other on-the-mark but off-the-beaten-path pieces of management advice from the widely regarded Bridgspan advisor and Rotman School of Management professor.
Nonprofit Management Tools and Trends Report 2014
Insight from nearly 500 nonprofit executives on the use and effectiveness of 25 top tools as well as their opinions on the importance of 21 major trends affecting the sector.
Designing for Transformative Scale: Global Lessons in What Works
Nine strategies for achieving transformative scale matched with examples from global organizations already seeking to dramatically expand their impact.
The Little NGO That Roared
Splash is an international charity dedicated to bringing clean drinking water to millions of children living in urban poverty—and then walking away and leaving its local partners to build on what they started together.
Published on SSIR.org
Rethinking How Students Succeed *
This Up for Debate article examines a variety of education initiatives, and makes the case that a focus on noncognitive skills—so-called “soft skills” such as self-control and relationship development—can lead to more effective teaching and learning behaviors.
Philanthropy’s New Frontier: Impact Investing *
Featured in the SSIR Global special edition Impact India, author Michael Etzel encourages philanthropists to invest in promising enterprises that have significant social impact, even if they offer below-market-rate returns.
The Nonprofit Leadership Development Deficit *
Studies show that leadership succession planning is a top organizational concern for nonprofits. To address this, contributors Libbie Landles-Cobb, Kirk Kramer, & Katie Smith Milway encourage nonprofits to develop talent internally and offer guidelines for connecting those efforts to organizational goals.
Making Big Bets for Social Change
Why does such a large gap exist between what donors say they would like to achieve with their philanthropy and where they actually make their biggest bets? And how can we close it?
Adventures in Adaptation
One funder’s willingness to shift course strategically has been crucial to sustaining a decade-long education initiative.