Strengthen the Field

Summary

Instead of making a single organization or program bigger, many are recognizing that far-reaching social change requires support from a critical mass of organizations and individuals working within a field. Field-building strategies often follow one of two paths: growing the field by raising awareness of an issue to generate support and funding or improving the performance of existing players already committed to the field.

How to Scale Impact Faster: Replication or Aligned-Action Network?
Jeff Bradach, The Bridgespan Group
Replication has long been regarded as the gold standard for spreading programs that work. But social sector leaders are increasingly frustrated by its limitations. It’s typically a slow growth strategy, and achieving the same (never mind better) results at replication sites is a relative rarity. Might aligned-action networks represent a better alternative? By bringing together geographically dispersed organizations with a shared goal and core set of principles and practices, aligned-action networks emphasize learning and innovation over fidelity and compliance. But the question remains: Can they outperform replication?

How a Service Provider Can Elevate the Performance of a Field
Frank Williams, Evolent Health and The Advisory Board Company
Nonprofits typically address operational issues by seeking one-on-one advice, an inefficient use of scarce resources. Rather than repeatedly reinvent the same wheels, 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.

A New Approach to Global Conservation
Steve McCormick, Earth Genome Project
The field of conservation has taken on new life with a sharpened value proposition that shifts the focus from protecting land to preserving ecosystems.

From Tiny to Transformative: Match Education’s Quest for Impact
Jeff Bradach, The Bridgespan Group
Match Education seeks to transform low-performing public schools nationally by being an engine of discovery and applied innovation that benefits educators across the United States.

Empowering Movements for Global Education Reform
Wendy Kopp, Teach For All
Teach for All is using a loose network to develop high caliber talent that will transform national education systems.

Transformative Scale: The Future of Scaling What Works
Jeff Bradach and Abe Grindle, The Bridgespan Group
MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership is working to improve the quality and the effectiveness of the mentoring field by developing and disseminating standards, research, and state-of-the-art tools.

VisionSpring Aims to Provide Eyeglasses to Millions
Kevin Hassey and Jordan Kassalow, VisionSpring
To increase attention, energy, and funding for vision care in the developing world, VisionSpring is spearheading an Eyeglasses for Everyone movement.

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