Nonprofits Webinars

Innovative ideas to help leaders of nonprofits and NGOs be more effective

Our on-demand SSIR Live! webinars are offered every 4-6 weeks, and feature the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s most provocative and important topics. Webinars are available for purchase on-demand 12 months after the date of the live event.

Valuing Frontline Work

September 23, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Lehn Benjamin, Katya Fels Smyth, Maria Peña, & Jesús Gerena

Over the past two decades, funders and policymakers have put more pressure on nonprofit organizations to pursue and achieve measurable outcomes. The increasing focus on performance-driven frameworks such as “pay for success” and “social return in investment” signals that such pressure will only grow more intense. For nonprofit professionals, that trend raises troubling questions: What if the ways that your organization makes a difference in people’s lives are not easily measured through conventional performance metrics? What if the logic model of your organization does not fully account for the value that you deliver through direct work with beneficiaries? Funders and policymakers also face a quandary: What if the performance data that you receive do not adequately capture the effectiveness of the nonprofits that you fund? This webinar will be of interest to nonprofit practitioners whose organizations provide direct services to marginalized groups. The webinar will also be highly relevant to funders, consultants, evaluators, and other professionals who support organizations that engage in such work.

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Related Story: Programs Aren’t Everything

Overcoming the Overhead Myth

September 2, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Jacob Harold, Ann Goggins Gregory, & Jan Masaoka

A dangerous myth prevails among funders that overhead can be used as a proxy for efficiency. In fact, research shows that under-investing in administrative overhead is often linked with poor performance by nonprofits. Ann Goggins Gregory and Don Howard dubbed this process “the nonprofit starvation cycle” in the eponymous Stanford Social Innovation Review article. This webinar is for nonprofit executives who wish to invest in administration and who need strategies for communicating to funders the true costs of running their organization; funders who are interested in evaluating their grantees for efficacy and for rethinking operational costs as opportunities for investment; and all social sector professionals who are interested in understanding and spreading awareness about the dangers of under-investing in overhead.

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Related Story: Overcoming the Overhead Myth

The Fundamentals of Fundraising

May 19, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by William F. Meehan III, Kim Starkey Jonker, Ernie Iseminger, & Johann Koss

Nonprofits need money—to expand their reach, to increase their impact. And they never have enough of it. At many boldly ambitious nonprofit organizations, however, leaders cease to be bold when the topic of fundraising comes up. Most nonprofit leaders, in fact, are uncomfortable with asking people for money. For that reason, it pays to learn the tried-and-true principles that guide and inspire the most effective fundraisers in the nonprofit sector. In this webinar William F. Meehan III, Kim Starkey Jonker, and Ernie Iseminger will provide actionable insight on how to overcome the challenges that cause otherwise high-performing nonprofits to stumble when it comes to raising money. They will also draw on the practical experiences of fundraising professionals—including those of Iseminger, vice president of development and external relations at Claremont McKenna College. Joining them will be Johann Koss, founder and CEO of Right to Play (and recipient of the 2013 Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership), who will discuss his organization’s approach to fundraising. This webinar will be of interest to all nonprofit practitioners—executive directors and board members, directors of development and development staff members—who have a stake in boosting their organization’s capacity to generate resources in order to create sustainable impact.

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Related Story: Fundraising Is Fundamental (If Not Always Fun)

Communications That Work: Making Ideas Move

April 7, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Sean Gibbons, Fred Mann, Daniella Gibbs Léger, Kevin Nix, & Andrew Sherry

How we communicate is changing—rapidly. Every day, it seems, a new innovation comes along that transforms the way people connect and share information with each other. Powerful new tools can foster conversation, spark debate, and launch new ideas. But how can leaders of social change organizations ensure that their messages are heard amid the noise of our increasingly networked world? How can they move ideas in a way that advances their cause? Join Sean Gibbons of the Communications Network, Fred Mann of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Daniella Gibbs Léger of the Center for American Progress, Kevin Nix of Freedom to Marry, and Andrew Sherry of the Knight Foundation for a discussion on communications strategies that further mission. This webinar will be of value to senior leaders and communications professionals who work in a variety of social sector organizations. Webinar registrants will learn about using the power of smart, strategic communications to drive social change.

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Related Story: Making Ideas Move

The Dawn of System Leadership

February 11, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Peter Senge, Darcy Winslow, & Molly Baldwin

What does it mean to be a system leader?  What does it take to catalyze collective leadership? Join Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline and founder of the Society for Organizational Learning (now SoL North America), to discuss “The Dawn of System Leadership,” which explores the qualities needed to catalyze collective leadership to address social and environmental problems. Senge, who coauthored the article featured in Stanford Social Innovation Review‘s Winter 2015 issue, will host a panel to discuss how the unique attributes of a system leader can accelerate social progress. Senge will be joined by Darcy Winslow from the Academy for Systemic Change and Molly Baldwin from Roca, Inc. This webinar is for leaders who want drive social change and better understand how to enable others to engage in collective leadership.

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Related Story: The Dawn of System Leadership

What’s Your Endgame?: A New Approach to Scaling

January 22, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Alice Gugelev, Andrew Stern, Mitchell Besser, Willy Foote, & Taz Tagore

How do you scale up? How, in other words, do you increase the size of your organizations in an effort to achieve greater impact? It’s a question that nonprofit leaders everywhere find themselves asking. But what if that’s the wrong question? Instead, more and more nonprofit leaders are posing a different question: What’s your endgame? An “endgame” is the specific role that a nonprofit intends to play in the overall solution to a social problem. There are, in fact, multiple endgames for nonprofits to consider—and only one of them involves scaling up in order to sustain and expand an existing program or service. In this webinar, you’ll learn how nonprofit leaders can define their endgame early and pursue it intentionally, and how funders can help grantees bring their endgames to completion. Join Alice Gugelev and Andrew Stern from the Global Development Incubator, Mitchell Besser from mothers2mothers, Willy Foote from Root Capital, and Taz Tagore from the Reciprocity Foundation for a conversation on how they defined—and in some cases changed—the endgame that their organization is pursuing. This webinar is for nonprofit leaders looking to understand how to define an endgame and manage their organizations with that endgame in mind, and for funders seeking to invest in catalytic social impact.

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Related Story: What’s Your Endgame?

Talent Matters: Unleashing the Social Sector’s Potential (Complimentary)

December 3, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Monisha Kapila, Liz Maw, & Linda Wood

Talent matters! It’s widely accepted that people, not programs, drive the success of nonprofits and other social sector organizations. Yet when it comes to investing in our sector’s talent, why do we overlook this? Some cite the sector’s focus on minimal overhead, while others point to the enduring perception that the resources required are cost- and time-prohibitive. Regardless of the reasons, people and organizations have largely been left to their own devices when it comes to building the talent and leadership to solve society’s deepest challenges. How can we move from acknowledging that talent matters to taking action? What could we achieve if we unleashed the social sector’s full potential by making talent and leadership a higher priority? Monisha Kapila from ProInspire, Liz Maw from Net Impact, and Linda Wood from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund will share their perspectives and stories from the field, highlighting real-world results achieved. They will discuss the business case for investing in talent, why some funders have made investing in leadership a core part of their strategy, and innovative practices in talent development. This webinar is for nonprofit leaders and funders with an interest in developing their leaders and staff to drive the organization’s results.

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Related Story: Winning the Talent Game
The Business Case for Investing in Talent

Business Models for Sustainability and Scale (Session Three of Three)

November 13, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Alexa Cortes Culwell, Antony Bugg-Levine, & Janet Gless

This webinar is part three of a three-part series on Core Components for Driving Greater Impact, moderated by Alexa Cortes Culwell, founder and managing director of Philanthropy Futures.

Business models for sustainability and scale are made, not born. Nonprofits develop strategic plans, but often leave the business model out. This session will outline what a business model is, how it fits into a strategic planning process and why building a strong business model is vital to building a higher impact, sustainable nonprofit. Join Cortes Culwell in conversation with Antony Bugg-Levine from Nonprofit Finance Fund and Janet Gless from New Teacher Center to hear examples of different approaches to business models and some of the challenges nonprofits face in developing them.

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Performance Metrics that Drive Organizational Outcomes (Session Two of Three)

November 6, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Alexa Cortes Culwell, Tiffany Cooper Gueye, & Melanie Moore

This webinar is part two of a three-part series on Core Components for Driving Greater Impact, moderated by Alexa Cortes Culwell, founder and managing director of Philanthropy Futures.

Performance metrics form the backbone for outcome-focused organizations. Well-developed metrics help drive organizational alignment around everything from a nonprofit’s performance review system, to financial and program reports, to evaluation programs. And strong leadership and cultures help ensure that performance metrics are used to drive impact and not impede it. This session will explore how nonprofits can put together the right sets of metrics, at the right level, in order to track their progress and improve their impact. This session will define and describe theories of change in detail, with special focus on organizational clarity and alignment. Join Cortes Culwell in conversation with Tiffany Cooper Gueye from BELL, Building Educated Leaders for Life and Melanie Moore from Family Independence Initiative to hear examples of implementation.

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Theories of Change that Drive Learning and Improvement (Complimentary — Session One of Three)

October 30, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Alexa Cortes Culwell, Lissette Rodriguez, Gregg Croteau, & Zenub Kakli

This webinar is part one of a three-part series on Core Components for Driving Greater Impact, moderated by Alexa Cortes Culwell, founder and managing director of Philanthropy Futures.

A theory of change is a vital tool, yet its use is widely misunderstood. This session will define and describe theories of change in detail, with special focus on organizational clarity and alignment. Join Cortes Culwell in conversation with Lissette Rodriguez from Propel Next and Gregg Croteau and Zenub Kakli from United Teen Equality Center to hear about valuable examples from successful, high-impact nonprofits, and explore the important contributions of leadership and culture. Thanks to the generosity of Edna McConnell Clark Foundation this webinar is complimentary for the month of December.

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