Live discussions of important social innovation topics

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.

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

Corporations and NGOs: Empowering Women Globally

July 21, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Marissa Wesely, Dina Dublon, Daniel Jae-Won Lee, & Muadi Mukenge

This webinar is part of a two-webinar package on Advancing Women.

With growing data on the powerful impacts of increased gender equality in various spheres, many global corporations are creating programs designed to empower women economically to improve the quality of their supply chains, enhance their access to talent, and increase the productivity of their workforce. Yet, for economic empowerment programs to create sustainable and transformative change in women’s lives—and have lasting effect for business—they need to address other underlying issues that prevent women from realizing their full potential as economic agents, including control over reproductive health, access to childcare, voice in family and community, enforceable property rights, and protection from violence. One effective way to do this is to work with a group of NGOs that corporations often overlook: grassroots women’s organizations (GWOs) that have been working for many years in complex local contexts to empower women and advance women’s rights. This webinar will explore finding the right partner, building effective partnerships, and evaluating the social and business impacts of these programs. This webinar is for corporate leaders seeking innovative ways to make their women’s empowerment programs more impactful, GWO leaders exploring paths to engage with the corporate sector, and others interested in effective models of cross-sector collaboration and/or women’s rights and empowerment issues globally.

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Related Story: Empowering Women at the Grassroots

The Rise of Gender Capitalism

July 14, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Jackie VanderBrug, Sarah Kaplan, Sharon Vosmek, & Catherine Gill

This webinar is part of a two-webinar package on Advancing Women.

The world is waking up to the economic power of women. A growing number of studies have indicated that gender-inclusive companies are more successful, that women’s participation in the labor force has had measurable effects on economic growth—indeed, that women’s leadership benefits the economy and society on every level. Despite this, traditional investment opportunities—both in the for-profit and the social sector—have excluded women from access to capital and done little to further gender equity in the workplace. In recent years, a movement towards “investing with a gender lens” has emerged. This movement encourages the use of capital to deliver financial returns and improve the lives of women and girls and their communities. This webinar will focus on how gender lens can shed light on gaining access to capital for women and girls, promoting workplace equality, and creating products and services that affect the lives of women and girls. This webinar is for all social change leaders interested in learning how applying a gender lens to their work can increase social impact, and anyone in the non- or for-profit sectors who wish to design a financial system where inclusive practices and financial returns are not mutually exclusive.

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Related Story: The Rise of Gender Capitalism

Lean Experimentation for the Social Sector

June 16, 2015 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Peter Murray, Steve Ma, Palak Shah, & Justin Ruben

For nonprofits and other social purpose organizations, the work of developing, testing, and launching new programs and services for beneficiaries can be cumbersome and expensive. What if you could increase the speed and lower the cost of that process? What if you could make the work of innovation lean? In the business sector, many companies have embraced lean experimentation—a practice that reduces waste and enables rapid implementation of promising ideas. Today, an increasing number of social sector organizations are successfully using the lean method as well. Peter Murray and Steve Ma from Accelerate Change will provide a step-by-step overview of the lean experimentation process and explain how it applies to the social sector. In addition, two guest presenters will provide specific examples of using lean strategies within their organizations. Palak Shah, director of social innovations for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, will discuss lean experiments that her organization has conducted to develop mission-aligned business ventures and private-sector partnerships. Justin Ruben, cofounder of ParentsTogether and former executive director of MoveOn.org, will describe the use of lean experimentation both in a start-up environment (ParentsTogether) and in an established advocacy organization (MoveOn.org). This webinar will be of interest to leaders at social purpose organizations who are eager to improve the processes that they use to create new programs and services. Grantmakers who seek to help grantees improve the efficiency and the quality of their work will also benefit from this webinar.

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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?

When Foundations Exit the Field

December 11, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Christopher Oechsli, David La Piana, & Sherrilyn Ifill

An increasing number of philanthropists and foundations are considering a limited-life strategy as a way to maximize impact in their own lifetimes. An even greater number of nonprofits are, or have been, affected by a foundation’s decision either to leave a program area or to close down entirely. How can foundations and grantees navigate these shifts together in a way that minimizes disruption and allows both of them to remain true to their missions? Whether they are grappling with a total wind-down and closure or with a shift away from funding in a specific program area, foundations and their nonprofit partners confront an array of challenges. The Atlantic Philanthropies, whose grantmaking will culminate in 2016, has developed a growing body of experience and insight on how foundations and their grantees can meet those challenges. Join Christopher G. Oechsli from the Atlantic Philanthropies, Sherrilyn Ifill from the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., and consultant David La Piana for a discussion of these issues. This webinar will benefit leaders of nonprofits that are affected by foundation exits as well as philanthropists and foundation leaders who are considering a limited-life plan or another major shift in their funding strategy.

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Related Story: A Good Ending

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