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. The registration fee is $49 per 2011-2014 webinar, or $19 per 2009/2010 webinar, and includes on-demand access for 12 months—so if you missed the live presentation, you can still register and view it at your convenience.

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

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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Using Big Data to Predict Social Impact (Complimentary)

September 30, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Jason Saul & Nolan Gasser

Evaluation has been a necessary evil for most nonprofits—expensive, time-consuming, impractical, and yet an absolute pre-requisite for funding. But is there a better way? The paradigm of evaluation is moving from retrospective, academic research studies to predictive, algorithmic measurement. With the advent of the Impact Genome Project, we have entered an era of using “big data” to predict social outcomes for most charities and social programs. The benefits of predictive data are alluring: benchmarking, better understanding of success factors, more rational resource allocation, improved results. But there are risks: How reliable are the data? Will measurement stymie innovation? Can data be misused? Join Jason Saul, founder and CEO of Mission Measurement, and Nolan Gasser, architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project, to learn how you can turn measurement into a competitive advantage for your organization. This webinar is for anyone in the social sector who wants to take control of measurement and use data to drive better outcomes.

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Related Story: Cracking the Code on Social Impact

Strategic Philanthropy for a Complex World

September 18, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Kathleen Enright, John Kania, Zia Khan, & Hilary Pennington

How can foundations become more effective in catalyzing and sustaining change? Do the conventional tools of strategic philanthropy work for today’s complex social problems? If not, what are the options? Emergent strategy can help foundations that are tackling complex social problems by helping funders become more relevant and effective. This approach helps foundations adapt their activities to ever-changing circumstances and more successfully engage others as partners. Join Kathleen Enright and John Kania to find out more about what it means to take an emergent approach that focuses on sensing, co-creation, and building system fitness. Learn how you can put this strategy into practice during a panel discussion with Ford Foundation’s Hilary Pennington and The Rockefeller Foundation’s Zia Khan. This webinar is for foundation staff and board members who want to better understand how others are navigating complexity, what it means for goal setting, and how it affects staff/board dynamics.

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Related Story: Strategic Philanthropy for a Complex World

Making Mission Matter (Complimentary)

June 18, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Kim Starkey Jonker, William F. Meehan III, & Sakena Yacoobi

Mission creep is a pervasive and extremely debilitating problem that afflicts all too many nonprofit organizations. Some experts believe it is the number-one reason why nonprofits fail to achieve the impact for beneficiaries that they desire. Yet mission creep is easily preventable and easily curable. By attacking it head-on, nonprofit leaders can not only prevent suboptimal performance, but also open the way to taking on outsized challenges. Learn how to take your organization to a higher level by joining Kim Starkey Jonker and William F. Meehan III—along with guest presenter Sakena Yacoobi—to learn the seven characteristics of an effective mission statement. This complimentary webinar is ideal for anyone in the social sector—nonprofit management and staff, board members, and funders—who seek to create, support, and grow an organization that can align its mission with its efforts to increase impact for beneficiaries.

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Related Story: Mission Matters Most

Social Impact Bonds: From Concept to Reality

June 4, 2014 at 11:00 am Pacific
Presented by Tracy Palandjian & Sam Schaeffer

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) are among the newest and most promising innovations within the impact investing space. Four years after the first SIB launched in the U.K., the US market is now gaining traction. At the federal level, President Obama’s FY 2015 Budget includes almost $500 million in investments for states to undertake Pay for Success programs. However, challenges must be faced before the market can realize its full potential and drive large-scale social impact. Please join Tracy Palandjian and Sam Schaeffer for a discussion on developments that are critical for SIBs to become a well-established option for funding effective social interventions at scale. This webinar is for social sector leaders, philanthropists, policy makers, and businesspeople who want to better understand the developments required to establish a thriving Social Impact Bond market.

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Related Story: The Social Impact Bond Market: Three Scenarios for the Future
Foundations for Social Impact Bonds