Fall 2007

Volume 5, Number 4

Collaboration is the key to impact, according to the fall 2007 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review. In “Creating High-Impact Nonprofits,” an analysis of 12 high-impact nonprofit organizations reveals that those who form alliances, partnerships, and networks can mobilize every sector of society—government, business, nonprofits, and the public—to be a force for good. Other features examine the inter-related effects of idealistic and pragmatic activism, and the need for foundations to make strategic mission investments to be most effective.

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Social Innovations

The Power of Strategic Mission Investing

By Mark R. Kramer & Sarah E. Cooch 1

A growing number of foundations are offering low-interest loans, buying into green business ventures, and investing in other asset classes to advance their missions. To bring about real change, foundations need to make strategic mission investments that complement their grantmaking and leverage market forces.

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Social Innovations

Private Equity, Public Good

By Beth Sirull 2

Many businesses serving lower income communities languish because they can't raise enough money to fund their growth. To meet their needs, a new breed of private equity investment—development investment capital—has emerged. Although this style of investing is still in its infancy, it's already showing promise.

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Harnessing Purity and Pragmatism

By Alana Conner & Keith Epstein 1

As the wall between the nonprofit and corporate worlds crumbles, many social change organizations are asking themselves: Do we stick to our activist guns, or do we cross the divide and work with business? Research suggests that social movements need both kinds of organizations to make the changes they seek.

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Social Innovations

Creating High-Impact Nonprofits

By Heather McLeod Grant & Leslie R. Crutchfield 16

Conventional wisdom says that scaling social innovation starts with strengthening internal management capabilities. This study of 12 high-impact nonprofits, however, shows that real social change happens when organizations go outside their own walls and find creative ways to enlist the help of others.

Field Report

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Working All Fronts

By Catherine Potter

How Sustainable Conservation unites all sectors for the environment.


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Worst Practices of a Social Entrepreneur

By Paul Schmitz 1

You can learn more from your mistakes than from your successes. Paul Schmitz, president and CEO of Public Allies, gives a sampling of classic foibles of not only social entrepreneurs, but leaders in general.

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Social Innovations

Portfolio Philanthropy

By Randall Ottinger

To ensure that baby boomers' wealth does not fall short of its philanthropic potential, Randall Ottinger suggests applying portfolio theory to make wiser social investments.


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Butter Your Way to the Top

By Alana Conner

Flattery, not good governance, reaps corporate directorships – especially for white males.

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Social Innovations

Creative Spaces

By Alana Conner

Five tips for designing workplaces that nurture great ideas.


Give a Little Respect

By Alana Conner

How nonprofits win the dedication of their volunteers.


Global Issues

Review: Blessed Unrest

Review By Catherine DiBenedetto

The human spirit endures in grassroots activism.


Review: Brewing Justice

Review By Christopher M. Bacon

Jafee provides an inside look at the world of fair trade.


Review: The Trap

Review By Frances Kunreuther

Where have all the public servants gone?

THIRST: Fighting the Corporate
Theft of Our Water
Alan Snitow & Deborah Kaufman
with Michael Fox

Review: Thirst

Review By John D. Donahue

Should water be turned into a commodity that only "haves" can pay for?


Review: World Inc.

Review By Catherine DiBenedetto

Business trumps government in creating social change.


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15 Minutes with Hannah Jones

By Eric Nee 2

SSIR Academic Editor Jim Phills spoke with Nike’s Hannah Jones about the sportswear giant’s extensive corporate social responsibility programs.

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