Stanford Social Innovation Review : Informing and inspiring leaders of social change




The latest stories on social innovation, published each weekday

SSIR blogger Robert Penna had a 20-year career as a senior staffer with the New York State Senate and as a political consultant. He was affiliated with the Rensselaerville Institute for a decade, serves as Charity Navigator’s international coordinator,

Nonprofit Management

Cuomo Orders Review of Nonprofit Compensation

What needs to be under public scrutiny is the entire range of unfettered discretion in spending that some nonprofit executives—and their boards—exercise.

By Robert Penna | 2 | Aug. 5, 2011
SSIR blogger Nikki Wilson (right) is co-founder of On the Up. Along with her husband Rob (left), Nikki is on a mission to uncover Africa’s most inspirational social entrepreneurs. The team is currently travelling from Cape Town to Cairo, and blogging as

Nonprofit Management

Innovative Ideas for Sale—No Strings Attached

As controversial as he is kind-hearted, serial entrepreneur Charles Maisel's viewpoint shakes up conventional charity thinking.

By Nikki Wilson | 4 | Aug. 5, 2011
SSIR blogger Paul Park is the general counsel and secretary of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, overseeing all legal matters related to the Chavez Foundation’s affordable housing, nonprofit radio, after-school tutoring, and conference center programs.


What If Funders Really Acted Like Purchasers?

The funder-as-purchaser model offers new frameworks to spur new thinking and advancements in the nonprofit sector.

By Paul Park | 3 | Aug. 4, 2011


Just Give ’Em the Money: The Power and Pleasure of Unrestricted Funding

Unrestricted money makes an organization work smoothly, enables innovation, and provides fuel for growth.

By Kevin Starr | 72 | Aug. 3, 2011
SSIR blogger Matthew Scharpnick is the co-founder and chief strategy officer at Elefint Designs, a socially responsible design and marketing firm that works with good causes.

Technology & Design

How Do Good Causes Achieve Great Design?

Organizations can take some practical steps to harness the power of design to build a strong brand.

By Matthew Scharpnick | 2 | Aug. 2, 2011
SSIR blogger Matthew Scharpnick is the co-founder and chief strategy officer at Elefint Designs, a socially responsible design and marketing firm that works with good causes.

Technology & Design

Why Good Causes Need Great Design

Few things are as important to an organization’s growth as great design.

By Matt Scharpnick | 4 | Aug. 1, 2011
SSIR blogger Andrew Bangser is the president of Foundation Source, the nation’s largest provider of support services for private foundations.


Bringing Philanthropy into the 21st Century

The growth of the Internet opens new avenues for collaboration between foundations and nonprofits, but it's a changing landscape.

By Andrew Bangser | 1 | Jul. 29, 2011
SSIR blogger Randall Kempner is executive director of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a global network of organizations that propel social entrepreneurship in emerging markets.

Economic Development

Social Entrepreneurship Takes Off in Brazil

Brazilian entrepreneurs are leveraging their deep intellectual, social, and natural resources to drive greater prosperity and create wealth.

By Randall Kempner | 2 | Jul. 28, 2011
SSIR blogger Salvatore LaSpada is the chief executive of Institute for Philanthropy, where he directs The Philanthropy Workshop. The Philanthropy Workshop is a strategic philanthropy training and networking program for ultra- and high-net worth individual


Looking Beyond the Surface: Ten Pieces of Practical Advice on Due Diligence

Ten due diligence practices for would-be funders who are in the process of sizing up a philanthropic opportunity.

By Salvatore LaSpada | 1 | Jul. 27, 2011

Civil Society

Taking Exception to Exceptionalism

We need to shift the narrative to include the link between exceptional solutions and the systems change and scale needed to deliver a just baseline.

By Eric Friedenwald-Fishman | 4 | Jul. 26, 2011