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




Articles on social change from the latest edition of SSIR


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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The Power of Strategic Mission Investing

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.

By Mark R. Kramer & Sarah E. Cooch | 1

Impact Investing

Private Equity, Public Good

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.

By Beth Sirull | 2

Socially Responsible Business

Harnessing Purity and Pragmatism

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.

By Alana Conner & Keith Epstein | 1

Measuring Social Impact

Creating High-Impact Nonprofits

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.

By Heather McLeod Grant & Leslie R. Crutchfield | 10

Field Report


Boots on the School Ground

An innovative federal project turns retiring military personnel into teachers.

By David Bank | 3


Working All Fronts

How Sustainable Conservation unites all sectors for the environment.

By Catherine Potter


Micro-franchise Against Malaria

How for-profit clinics are healing and enriching the rural poor in Kenya.

By Jessica Flannery | 7



Social Entrepreneurship

Worst Practices of a Social Entrepreneur

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.

By Paul Schmitz | 1


Portfolio Philanthropy

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.

By Randall Ottinger

Global Issues

Oil in Troubled Water

To enrich Africa, oil companies and NGOs must cooperate.

By Florence C. Fee | 1



Brevity Is the Soul of Innovation

How clear, brief mission statements inspire progress.

By Alana Conner

Individual Giving

The U-Shaped Giving Profile Explained

Most Americans give roughly the same percentage of their incomes.

By Alana Conner | 1


Butter Your Way to the Top

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

By Alana Conner

Technology & Design

Creative Spaces

Five tips for designing workplaces that nurture great ideas.

By Alana Conner

Civil Society

The Sound of One Trap Flapping

How the vocal few can skew perceptions of public opinion.

By Alana Conner


Give a Little Respect

How nonprofits win the dedication of their volunteers.

By Alana Conner


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


Review: Thirst

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

Reviewed By John D. Donahue

Civil Society

Review: Blessed Unrest

The human spirit endures in grassroots activism.

Reviewed By Catherine DiBenedetto


Review: Brewing Justice

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

Reviewed By Christopher M. Bacon


Review: The Clean Tech Revolution

Clean technology is creating greener pastures for business.

Reviewed By Catherine DiBenedetto


Review: The Trap

Where have all the public servants gone?

Reviewed By Frances Kunreuther

Socially Responsible Business

Review: World Inc.

Business trumps government in creating social change.

Reviewed By Catherine DiBenedetto



Socially Responsible Business

15 Minutes with Hannah Jones

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

By Eric Nee | 2