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




Articles on social change from the latest edition of SSIR


Spring 2009

Volume 7, Number 2

Climate change is now widely recognized as one of the world’s most pressing problems. As governments at all levels struggle to address the issue, individuals have begun taking matters into their own hands by purchasing carbon offsets from companies that invest in renewable energy, plant trees, or reduce emissions. The spring 2009 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review explores how individuals are atoning for their use of cars, air travel, and even funerals in “Offsetting Green Guilt.”

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Shades of Green

Social networking tools reveal that there is an intricate web of relationships between business and environmentalists, which if developed could benefit the environmental movement.

By Andrew J. Hoffman | 3


Ten Nonprofit Funding Models

For-profit executives use business models—such as "low-cost provider" or "the razor and the razor blade"—as a shorthand way to describe the way companies are built and sustained. Nonprofit executives are not as explicit about their funding models and have not had an equivalent lexicon—until now.

By William Landes Foster, Peter Kim, & Barbara Christiansen | 48


Offsetting Green Guilt

Voluntary carbon offsets allow people to invest in projects that allegedly counteract their greenhouse gas emissions. But can voluntary offsets help slow global warming? Or are offsets a way for consumers to buy their way out of bad feelings?

By Matthew J. Kotchen | 6

Social Entrepreneurship

Creating Social Value

The idea that social entrepreneurs create something called social value—good works that go above and beyond what traditional entrepreneurs and businesses deliver—is a dearly held tenet of the social change movement. But what exactly is social value, and how do social entrepreneurs go about creating it?

By Philip Auerswald | 1

What's Next

Turn on the TV, Class

Poor children can watch rich children's better school classes on TV.

By Jennifer Roberts

The Pepsi Spirit—of Giving Back

Pepsi's free CSR: enrolling more than 27,000 of its U.S. employees in the Wireless AMBER Alert Program.

By Jennifer Roberts

Social Entrepreneurs Take the Leads

Skoll and Sundance hope documentary films prove powerful in making social change.

By Jennifer Roberts | 1

Polling Power

A new Web site shows voters who like-minded peers, organizations, and opinion leaders support.

By Jennifer Roberts

Texting It In

A free, open-source software package lets health care workers in developing countries better fight disease.

By Jennifer Roberts

The New Frontier

LeapFrog Investments will bring better insurance to more of the world's poor.

By Jennifer Roberts

Field Report


Millennials MoveOn

To propel young folks to the polls, a political organization mixed Web 2.0 tools with social science savvy.

By Lee Bruno

Tongue-Tied at the Top

While boards sat in silence, executives milked American University and the Smithsonian.

By Pete Smith | 6

Root Solutions

Nonprofit lender Root Capital connects rural farmers and artisans with the corporations that crave their products.

By Suzie Boss

Case Study


Clear Blood

By 1998, thousands of people had contracted HIV and hepatitis C from Canada’s tainted blood supply. To restore the supply and the public’s trust, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments of Canada created a new organization, Canadian Blood Services. Despite the public health tragedy that it inherited, Canadian Blood Services rebuilt Canadians’ faith in the nation’s blood supply by infusing transparency into its structure, culture, and operations.

By Moe Abecassis, David Benjamin, & Lorna Tessier | 2



Fundraising in Tough Times

Our economy is in bad shape and will only get worse. So what can fundraisers do to minimize the impact of this difficult period on our organizations, and at the same time maximize income?

By Mal Warwick | 7

Effective Funding

How foundations can best support social innovators.

By Steven Lawry


Busy Jobs Send Most Volunteers

Research finds that men in busy jobs are the most likely to donate their time to volunteer.

By Alana Conner

Saving Lives, Not Just Souls

New research estimates the value of the services provided by faith-based organizations.

By Alana Conner

Not Racing to Help

Racism may have played a role in the government's delayed response to Katrina.

By Alana Conner

Why No Dimes Online

Many philanthropists refrain from online giving.

By Alana Conner

No Profit for Her

Research shows that men may be more effective than woman at utilizing microfinance investments.

By Alana Conner

Partners Must Start Smart

Starting on the right terms fosters the trust necessary for partners to work together over the long haul.

By Alana Conner

Change Takes New Leaders

New leaders are initially given special license to shake things up.

By Alana Conner


How Restraints on
Nonprofits Undermine
Their Potential
Dan Pallotta

The Double Standard

Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential by Dan Pallotta

Reviewed By Renée Irvin | 1
Bridging the Gap
Between Rich and Poor
in an Interconnected
Jacqueline Novogratz

It’s the Destination

The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz

Reviewed By Pamela Hartigan | 5
A Strategic Plan for
Smart Philanthropy
Paul Brest and Hal Harvey

The Art of Grantmaking

Money Well Spent: A Strategic Plan for Smart Philanthropy by Paul Brest and Hal Harvey

Reviewed By Susan Berresford