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.
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 for 2009/2010 webinars, and includes on-demand access for 12 months—so if you missed one, you can still register and view it at your convenience.
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.
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.
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.
Many—and some leaders believe most—nonprofit boards are ineffective. Much is at stake. Weak board governance can diminish a nonprofit’s social impact, cause it to founder, and even die. But any board can improve its performance if its members are willing to confront the people, processes, and behavior challenges that cause ineffectiveness. Join Kim Starkey Jonker, William F. Meehan III, and Kathy Spahn for a discussion on the nine attributes of effective nonprofit board governance. This complimentary webinar is for social sector board members, executive directors, funders who assess and influence grantee board governance, and managers/staff who work with board members—anyone who seeks to create an organization with consistently effective governance in order to radically increase impact for beneficiaries.
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Fundraising mystifies, if not terrifies, most social enterprise leaders. In truth, both for-profit and nonprofit fundraising is a simple, learnable skill. If you can talk, you can raise social impact money. Empower yourself! Join Jonathan C. Lewis, serial social entrepreneur and host of the Café Impact social entrepreneurship video series, to learn his fundraising tips, including the Non-Pitch Pitch, the Pre-Pitch Non-Planning Period, and the Post-Pitch Phase. This webinar is for current and aspiring social entrepreneurs and those who support them. If you consider yourself a social entrepreneur, then you must learn to raise money. In Lewis’s own words, “Your social mission deserves it. Your social venture requires it.”
Social sector leaders around the world are getting impatient. Conscious of the enormity of the need that exists, they are no longer satisfied with impact that expands only incrementally. Now that they know “what works,” there is a deep urgency to help bring solutions to a truly transformative scale, a scale that begins to actually solve the problems we face. But doing so will require new ways of thinking, acting, and investing. Join these social sector leaders for a conversation on pathways for making the leap from incremental to transformative. This complimentary webinar is for social sector leaders, philanthropists, policy makers, and businesspeople who want to better understand the challenges faced by those in pursuit of impact at a transformative scale.
Over the last decade, many foundations have begun to lose their appetite for risk and experimentation in favor of safer, more proven, and incremental investments. But a small group of funders has begun to deliberately seek out and support high-risk, high-reward innovations with the potential to create real breakthroughs on our most intractable social problems. Join four innovation funders for a discussion on the processes and practices that help foundations and grantmakers incorporate a greater degree of risk-taking, experimentation, and flexibility into their work. This webinar is for philanthropists and grantmakers who are ready to take risks and think outside the box when it comes to tackling social problems, and for nonprofit leaders who want to want to encourage innovation in funding.
In spite of an improving economy, nonprofit mergers continue to lag their for-profit counterparts. Nonprofit leaders are finding that progress is being made on some of the major barriers that have prevented nonprofits from exploring mergers, yet three softer issues are miring due diligence: getting boards aligned, finding roles for senior staff, and blending brands. Join these social sector leaders when they discuss how organizations can overcome these challenges and the organizational factors that support successful mergers.
By applying big data to their research, organizations can better inform their decision-making, understand the fields in which they work, and achieve the greatest impact. Join Jon Sotsky of the Knight Foundation, Sean Gourley of Quid (Knight Foundation’s data analytics firm), and DoSomething.org’s Jeffrey Bladt as they discuss new ways to help people engage around complex issues and research, applying breakthrough techniques in data mapping and visualization. They will use their recent collaboration on the report, “The Emergence of Civic Tech: Investments in a Growing Field,” to provide insights on integrating data-driven models into social sector research and the trend toward open sharing of data and ideas. This webinar is for strategy and assessment teams, research and communication professionals, and anyone at foundations, nonprofits, and social enterprises focused on highlighting the impact of their work.