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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
How can you build a capacity for innovation within your social purpose organization? Join Warren Nilsson and Tana Paddock as they discuss the theory and practice of “inscaping”—their term for the work of drawing on personal experience to generate the raw material of social change. Nilsson will present examples and insights from specific organizations that use inscaping to foster innovation “from the inside out.” Also joining the webinar is Marlon Parker, founder of RLabs, a social enterprise based in Cape Town that promotes community-driven innovation in 21 countries. This webinar is for people at nonprofit organizations, foundations, and other social purpose groups who want to create internal processes that will help to build a deep, long-lasting capacity for innovative thought and action.
Innovation is all the rage. In this complimentary webinar, academic scholars and nonprofit leaders Seelos, Mair, May, and Joseph will examine innovation as an organizational process, looking at the ingredients needed to make the process productive as well as the pathologies that if not addressed can make it derail. The webinar will examine questions such as: How is innovation triggered and enacted? Can organizations get better at innovation over time? What role do stakeholders and governance play in stimulating or stifling innovation? Since the value of innovation lies in an organization’s ability to scale up its outcomes, the presenters will also reflect on the important balance that must be struck between innovating and scaling up.
Though it may seem counterintuitive for a sector already struggling to support, sustain, and scale up its impact—panelists Shore, Hammond, and Celep argue that nonprofits need to embrace a much heavier lift. They must look beyond short-term achievements that please funders, staff, and stakeholders but yield only incremental change, and instead hold themselves accountable for the harder-to-achieve long-term outcomes that will ultimately solve social problems.