Blogs tagged with scaling strategies

  • Tamara Schweitzer Raben, Social Impact Exchange at Growth Philanthropy Network
    Posted: July 11, 2013

    Not able to attend last month’s Social Impact Exchange  Annual Conference on Scaling Impact? Read on to see some of the highlights and insightful ‘live’ blog posts from among the more than 400 funders, philanthropists and advisors, nonprofit leaders, consultants and academics who were there.  

    By all counts the Conference provided a significant step forward in generating ideas, conversations, and calls-to-action. To inspire that work going forward, Social Impact Exchange President Alex Rossides kicked off the three-day Conference by echoing our important and collective mission as a sector: “To create an enduring system that can scale the impact of hundreds of interventions on an annual basis.”

  • Meghan Duffy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
    Posted: June 24, 2013

    Contrary to popular belief (or at least mine), at least half of youth involved in mentoring programs are being served by grassroots programs, and not the big names that come to mind when you hear the word “mentoring.” Because they are decentralized and dispersed, tracking the quality and caliber of these programs can be a challenge. And yet, when mentoring is done effectively it can have enormous impact on a child’s life. So, how do we honor the wisdom of communities to provide services that are contextually appropriate, while also ensuring that they are undergirded by the evidence about what constitutes effective mentoring?  

  • Ashley May The Philanthropy Roundtable
    Posted: June 20, 2013

    Failure is a fact of life. But not in philanthropy, right? The James Irvine Foundation president Jim Canales began the second day of the Social Impact Exchange Conference challenging philanthropists, particularly foundation staffs, to embrace risk and acknowledge failure. From his perspective, philanthropy’s tendency to control, manage, and diminish risk leads to missed opportunities.

    As context, Canales cited a paper published by Irvine in 2007 highlighting a misguided investment and their lessons learned. A reporter from the Chronicle of Philanthropy contacted Canales in 2013 to speak about the story: the writer had not seen a likewise report on a Foundation’s failures in six years. Either philanthropy is hitting the mark every time with every grant, or it is quietly forgetting those initiatives that underperform.

  • Social Impact Exchange Staff
    Posted: June 18, 2013
    Two outstanding organizations – The Hill Center and Juma Ventures – were selected as winners of the Social Impact Exchange’s 2013 Business Plan Competition. The award recipients were selected from among three mezzanine-stage and three early-stage finalists who presented their business plans and responded to questions about scaling their initiatives from a panel of expert judges and field leaders.
  • Sharon J. Washington and Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, National Writing Project
    Posted: June 10, 2013

    Lessons in Going to Scale is a newly-launched blog series featuring on-the-ground stories from nonprofit organizations at different points in their scaling trajectory. Hear from S&I 100 CEOs and nonprofit leaders in health, education, youth, and poverty alleviation about the strategies and challenges of developing a scaling model.

    The National Writing Project’s Executive Director and Director of National Programs explain the important distinction between “scale” and “spread” and what it meant for their growth.

    For many nonprofits, working toward scale is an all-consuming focus demanding work and strong execution. Certainly that has been true for us at the National Writing Project. As we look forward to our 40th anniversary year in 2014, we can see the path that led to our current scale and remember some valuable lessons we learned along the way.

    NWP began in 1974 as a single local Writing Project site in the San Francisco Bay Area with the goal of engaging teachers K through university-level in professional development and school reform. Since that time, NWP has grown to nearly 200 local sites located within 50 miles of 75 percent of the nation’s teachers. Each of these sites also has its own dynamics of scale, and now provides professional learning and support opportunities for educators across all curriculum areas as well as out-of-school settings. This kind of growth fits many standard definitions of scale: opening new local sites, serving new populations in existing locations, developing expanded programming and partnerships, growing the budget, and investing in evaluation.