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General Scaling

12 Case Studies of Community Collaboratives
Through its work with the White House Council for Community Solutions, The Bridgespan Group had the opportunity to learn from 12 community collaboratives engaged in collective impact across the country. These collaboratives have already achieved needle-moving change (at least 10 percent progress on a community-wide metric) and are making further strides in solving critical social issues.

After a Century of Operations, a Charity Starts Its Growth Spurt
After many years of modest growth, Big Brothers Big Sisters has major growth plans due to the rediscovered important positive impact of their program.

An Experiment in Scaling Impact: Assessing the Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation provides a comprehensive assessment of its five year experiment called "Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot" which started in 2007. The pilot tests whether a new form of coordinated, collaborative philanthropy could help high-performing organizations expand to significant, sustainable scale and improve the life prospects of America’s growing numbers of economically disadvantaged youth.

Applying a Broader Concept of Scale to Evaluate a Funding Strategy
In this article from The Evaluation Exchange, Erin Harris and Priscilla Little of Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP) discuss how HFRP used a multidimensional concept of scale to evaluate The Atlantic Philanthropies’ Integrated Learning Cluster (ILC) strategy. The ILC is a multiyear national effort to keep disadvantaged youth ages 8 to 16 engaged in learning during out-of-school time hours. To achieve scale, Atlantic invested in a range of nonschool supports—grants for direct service, infrastructure, and advocacy efforts.

Asset Building for Social Change: Pathways to Large-Scale Impact
The difficulties of creating large-scale social change are well known to development practitioners, activists, and foundation staff. This is certainly true for those working in the Ford Foundation’s Asset Building and Community Development Program. As grantmakers,they seek to make a big difference, and to use their relatively small resources to leverage large impacts. But how can this be done? In seeking the answer, Ford Foundation examined its own body of work, focusing mainly on current initiatives that appeared to be making headway in going to scale.

Back to School: Lessons from Past Mistakes Have Helped Teach for America Set—and Meet—Ambitious Plans for Growth
Discusses the issues confronting Teach for America during its rapid expansion over the past nine years and what it is planning for its next stage of expansion which is being funded by a $60 million growth fund.

Billions of Drops in Millions of Buckets: Why Philanthropy Doesn't Advance Social Progress [requires purchase]
This book suggests that if donors were smarter about where, when, and how much money they gave, the organizations could devote more attention to making better use of greater amounts of money. Author Steven Goldberg explores three critical questions: Why does the social sector need more effective capital markets? What would robust nonprofit capital markets look like? How can such markets be created? Goldberg addresses how the nonprofit market should be structured to best allocate funds in support of high-performing organizations that deserve additional resources to achieve optimal scale.

Building Fields for Policy Change
This report was published with support from the MacArthur Foundation and demonstrates how funders can improve their policy strategies by integrating some of the core elements of field building. It provides illustrative examples and identifies tools and best practices for funders to strengthen their fields of interest. This report was produced by Blueprint Research + Design, Inc., which was acquired by Arabella Advisors in 2011.

Building From Strength: Replication As a Strategy for Expanding Social Programs That Work
This study of replication was undertaken to investigate its potential as a strategy for extending the scale of effective services in a number of areas of domestic social policy. One goal of the work was to contribute, at a time of severe austerity and budget constraint, to the cost-effective use of scarce resources available for domestic investment. A second goal was to consider possible steps that might be taken by foundations and public agencies to help promising local programs expand their activities to new sites by building upon the body of knowledge described in this study.

Case Study: Preparing for a Pay for Success Opportunity
Third Sector Capital Partners, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, has published a case study on its experience working with Roca, Inc. on their successful response to Massachusetts’ Social Innovation Financing project for juvenile justice. The case discusses the challenges, lessons learned, and process of launching the nation’s first state-level Pay for Success contract.

Catalyzing Networks for Social Change: A Funder's Guide
This publication explores what it takes to cultivate a network mindset, and offers recommendations for how funders can effectively build the capacity of networks and share what they're learning with the broader field. This guide is for grantmakers who are just beginning to explore networks and for those further along who want to reflect on their practice.

Collective Impact
This paper was published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations. Substantially greater progress could be made in alleviating many of our most serious and complex social problems if nonprofits, governments, businesses, and the public were brought together around a common agenda to create collective impact.

Cracking the Network Code: Four Principles for Grantmakers
This publication sets out to crack the code behind the network mystique. Cracking the Network Code outlines four principles that comprise the network mindset, illustrates the principles with a range of examples of networks that have achieved real results, and offers practical questions and recommendations to help grantmakers achieve the benefits and avoid common pitfalls of working through networks.

Deeper Capacity Building for Greater Impact
With funding from the James Irvine Foundation, the TCC Group has published a paper on long-term capacity-building (LTCB) initiatives. It provides tangible examples of design options, best practices, and common challenges of LTCB initiatives. The purpose of the paper is to stimulate thinking within private foundations, corporate community involvement departments, and public agencies about capacity building and inform decision-making in designing and managing any LTCB initiative.

From Grantmaker to Federal Grantee: Risks and Rewards
This guide highlights three grantmakers that participated in the Social Innovation Fund's inaugural year. The report includes their experience of shifting from grantmaker to federal grantee (benefits and barriers), how they strengthened their own knowledge and what capacities they developed to make the partnership with the federal government work.

Getting Replication Right: The Decisions That Matter Most for Nonprofit Organizations Looking to Expand
By surveying a number of nonprofit leaders who have successfully grown their organizations through replication, coupled with Bridgespan’s own experience in the field, this article outlines the key decisions that need to be made in order to carry out a successful replication.

Going to Scale: The Challenge of Replicating Social Programs
Tackles question of how proven nonprofit programs can increase their reach beyond single communities and how nonprofits can think about the decision to replicate and steps they can take through lessons learned by Jumpstart, City Year and STRIVE.

Greater than the Sum of Its Parts, Part I: A Regional Perspective on Changing Demographics
Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) prepared this report to offer practical lessons from the experiences of four nonprofit leaders in the VPP portfolio who expanded to new jurisdictions to fill unmet service needs. In addition to interviews with each of the four leaders, long-time observers of the region’s human services sector also shared insights about the short- and long-term implications of the demographic trends in light of the economic crisis that the region, the country and the world are experiencing.

Growing What Works: Lessons Learned from Pennsylvania's Nurse-Family Partnership Initiative
In 2001, P/PV was asked to oversee the statewide replication of the Nurse-Family Partnership in Pennsylvania—one of the largest and most successful expansions of this well regarded home-visiting program, which has been found to produce substantial and enduring improvements in the health and well-being of low-income first-time parents and their children. Our experience in Pennsylvania has shown that the replication of evidence-based models can be an enormous challenge, even for highly defined and effective programs like Nurse-Family Partnership. Replication across many sites simultaneously, and by a common funder, is labor-intensive and comes with expectations of outcomes similar to those achieved in research trials. As a result, ensuring fidelity to the established program model, while allowing for local innovation, is paramount to success.

Guidelines for Replicating Programs to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
This report provides guidance about the replication of effective pregnancy prevention programs. And discusses lessons from the replication experiences of three programs: The Teen Outreach Program, The CAS-Carrera Program, and Plain Talk, whose national replication is being managed by P/PV.

How Nonprofits Get Really Big
Since 1970, more than 200,000 nonprofits have opened in the U.S., but only 144 of them have reached $50 million in annual revenue. Most of the members of this elite group got big by doing two things. They raised the bulk of their money from a single type of funder such as corporations or government – and not, as conventional wisdom would recommend, by going after diverse sources of funding and just as importantly created professional organizations tailored to the needs of their primary funding sources.

In New Brand of Philanthropy, Nonprofits Invest in For-Profits
Increasingly, philanthropy is taking its cues from Wall Street and Silicon Valley. The shift stems from a new generation of philanthropists, like Bill and Melinda Gates, Pierre and Pam Omidyar and Steve and Jean Case, hoping to stretch their dollars. According to this article, the pool of philanthropic assets is too small to make a dent in seemingly intractable social problems and corporations and individual philanthropists alike are looking for ways to reuse existing financing and to attract new types of capital.

Innovations for Scale and Sustainability in the EITC Campaigns
There is increasing interest in identifying alternative models for EITC outreach, tax preparation and asset development programs that have greater potential for scale, sustainability and impact and lessons learned. This examination of 5 pilots can help expand our understanding of the challenge of scale for the community economic development field.

Investing in What Works
Getting organized for replication is no simple matter. There are many moving parts to a replication effort, and each needs to be thought through carefully. This working paper details the questions that should frame any serious replication effort.

Laying a Solid Foundation: Strategies for Effective Program Replication
This report is a synthesis of P/PV's 30 years of experience designing, testing and replicating a variety of social programs. It was designed as a guide for policymakers, practitioners and philanthropists who are interested in a systematic approach to program replication. It clearly lays out the key structures that should be in place before wide-scale replication is considered, as well as the steps needed to ensure the replication's success. With details on when in a program's life to replicate, where the replication should take place, and the staff resources needed, Laying a Solid Foundation can help capitalize on proven programs' successes.

More Bang for the Buck
Scores of pundits have written books, research reports, and articles about how business leaders extracted greater productivity from their companies. Yet few have paid attention to this topic in the nonprofit sector. Recognizing that increasing productivity could be a powerful way for nonprofit organizations to multiply the impact of their work, the authors explore how three nonprofits succeeded in reducing costs without sacrificing the quality of their services.

New Pathways to Scale for Community Development Finance
The purpose of is to gain an understanding of how to strengthen the overall system for financing community development in the United States. It attempts to provide a useful understanding of scale, how it can be achieved and the possible advantages and disadvantages of achieving it. It also proposes a new strategic framework for CDFIs and funders to consider to facilitate product development and greatly expand delivery.

Nonprofit M&A is No Oxymoron
This paper is a guide for nonprofits in mergers and acquisitions. John Macintosh provides advice on how to develop a successful collaboration among nonprofits.

Nonprofits: Ensuring that Bigger is Better
Explores how nonprofit federations manage themselves and how the national offices can achieve their full potential by giving affiliates four tangible benefits: a valuable national brand, a reliable system for measuring performance, shared administrative services, and coordinated fund-raising.

Partnering with Intermediaries
The purpose of this paper, published by Grantmakers in the Arts, is to explore the dimensions of foundation-intermediary partnerships in order to inform future philanthropic strategy and practice. A prime strategy for extending a foundation’s reach and augmenting the knowledge and skills of its staff is to partner with a variety of intermediary organizations (IOs). In addition to providing specialized expertise, IOs can take on a variety of critical assignments, including program design and management, regranting, fiscal sponsorship, capacity building with subgrantees and convening and coordination of a field.

Pathways to Grow Impact: Philanthropy's Role in the Journey
This publication is the result of a collaborative project with Ashoka, Social Impact Exchange, Taproot Foundation and TCC Group that sought to answer the question: How can grantmakers best support high-performing nonprofits in their efforts to grow their impact? It offers a framework for understanding different approaches to scaling impact, stories from nonprofit leaders who have successfully grown their organizations' impact, and practical recommendations for grantmakers seeking more effective ways to achieve better results.

Pathways to Social Impact: Strategies for Scaling Out Successful Social Innovations
The Matrix of Strategic Options for Scaling Out is a conceptual framework to help social entrepreneurs and funders identify and assess options for scaling innovations, including branching, affiliation and dissemination. The authors also recommend refining scaling strategy by considering the Five R's: Readiness, Resources, Receptivity, Risk, and Return.

Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World [requires purchase]
An examination of how today’s leading philanthropists are revolutionizing the field, using new methods to have a vastly greater impact on the world. For philanthropists of the past, charity was often a matter of simply giving money away. For the philanthrocapitalists – the new generation of billionaires who are reshaping the way they give – it’s like business. Largely trained in the corporate world, these “social investors” are using big-business-style strategies and expecting results and accountability to match. Matthew Bishop and Michael Green examine this new movement and its implications. Proceeding from interviews with some of the most powerful people on the planet—including Gates, Bill Clinton, George Soros, Angelina Jolie, and Bono, among others—they show how a web of wealthy, motivated donors has set out to change the world.

Profile: American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund (AKF) was founded in 1971 to help people with kidney failure pay for dialysis. For 25 years AKF grew slowly, relying on funding from small donors with personal ties to kidney disease. But in 1996 an opportunity opened up when the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) banned healthcare providers from covering needy patients’ Medicare Part B and Medigap premiums. HIPAA left thousands of kidney patients unable to pay for treatment. AKF acted fast—partnering with healthcare providers to serve these disenfranchised patients—and revenues soared. "Switching our emphasis to corporate partners in 1997 was the real turning point in our organization," said Don Roy, director of finance and operations.

Profile: Communities in Schools
From a small start in Atlanta in 1971, Communities in Schools (CIS) has grown to become the largest dropout prevention program in the country. By bringing caring adults into schools to address children’s unmet needs, CIS frees up teachers to teach and helps students focus on learning. While the charisma of CIS founder Bill Milliken drove early connections to large donors, in time, the organization began to rely heavily on federal funding, which has created some ups and downs. In the 1980s, CIS transitioned to a national network structure—a move that spurred growth by allowing state offices to seek their own funding.

Profile: Conservation International
Conservation International’s mission is to conserve the Earth’s living heritage—our global biodiversity—and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature. CI’s combination of scientific inquiry and large-scale conservation supports the organization’s appeal to governments, foundations, and wealthy individual donors. CI seeks to maintain operational autonomy by appealing to funders who agree with the fundamentals of its mission. CI also has leveraged its financial stability to expand into market-based approaches to conservation and form partnerships with governments, multinational organizations, private corporations, and other stakeholders.

Profile: Habitat for Humanity
Since 1976 Habitat for Humanity has been using donated building materials, professional services, and volunteer labor to help low-income families become homeowners. This Christian ministry is largely funded by small individual donors. A key asset is Habitat’s strong brand, which the it has built, in part, by using high-profile people such as Jimmy Carter to communicate its message. “A strong brand is at the center of our fundraising from so many small donors,” said CFO Lyn Johnson. “But the tremendous value of Habitat’s brand name has grown slowly and depended on the organization’s stability.” As Habitat has grown, its network model has enabled it to continue to engage communities on a grassroots level—essential to successful mass fundraising.

Profile: HELP USA, Inc.
Founded in 1986 as a low-cost, high-impact alternative to New York’s approach of paying hotels to house the homeless, HELP USA builds transitional shelters, provides support services, and moves homeless families to stable housing faster than welfare hotels. Over the years, the organization has branched out geographically. It also has expanded its programming to include case management, welfare-to-work, child mentoring, and domestic violence programs. While HELP USA is somewhat limited to those services the government will reimburse, its growth has come, in part, through its ability to demonstrate better outcomes at a reduced cost, manage complex finances, and maintain an engaged board.

Profile: HOPE worldwide
Founded by the International Churches of Christ in 1991, HOPE worldwide delivers community-based services to poor people. The nonprofit operates in more than 70 countries and assists more than one million people each year. Focusing on education for children and medical services for the elderly, HOPE worldwide relies on volunteers to build strong ties with the communities it serves. Despite challenges in funding organizational capacity, the nonprofit has been able to support its ever-expanding services by reaching beyond its base of small individual church donors and tapping government and corporate grants. In-kind donations from corporations and hospitals also have been instrumental in its growth.

Profile: Make-A-Wish Foundation of America
The Make-A-Wish Foundation originated in 1980 when a terminally ill boy had his wish to become a police officer granted. Later that year, Make-A-Wish began fundraising to grant more wishes; today its revenues exceed $160 million and its 71 U.S. chapters have granted the wishes of more than 144,000 children worldwide. During the 1990s Make-A-Wish grew rapidly by opening loosely-governed local chapters. Once chapters covered the U.S. growth slowed—though the nonprofit has continued to enjoy strong support from individual and corporate donors. The purity of the nonprofit's mission make it an easy sell to fundraisers, partners, and volunteers—and Make-A-Wish leaders have worked hard not to muddy the waters.

Profile: Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership
The Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership (MBHP) was born in 1991 from a merger of the Boston Housing Partnership and Metropolitan Housing, Inc. In its early years, MBHP was a full-spectrum real estate developer and housing services provider. But facing steep competition in the real estate development arena, the nonprofit eventually refocused its efforts on an unment need: rental assistance for low income and homeless families. By honing ts expertise in managing vouchers and housing families quickly, MBHP made itself an asset to government agencies. In turn, MBHP's revenue growth has closely followed the growth in federal funding for rental assistance housing voucher programs.

Profile: National Wild Turkey Federation
The National Wild Turkey Foundation (NWTF) funds scientific wildlife management to promote wild turkey hunting. Since its founding in 1973, NWTF has helped grow the U.S. wild turkey population from 1.3 to 7.0 million. This grassroots conservation organization, which grew slowly through its first two decades, has expanded dramatically since the late 1990s when NWTF made profitability a top goal and honed its banquet-in-a-box fundraising model. With the help of local turkey enthusiasts, NWTF runs over 2,000 banquets per year—averaging $10,000 each in net receipts. In addition to producing revenues, the banquets have grown NWTF membership from 20,000 in its early days to its current size of 500,000 members.

Profile: Natural Resources Defense Council
Founded in 1970 the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) uses legal and scientific expertise—along with a base of 1.2 million members and online activists—to protect the planet’s wild life and wild places. Best known for its involvement in the Clean Air Act, NRDC’s current campaigns address climate change and oil drilling in Alaska. After 20 years of limited growth with mainly foundation funding, NRDC leadership realized it needed individual donors to grow more significantly. Simultaneously, the nonprofit was shifting from pure policy analysis to increased advocacy efforts. Today, individual members, who are attracted to NRDC’s broad range of environmental programming, provide more than 70 percent of revenues and powerful advocacy support

Profile: Nehemiah Corporation of America
When HUD made it legal in 1997 for nonprofits to disburse private-sector donations to help low-income families buy homes, the Nehemiah Corporation was poised to translate regulatory change into rapid growth. Through the Nehemiah Program the nonprofit charges private corporations a small fee in return for its grant placement services. “In the beginning our growth was due to being in the right place at the right time,” said CEO Scott Syphax. “Now it is due to our people, our management, and our operational practices.” Despite private sector talent and best practices, in recent years, growth at Nehemiah has slowed due to increased competition and difficulty obtaining foundation funding.

Profile: Opportunity International
Complexity can make a nonprofit organization a tough sell to donors. But Opportunity International has managed to use complexity to its advantage. This Christian ecumenical organization creates jobs and stimulates small, primarily women-owned businesses through micro-enterprise development. In many ways Opportunity’s complex program model has dictated its funding strategy. The nonprofit engages in data-rich, one-on-one conversations with high net-worth individuals. This investment in donor relationships has paid off: Opportunity’s revenues have grown steadily over time, with 80 percent of individual dollars coming from 4 percent of donors who give at least $25,000.

Profile: Oregon Food Bank
The Oregon Food Bank (OFB) seeks to eliminate hunger in Oregon, which the USDA identified as the worst state in terms of hunger and food security in 1999. To meet this pressing need, OFB collects and distributes food to 20 regional food banks. While OFB has maintained a constant mix of in-kind donations (approximately 70 percent) and cash, it has constantly innovated in order to grow. For example, in the late 1980s OFB shifted from 75 percent USDA funding to 75 percent private donations. And in the late 1990s OFB shifted from large donations of packaged and canned goods from a few retailers to large quantities of fresh and frozen donations from farmers and processors.

Profile: Population Services International
For its first 16 years, Population Services International (PSI) worked mostly in family planning. But since the late 1990s, PSI has grown dramatically as it’s expanded the health problems it addresses—including AIDS, malaria, safe water, and nutrition—and the places it serves. Today, PSI works in 60 countries, investing heavily in local staff to give them decision-making authority. At the heart of PSI’s growth? Successful commercial marketing strategies borrowed from the for-profit sector to promote health products, services, and healthy behaviors that help people lead healthier lives. PSI’s ability to demonstrate positive outcomes has been key to attracting governmental and major individual donors.

Profile: Safe Horizon
Profile: Safe Horizon For over a quarter of a century, Safe Horizon has assisted victims of crime and abuse. Today the nonprofit serves 350,000 people each year through its 80 programs, which range from domestic violence shelters to court-based services. In 1998 new CEO Gordon Campbell shifted the focus from adding new programs to managing and executing core programs effectively. “The ability to manage and plan effectively, together with maintaining the quality of our social services, has allowed us to be successful in an increasingly competitive market,” said Campbell, who emphasized setting long-term goals, implementing systems, and adding expertise through key hires.

Profile: Success For All Foundation
The Success For All Foundation (SFA) develops, evaluates, and disseminates proven reform models for preschool, elementary, and middle schools, with a particular focus on schools serving at-risk children. SFA programs have always been designed around Title 1 federal funding requirements—a strategy that propelled growth for a number of years. But in 2001 SFA hit a major stumbling block with the passage of No Child Left Behind. As schools shifted away from SFA, growth plummeted. Since then SFA has reduced its staff, divested select programs, and pared down to a core set of reading products. As a smaller, more focused organization, SFA can continue to impact education moving forward.

Profile: Texas Migrant Council
Since 1971 the Texas Migrant Council, Inc. (TMC) has provided Head Start and other services for the children of migrant farmworkers. TMC serves families along the Texas-Mexico border for nine months out of the year and then migrates to places where families find seasonal work. After a brief foray into workforce development in the mid-90s, TMC refocused on children. “We had to realize that our greatest resource was our expertise in early child education,” said CEO Mary Capello. In recent years TMC offices have taken a more active role in program management. This has resulted in higher quality services and faster growth—within Texas and into new geographic markets—through improved access to local funding.

Profile: The Greater Boston Food Bank
Distributing over 25 million pounds of food annually to hundreds of local agencies, the Greater Boston Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England. At the Food Bank efficiencies have driven growth, as the nonprofit has become more effective at processing and distributing products. Such efficiencies have allowed the Food Bank to increase food distributed and areas served, creating a broader base for fundraising. The organization has also adopted best practices from for-profit companies and pursued key private sector hires. Now a new challenge: Having maximized its current operational activities, to continue to grow, the Food Bank must invest in new operational capabilities, such as those inherent with perishable foods.

Profile: Trust for Public Land
Simply put, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) conserves land for people to enjoy it. TPL does this by buying land from private sellers and selling it to public agencies. During the last 35 years TPL has raised over $35 billion in land conservation-related funding and facilitated more than 2,700 land transactions. But most of these accomplishments have taken place since the mid-1990s. At that time TPL moved into the “conservation finance” arena, running state and local campaigns to increase land conservation awareness and funding. A few years later growth exploded when new President Will Rogers made it an explicit goal.

Profile: Youth Advocate Programs, Inc.
Founded in 1975 Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) contracts with state, city, and county authorities, offering a cost-effective alternative to jail or institutional rehabilitation for adjudicated youth. Over the years it has grown by translating political crises into funding opportunities: When states have been unable to fund their correctional systems, YAP has offered a more affordable model. As YAP’s name recognition has grown, the organization has been able to expand to 115 programs in 11 states and Washington, D.C. Relying entirely on government funding, YAP has faced some financial ups and downs, which it has endured thanks to the personal sacrifice of its founders and the passion of its staff.

Profile: Youth Villages
Youth Villages serves youth in or at risk of entering the child welfare and juvenile justice systems through a range of residential facilities, foster care, and in-home services. Relying heavily on state funding, Youth Villages has achieved significant scale by working with multiple states and multiple departments within each state—often collaborating with states to assess needs and develop programs. The organization’s willingness to take on significant risk in its contracts has also buoyed its funding. For example, the state of Tennessee pays Youth Villages an amount per child based on the child’s situation. The nonprofit then must service the child for that fee, regardless of how much service the child ultimately requires.

Real Results: Why Strategic Philanthropy is Social Justice Philanthropy
This report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy’s suggests that prioritizing and including underserved communities and support of community organizing are important components of successful philanthropic strategy regardless of issue focus. The last several years have seen a shift in philanthropy: an emphasis on maximizing impact has grantmakers aiming to be more organized, focused and, perhaps above all, “strategic” in their efforts. While this admirable shift has made philanthropy more effective, our society and the nonprofit sector continue to confront significant disparities.

Replicating High-Performing Public Schools: Lessons from the Field
As a growing number of schools demonstrate that public education can work for every student, the question is no longer, “Can we create schools that will achieve outstanding results for all students?” but rather, “How can we replicate schools that we know can work, without sacrificing quality outcomes and within the constraints of the existing funding environment?” In the past few years, Bridgespan has had the privilege of working with a number of school developers who are tackling the challenges of replication. This set of short papers highlights some of the practical lessons they and we are learning in our work together.

Replicating Programs in Social Markets
Since the ebbing of federal leadership in financing social welfare in the 1970’s, how do the best approaches to improving social conditions get identified and broadly adopted.

Scale Pathways: Brings Asset-Building Products and Services to Scale
Living Cities published this report to help funders better assess the elements of scale that best suited for their investments, and help practioners more effectively design projects for scaling. In cities across the country, practitioners in the field of asset-building are developing innovative approaches to expanding savings opportunities in low-income communities. Unfortunately, these programs and services rarely reach enough scale to transform entire cities, regions, states, or even neighborhoods. By releasing the new report, Living Cities hopes to generate discussion among funders and practitioners on approaches necessary for scaling.

Scaling for Social Impact: Exploring Strategies for Spreading Social Innovations
Slides from a one day workshop delivered to nonprofits interested in exploring strategies for spreading social innovations.

Scaling Impact
In this Stanford Social Innovation Review article, Jeffrey Bradach discusses how nonprofit leaders and philanthropists are searching for ways to scale impact beyond adding sites. When it comes to scaling, the question now is “How can we get 100x the impact with only a 2x change in the size of the organization?” This way of thinking about growth is quite new, and social entrepreneurs are still figuring out the best ways to scale impact. But pioneers have identified some tools and strategies that expand the impact of organizations well beyond what their size would seem capable of generating.

Scaling Impact: A Primer for Nonprofits
This e-book is a compilation of observations, takeaways, and information from the Social Impact Exchange's 2010 conference on Scaling Impact. This resource is geared towards helping nonprofits think about the process of scaling, and what factors to consider when deciding whether to scale. It is designed as a primer for those who want to pursue scaling their impact.

Scaling Social Impact: A Literature Toolkit for Funders
In 2012, with support from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), the Social Impact Exchange set out to document and analyze the currently available literature on scaling, in order to both highlight the best set of resources available that are useful to funders actively pursuing grantmaking strategies around scaling impact, and to shine a light on what still needs to be studied and explored. This report is a compendium of the main findings of that work, and is arranged in the form of a funder-facing literature review with links and abstracts, along with recommendations for future work.

Scaling Social Impact: New Thinking [requires purchase]
Many social entrepreneurs struggle to take successful, innovative programs that address social problems a local or limited basis and scale them up to expand their impact in a more widespread, deeper, and efficient way. The editors address this issue with a comprehensive collection of original papers written by leading scholars that offers the latest thinking about how to scale social impact successfully.

Scaling Social Impact: When Everybody Contributes, Everybody Wins
This article provides an overview of challenges of scaling, strategies to overcome these obstacles, and lessons learned. The authors describe emerging mechanisms for scaling impact beyond organizational growth; they identify "open source changemaking" (or open innovation) and "smart networks" as key pathways for spreading social innovations.

Scaling Up: From Vision to Large-Scale Change. A Management Framework for Practioners
The concept of “scaling up” has become increasingly popular as donors have acknowledged with concern the relatively poor record of innovative pilot projects in extending their reach to large populations. Recognizing this, in October 2003, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awarded a grant to Management Systems International (MSI)to develop a field-tested framework and set of guidelines for improved management of the scaling-up process. This framework was intended to be of direct and immediate use to those planning, implementing, and funding pilot projects and to those hoping to take the results of such projects to scale.

Scaling What Works: Implications for Philanthropists, Policymakers, and Nonprofit Leaders
Offers insights into scaling nonprofit programs, including the need for rigorous impact analysis, more focused funding patterns, capacity building, and research and evaluation, as guidance for government investment and for partnerships with philanthropy. Nancy Roob, EMCF president, and Jeffrey L. Bradach, managing partner and co-founder of the Bridgespan Group, describe the opportunities and challenges presented by the Obama administration’s commitment to investing in social innovation and “what works.”

Scaling Your Social Venture: Becoming an Impact Entrepreneur
When should a social entrepreneurial venture scale? What should they try to understand about the ecosystem in which they operate? What steps can be taken to assess the organization's unique situation and determine the most effective scaling strategies? Bloom outlines the SCALERS model for building an organization's capacity to scale.

Scope, Scale & Sustainability: What It Takes to Create Lasting Community Change
This report examines the success factors of Comprehensive Community Initiatives (CCI), which are multifaceted initiatives that are funded by public sector agencies and philanthropies and seek to address complex social problems. While there has been a fair amount of discussion in the field about what has not worked, there has been less analysis of the specific practices, approaches, and mechanisms that do lead to success. This report examines those success factors as they relate specifically to the ability of a comprehensive community initiative to achieve the scope and scale required to generate community-level outcomes and to sustain those positive impacts over time. It summarizes a study of eleven CCIs funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Six Steps to Successfully Scale Impact in the Nonprofit Sector
Erin Harris of Harvard Family Research Project discusses how nonprofits can successfully scale up an intervention, based on a review of the literature on this topic. This issue of The Evaluation Exchange explores the promising practices and challenges associated with taking an enterprise to scale, along with the role that evaluation can and should play in that process. Scaling impact often refers to scaling programs or interventions, but ideas, technologies, skills, and policies can also be scaled.

Social Entrepreneurship and Societal Transformation [requires purchase]
This study provides a comparative analysis of 7 cases of social entrepreneurship that have been widely recognized as successful. The article suggests factors associated with successful social entrepreneurship, particularly with social entrepreneurship that leads to significant changes in the social, political, and economic contexts for poor and marginalized groups. It generates propositions about core innovations, leadership and organization, and scaling up in social entrepreneurship that produces societal transformation. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications for social entrepreneurship practice, research, and continued development.

Social Impact Markets
In this article, Andrew Wolk of Root Cause argues that the time has come for a social impact market -- one that fosters innovation and collaboration across the governmental, business, and nonprofit sectors to maximize scarce resources and spread solutions. In the private sector, financial markets provide the infrastructure, information, and incentives to help move capital based on performance. Similarly, social impact markets are emerging as essential mechanisms to enable individuals or institutions to provide financial, volunteer, or in-kind resources with the expectation of those resources resulting in social impact.

Talent Initiative Case Study: Nonprofit with High Performing, Vibrant Culture Builds Talent Infrastructure to Support International Growth
Often, as nonprofit organizations grow and face new situations, or if other external factors such as the competition for talent change, human capital management practices that worked well in the past may no longer be effective. An organization’s human capital management capabilities need to evolve to keep developing the leadership and organization its strategy requires. A new case study on Root Capital provides an excellent example; sustaining its success through rapid growth required a conscious effort to maintain its shared culture and build its team’s capabilities. This case study looks at why an organization might think critically about its human capital management in order to preserve and continue a track record of success.

The Emerging Capital Market for Nonprofits [requires registration]
This Harvard Business Review article states that the new generation of charitable foundations and intermediaries is changing the game by measuring the social impact of donations and offering ways to funnel dollars to the most-effective nonprofits. It sketches out how the nascent capital marketplace for nonprofits is developing. The article starts by looking at the current deficits in the sector’s infrastructure.

The End of Charity: How to Fix the Nonprofit Sector Through Effective Social Investing
The former Director of Evaluation and Knowledge Development at the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation puts forth an argument for what social investing is and what the implications of the approach are for the social sector.

The Networked Nonprofit
Management wisdom says that nonprofits must be large and in charge to do the most good. But some of the world’s most successful organizations instead stay small, sharing their load with like-minded, long-term partners. The success of these networked nonprofits suggests that organizations should focus less on growing themselves and more on cultivating their networks.

The Nonprofit Marketplace: Bridging the Information Gap in Philanthropy
This paper seeks to answer two questions: what do donors need to make smart decisions about giving, and how can the philanthropic world ensure that the strongest, most effective nonprofits get the resources they need? This discussion paper summarizes the authors’ perspectives on how the nonprofit sector might improve the flow of information over the next 5 to 10 years.

The Obama Administration's Social Innovation Fund: An In-depth Interview with Director Paul Carttar
Recently, I interviewed Paul Carttar, Director of the Social Innovation Fund--an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) intended to improve the lives of people in low-income communities. It does so by mobilizing public and private resources to grow promising, innovative community-based solutions that have evidence of compelling impact in three areas of priority need: economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development.

The Spiral of Sustainable Excellence
This article is adapted from a new book by Paul Light entitled Sustaining Nonprofit Performance: The Case for Capacity Building and the Evidence to Support It, published in 2004 by the Brookings Institution Press. Light compares a nonprofit’s life to a journey up and down a development spiral. Some organizations start with a simple idea for some new program or service and then move up the spiral toward greater and greater impact, progressing through five landings, or stops, along the climb while others linger at one stage or another, perhaps for long periods, without any guarantee that they would advance. He asserts that nonprofit development varies in direction and speed, which is why it is important to understand the organic history of an organization.

The State of Scaling Social Impact: Results of a National Study of Nonprofits
This report compiled by the Social Impact Exchange in partnership with Veris Consulting, discusses results of a nationwide survey of more than 400 nonprofits and details how practitioners view scaling, their motivations and readiness to grow, and the strategies they are deploying to achieve scaled impact. It also serves to highlight the challenges they face as well as the information and support they need to move forward.

Think Large and Act Small: Toward a New Paradigm for NGO Scaling Up [requires purchase]
Scaling up is about "expanding impact" and not about "becoming large," the latter being only one possible way to achieve the former. The experiences of five Indian nongovernment organizations (NGOs) suggest the emergence of a new paradigm of scaling up, in which NGOs become catalysts of policy innovations and social capital, creators of programmatic knowledge that can be spun off and integrated into government and market institutions, and builders of vibrant and diverse civil societies. We detail the mechanisms by which NGO impact can be scaled up without drastically increasing the size of the organization.

Tools to Support Public Policy Grantmaking
This article published by Grantmakers in the Arts asserts that achieving large-scale and lasting results for individuals or communities — a goal linked to many foundation missions — typically cannot be accomplished with private resources alone. Larger and more sustainable funding sources are needed to scale up those interventions and broaden their impacts. Public policy grantmaking has been described as “one of the most powerful tools available to foundations for creating real change."

Way to Grow: Charities Use Business Practices to Rapidly Expand Their Programs
This article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy discusses the trend of young charities seeking to go to scale, including a look at what various organizations have struggled with, and their corresponding growth strategies.

What Do We Mean by Scale?
In the past, grantmakers often focused on scaling or growing promising solutions by expanding grantee organizations or replicating effective programs in other communities. Now, more and more grantmakers are broadening their understanding of scale as a means to more comprehensively grow social impact without necessarily increasing the size of the nonprofit organizations and programs they support. Recognizing that there are a variety of approaches to scale, this briefing paper explores what can be scaled and grantmaking practices that support nonprofits in growing their impact.

Why Supporting Advocacy Makes Sense for Foundations
This article published by Atlantic Philanthropies provides an overview of why funders should consider investing in advocacy, includes examples of successful, foundation-funded advocacy efforts, and poses key questions for individual philanthropists and foundation staff to consider before committing to funding advocacy.

youthCONNECT: A (Net)work in Progress
Venture Philanthropy Partners launched the youthCONNECT, which combines federal funding, philanthropic resources, and the experience of six of the highest performing nonprofit service providers to improve education, employment, and healthy behavior outcomes for low-income and at-risk youth. A key component of youthCONNECT has been the development of a shared framework for monitoring outcomes. This case study describes VPP's collaborative process with College Summit, KIPP DC, Latin American Youth Center, Metro TeenAIDS, Urban Alliance, and Year Up NCR.

Zeroing in on Impact
This article argues that in an era of declining resources, nonprofits need to clarify their intended impact. In the face of resource-allocation decision difficulty, revising the organization's mission so that it is narrowly focused on a finite set of objectives is one way to resolve it.

Evaluation & Selection

A Decade of Outcome-Oriented Philanthropy
The outgoing president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Paul Brest, reflects on the growing importance of strategic philanthropy over the last decade and its prospects for the future. Brest discusses approaches to outcome-oriented philanthropy where donors seek to achieve clearly defined goals; where they and their grantees pursue evidence-based strategies for achieving those goals; and where both parties monitor progress toward outcomes and assess their success in achieving them in order to make appropriate course corrections.

A Framework for Determining Advocacy Capacity
The California Endowment has funded this paper published by the TCC Group to provide frameworks and methodologies that meaningfully evaluate policy change efforts. As advocacy becomes increasingly widespread as a strategy in nonprofits, foundations are looking to fund more of this type of work; nonprofits are learning how to harness its power to achieve their mission; and both are trying to better understand how to evaluate success. The purpose of this paper, drawing on a variety of sources, is to look at the context for policy and advocacy work and the distinctive characteristics of such work, outlining a model for evaluating organizational capacity and describing how this is adapted for advocacy organizations.

AfterZone: Outcomes for Youth Participating in Providence’s Citywide After-School System
This report presents findings from a three-year quasi-experimental evaluation of the AfterZone—a citywide system-building effort in Providence, RI, that aims to provide high-quality, accessible out-of-school-time services to middle school youth. The AfterZone model is unique in that it is built on a network of "neighborhood campuses" anchored by one or two middle schools. The report summarizes the patterns of youth participation in the AfterZone during the two-year period (in terms of amount, breadth and engagement); examines the benefits youth experience from participating after one and two school years; and presents implications for funders, policymakers and program leaders interested in implementing their own citywide out-of-school-time system.

Breakthroughs in Shared Measurement and Social Impact
Many social enterprises focus on measuring the success of individual grants and nonprofit initiatives. This traditional approach to measuring results neglects the reality that no single organization alone can solve the scale of today's social challenges. This research highlights 20 social enterprises that developed innovative and coordinated web-based approaches to evaluate their impact across multiple grants and stakeholders.

But Does It Work? How Best to Assess Program Performance
There have been significant advances in the development of effective reporting systems that can track the effectiveness of programs; however, many fall short of what is considered scientifically valid evidence of effectiveness. This article reports on the work done by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation which measures programs at three levels of effectiveness: “apparent,” “demonstrated,” and “proven.” By employing these performance assessments, donors can better fund programs that truly work.

Capturing the Essential Elements
When a program with demonstrated effectiveness is expanded, knowing how it works and why it works the way it does is an indispensable first step in preserving its quality. This report draws on P/PV's experience with different programs to show how to define a model's essential elements to increase the chances of successful replication. It contains lessons for program developers, funders and practitioners interested in adopting model programs.

Case Study: Preparing for a Pay for Success Opportunity
Third Sector Capital Partners, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, has published a case study on its experience working with Roca, Inc. on their successful response to Massachusetts’ Social Innovation Financing project for juvenile justice. The case discusses the challenges, lessons learned, and process of launching the nation’s first state-level Pay for Success contract.

Cash Value: How The Financial Clinic Puts Money into the Pockets of Working-Poor Families
How does one track the monetary quantification--"cash value"--of financial development services? The Clinic explores how its valuation of financial development strategies for the working-poor illustrates successful movement along their tractories and closer to achieving financial security.

Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work
This article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review provides a deep analysis of collective impact. Three conditions must be in place before launching a collective impact initiative: an influential champion, adequate financial resources, and a sense of urgency for change. Together, these preconditions create the opportunity and motivation necessary to bring people who have never before worked together into a collective impact initiative and hold them in place until the initiative’s own momentum takes over. This article provides examples of collective impact, how to bring it to life, and how to measure its impact.

Community-Service Group Develops a Guidebook to Manage Growth
This article discusses the approach that City Year, a Youth service corps, takes when deciding to expand its program into another city. The organization developed a list of criteria each site must meet to ensure that it is "operationally sound and sustainable."

Consumer Voices for Coverage: Advocacy Evaluation Toolkit
In 2011, Mathematica Policy Research completed its evaluation of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program called Consumer Voices for Coverage, which advocated for expanded health insurance coverage. This Advocacy Evaluation Toolkit is a product of the evaluation and is intended to help grantees and other advocacy organizations collect and analyze data using instruments and methods used by Mathematica in its evaluation. The Toolkit is also designed to inform people who might not be familiar with evaluation procedures and methods on how to plan and conduct an evaluation.

Deeper Capacity Building for Greater Impact
With funding from the James Irvine Foundation, the TCC Group has published a paper on long-term capacity-building (LTCB) initiatives. It provides tangible examples of design options, best practices, and common challenges of LTCB initiatives. The purpose of the paper is to stimulate thinking within private foundations, corporate community involvement departments, and public agencies about capacity building and inform decision-making in designing and managing any LTCB initiative.

Divining a Vision for Markets for Good
This article, which was published in Alliance Management magazine, argues that social entrepreneurship will continue to face challenges in promoting more intelligent, proactive and generous philanthropy via the Internet unless new strategies are invoked to remove impediments to progress. Buzz Schmidt revisits early initiatives that attempted to facilitate more generous and intelligent philanthropy from the past 15 years. He proposes an alternative vision for the philanthropy ecosystem and stresses the need for social entrepreneurs to pursue opportunities for coordinated or collective action across the ecosystem.

Expanding the Impact of Grantees: How Do We Build the Capacity of Nonprofits to Evaluate, Learn and Improve?
High-performing organizations seek and use data and feedback to continually assess and improve their work. This paper explores how grantmakers can effectively support grantee efforts to strengthen evaluation and learning capacity.

Getting Replication Right: The Decisions That Matter Most to Organizations Looking to Expand
By surveying a number of nonprofit leaders who have successfully grown their organizations through replication, coupled with Bridgespan’s own experience in the field, this article outlines the key decisions that need to be made in order to carry out a successful replication.

Good Stories Aren't Enough: Becoming Outcomes-Driven in Workforce Development
Workforce development organizations are more and more focused on achieving and documenting performance outcomes; yet managers frequently face a challenge getting buy-in from frontline staff about collecting and using data—not only to satisfy funders' needs but to improve services. Good Stories Aren't Enough looks at the experience and learnings of six organizations as they focused on becoming more outcomes-driven. It identifies practical, hands-on strategies to increase staff involvement and communication around data, so that what at first seems like impersonal information becomes a useful tool to better meet job seekers' and employers' needs.

How Do We Approach Impact and Evaluation in the Context of Scale?
A growing number of grantmakers are working with stakeholders to use evaluation as a learning practice to strengthen grantee programs and organizations. This briefing paper explores the role evaluation can play not only in identifying whether something works — and if so, why and how — but also in assessing readiness for, planning and implementing approaches to scaling social impact. The paper also provides a framework and questions for grantmakers to consider when integrating evaluation into efforts to grow impact and facilitate learning across organizations.

How Grantmakers Achieve Tangible Results by Funding Policy and Community Engagement
The paper assesses the impact of foundation-funded policy advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement. It explains how these strategies create stronger communities and why they are successful. It provides a profile of grantmakers who currently fund these types of strategies, and offers suggestions for other funders. The full series of studies and a database of policy wins is available at www.ncrp.org/gcip.

If Gordon Gekko Had a Good Heart, This Is How He Might Have Done It
Describes how Wall Street executives who want to be involved in philanthropy during their working lives are helping promising nonprofits raise growth capital more efficiently.

Innovations in Measurement and Evaluation
The philanthropic sector has a compelling opportunity to advance the base of evidence of social change interventions that generate measurable impact. An evolving field of practice, measurement and evaluation (M&E) has the potential to uncover critical information about the efficacy of various social change strategies and to catalyze the expansion and replication of organizations and initiatives with proven social benefit.

Interview - Paul Brest, Jed Emerson, Katherina Rosqueta, Brian Trelstad, Michael Weinstein
Alliance Magazine interviewed the representatives of several foundations to discuss how they each assess the impact of their funding. These comments are a follow up to a study commissioned by the Gates Foundation whose findings were published in a paper entitled Measuring and/or Estimating Social Value Creation, written by Melinda Tuan.

Laying a Solid Foundation: Strategies for Effective Program Replication
This report is a synthesis of P/PV's 30 years of experience designing, testing and replicating a variety of social programs. It was designed as a guide for policymakers, practitioners and philanthropists who are interested in a systematic approach to program replication. It clearly lays out the key structures that should be in place before wide-scale replication is considered, as well as the steps needed to ensure the replication's success. With details on when in a program's life to replicate, where the replication should take place, and the staff resources needed, Laying a Solid Foundation can help capitalize on proven programs' successes.

Learning from Performance Measurement, Investing in What Works
Findings from the Social Innovation Forum’s year-long pilot “Key Measures” process where six 2008 Social Innovators articulate their two-year goals and the investment required to achieve those goals. In addition, they define a limited set of key measures with attached targets. The data from this “Key Measures” process serves as a valuable tool for both innovators and investors. By analyzing their performance on a variety of metrics, organizations can make adjustments to improve their work, and investors can make informed decisions on how best to invest – and re-invest – their resources for maximum social impact.

Making Change: How Social Movements Work and How to Support Them
In recent years, there has been a renewed philanthropic interest and openness to investing in social movements and policy change. This document, which is published by University of Southern California with funding by The California Endowment, seeks to provide a guidepost to this interest by detailing what makes for a successful social movement, what capacities need to be developed, and what funding opportunities might exist.

McKinsey & Company's Self-Assessment Grid
Designed to help nonprofit organizations assess their organizational capacity, this grid is to be used in conjunction with the Capacity Framework, which explains the seven elements of organizational capacity and their components.

Measuring and/or Estimating Social Value Creation: Insights into Eight Intergrated Cost Approaches
Describes eight approaches to integrating cost into measuring and/or estimating social value creation. The purpose is to present some fresh possibilities for thinking about the cost-benefit of philanthropic investments thereby bringing a new level of rigor and creativity to the measurement or estimation of social value.

Measuring What Matters in Nonprofits [requires purchase]
Although nonprofits will never resemble businesses that can measure their success in purely economic terms, there are several pragmatic approaches to quantifying the real success of an organization in achieving its mission.

Money for Good II: Driving Dollars to the Highest-Peforming Nonprofits
The Money for Good II study is the follow-up to initial research done by Hope Consulting and GuideStar in 2010 about preferences and motivations for charitable giving. In this November 2011 report, the authors expand the scope of research to include foundations and those who advise donors to get a deeper understanding of how to influence giving behaviors. The reports finds that it is possible to influence about 5 percent of donations each year towards the highest-performing nonprofits, which can lead to a shift in $15 billion in charitable donations.

Money to Grow On
Discusses the need for donors to provide funding for growth capital to help the best nonprofits grow to reach their full potential. It then provides some guidelines for donors to assist them in performing their due diligence.

Opinion: "Performance Measurement: Put a Stake in the Ground"
Andrew Wolk describes the importance of nonprofit performance measurement and measuring social impact work beyond financial statements.

Performance Dashboards:  Speedometer and Odometer for Social Enterprise
Presentation of the basics of performance dashboards: What are dashboards and why are they useful? How are nonprofit and for-profit dashboards different? Who looks at a dashboard?

Program Evaluation Practice in the Nonprofit Sector
Discussion of various evaluation approaches and methods that nonprofit organizations must choose to assess their effectiveness, demonstrate their value to the community, and provide useful and usable information to meet the demands of funders and the public.

Public Allies: Building the Infrastructure for Growth
Strong support from AmeriCorps, fees from organizations who sponsor "Allies" and clearly documented program results have propelled Public Allies' growth. Over the years, Public Allies has worked hard to find the appropriate level of control and decentralization with its branches, and the organization recently decided to migrate all of its sites to a licensee model in which organizations or universities manage local programs, relieving some of the administrative and financial burden on local sites. Public Allies also is planning future growth with a new, lower cost model and a more targeted approach to site development.

Scaling Your Social Venture: Becoming an Impact Entrepreneur
When should a social entrepreneurial venture scale? What should they try to understand about the ecosystem in which they operate? What steps can be taken to assess the organization's unique situation and determine the most effective scaling strategies? Bloom outlines the SCALERS model for building an organization's capacity to scale.

Social Movements and Philanthropy: How Foundations Can Support Movement Building
This report published by The Foundation Review identifies five core elements to movement building: organizing an authentic base; leadership; vision and ideas; alliances; and advocacy infrastructure. Because a funder's role should focus on supporting movement building, it should, likewise, focus on outcomes and benchmarks related to progress associated with developing the five core components of movement building.

The Essential Connection: Using Evaluation to Identify Programs Worth Replicating
This publication describes how to use practical evaluation methods to identify social programs that are both effective and capable of being successfully transferred to new settings. It also provides guidance in making sound decisions about the suitability of investing time and money in program expansion.

The Fulfillment Fund: Managing Programmatic Growth
Over the years, the Los Angeles-based Fulfillment Fund has received extensive support from individual donors, frequently relying on relationships with locally-based major studios and celebrities. This case study describes how the organization initially grew by adding programs to address students’ unmet needs and subsequently decided to double the number of students it served. It is an analysis of the consequences of these changes, unexpected management challenges, and new performance management strategy to satisfy a new base of funders.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook
This handbook provides a framework for thinking about evaluation as a relevant and useful program tool. It is written primarily for project directors who have direct responsibility for the ongoing evaluation of W.K. Kellogg Foundation-funded projects. However, the hope is that project directors will use this handbook as a resource for other project staff who have evaluation responsibilities, for external evaluators, and for board members.

youthCONNECT: A (Net)work in Progress
Venture Philanthropy Partners launched the youthCONNECT, which combines federal funding, philanthropic resources, and the experience of six of the highest performing nonprofit service providers to improve education, employment, and healthy behavior outcomes for low-income and at-risk youth. A key component of youthCONNECT has been the development of a shared framework for monitoring outcomes. This case study describes VPP's collaborative process with College Summit, KIPP DC, Latin American Youth Center, Metro TeenAIDS, Urban Alliance, and Year Up NCR.

Growth Business Planning

A Conversation on Sustaining Rapid Growth In Nonprofits
Summary of meeting hosted by Richard Smith, Co-Chair of the Smith Family Foundation Board of Trustees, which gave representatives from six organizations receiving Smith Family Foundation Capacity Building Grants an opportunity to share with funders their experiences in navigating their organizations through periods of rapid growth. The report includes dialogue between funders and grantees on how they might best collaborate in growing worthy organizations to scale.

An Information OASIS: The Design and Implementation of Comprehensive and Customized Client Information and Tracking Systems
Despite increasing demands for outcome measurement, nonprofit organizations typically do not have the capacity to collect, analyze and use outcome information. This paper describes the process of planning and developing customized tracking systems for nonprofit organizations. The system is called OASIS (Ongoing Assessment of Social Impacts), and was supported by The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund and a collaboration of other funding partners. The goal is to help nonprofit managers assess whether their organization is having the desired impact.

Approaches to Scaling Social Impact
Organizations face options about what to scale and how to scale their impact. The spectrum of goals and strategies for creating and scaling social impact ranges from impact through direct service to impact through indirect influence. By selecting combinations of goals and strategies from this “tool box,” organizations can craft a strategy for scaling social impact.

Back to School: Lessons from Past Mistakes Have Helped Teach for America Set—and Meet—Ambitious Plans for Growth
Discusses the issues confronting Teach for America during its rapid expansion over the past nine years and what it is planning for its next stage of expansion which is being funded by a $60 million growth fund.

Building Capacity in Nonprofit Organizations
Demonstrates how nonprofit capacity is intertwined with community capacity and offers a perspective on how nonprofits and funders alike might consider efforts to build capacity in nonprofit organizations and the sector as a whole.

Building From Strength: Replication As a Strategy for Expanding Social Programs That Work
This study of replication was undertaken to investigate its potential as a strategy for extending the scale of effective services in a number of areas of domestic social policy. One goal of the work was to contribute, at a time of severe austerity and budget constraint, to the cost-effective use of scarce resources available for domestic investment. A second goal was to consider possible steps that might be taken by foundations and public agencies to help promising local programs expand their activities to new sites by building upon the body of knowledge described in this study.

Building Stronger Nonprofits Through Better Financial Management: Early Efforts in 26 Youth-Serving Organizations
The Strengthening Financial Management in Out-of-School Time initiative (SFM) grew out of The Wallace Foundation’s long-standing commitment to improving the quality of services for youth during non-school hours and the realization that even successful nonprofits face financial management challenges that have an impact on their ability to achieve their missions. The four-year initiative seeks to improve the financial management systems of 26 well-respected OST-providing nonprofit organizations in Chicago. The report describes the financial management challenges of participating organizations at the start of SFM, as well as their progress to date.

Business Planning for Nonprofit What it is and Why it Matters
Business planning encourages strategic thinking and is a time to connect the dots between mission and programs, to specify the resources that will be required to deliver those programs, and to establish performance measures that allow everyone to understand if the desired results are being achieved.

But Does It Work? How Best to Assess Program Performance
There have been significant advances in the development of effective reporting systems that can track the effectiveness of programs; however, many fall short of what is considered scientifically valid evidence of effectiveness. This article reports on the work done by the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation which measures programs at three levels of effectiveness: “apparent,” “demonstrated,” and “proven.” By employing these performance assessments, donors can better fund programs that truly work.

Capital Structure Counts: The Business Roots of Capacity and Mission at Nonprofits
Capital structure is central to the success or failure of a nonprofit enterprise. Understanding the impact of capital structure on program and organizational capacity can help nonprofit managers and their funders better plan for growth and change. This monograph is a work-in-progress illustrating how organizations, regardless of their mission, often have similar underlying businesses. It explores a few examples of typical capital structures driving these businesses.

Case Study: Managing Growth - How a Boston Educational-Services Nonprofit is Realizing Its Own Potential for Growth So That Its Scholars Can Realize Theirs
A case study of educational services organization, the Steppingstone Academy in Boston offers a framework for making growth decisions in social purpose organizations.

Catalyzing Networks for Social Change: A Funder's Guide
This publication explores what it takes to cultivate a network mindset, and offers recommendations for how funders can effectively build the capacity of networks and share what they're learning with the broader field. This guide is for grantmakers who are just beginning to explore networks and for those further along who want to reflect on their practice.

ChildFinance: Changing an Ecosystem to Achieve Social Impact
This case study on Aflatoun, one of the world's leading social enterprises, examines how to create a "Path to Ecosystem Change" in order to achieve greater social impact.

Collaborating to Innovate: Achievements and Challenges in the New York City Sectors Planning Phase
In 2004, the New York City Department of Small Business Services and representatives from the New York City Workforce Development Funders Group joined together to form the Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) with the goal of sharing expertise and learning and providing an avenue to merge resources to support common goals. WIF's first project was the New York City Sectors Initiative (NYCSI), a project aimed at creating a new model for workforce development in New York City one that would be responsive both to employers and job seekers.

Costs are Cool: The Strategic Value of Economic Clarity
Nonprofit leaders need to carefully strategize on tradeoffs and choices about the most effective way to allocate available resources among competing priorities that impact daily activities of the programs it supports, and the initiatives it pursues.

Creating a Capital Curve for Social Enterprises
A key question many impact investors have is how best to arrange the financing mix of the social businesses they support in order to achieve greatest possible impact. Acumen Fund has worked with thousands of social enterprises to help them scale their businesses. This paper shares Acumen’s insight into how best to help social enterprises navigate the path towards scale and sustainability.

Cultivate Your Ecosystem
Social entrepreneurs not only must understand the broad environment in which they work, but also must shape those environments to support their goals, when feasible. Borrowing insights from the field of ecology, the authors offer an ecosystems framework to help social entrepreneurs create long-lasting and significant social change.

Don't Compromise "Good Overhead" (Even in Tough Times)
Funders are likely to scrutinize organizational overhead more than ever when the economy is struggling. But in conducting due diligence on a nonprofit, a would-be donor should never assume that low overhead is a sign of efficiency. Often it means the organization is stretched too thin to be healthy, which ultimately can hurt the nonprofit, donors and beneficiaries alike. Both funders and nonprofits have a stake in guarding "good overhead," the infrastructure investments that are the backbone to creating and growing a nonprofit's impact.

Driving Strategy for Social Impact
For several decades, the private sector has grappled with the role strategy plays in corporate growth and success. Yet the social sector — encompassing nonprofits, foundations, and corporate citizenship programs — continues to struggle to come to terms with strategy, both conceptually and in practice. For nonprofits and funders, the bottom line is not characterized by metrics such as market share or profit margin, as it is in the private sector. Rather, success is defined by social impact — the improvement that we can expect to see as a result of an investment in an organization, initiative, or program. Thus, strategy is the pathway to impact — to the change we seek to effect in society. More precisely, TCC Group defines strategy as “an iterative framework that articulates success in terms of desired outcomes, sets priorities, and guides decision making in order to maximize effectiveness.”

Effective Capacity Building in Nonprofit Organizations
This report brings some common language to the discussion of capacity building and offers insights and examples of how nonprofits have pursued building up their organizational muscle. The report contributes to the growing national conversation about how to help nonprofits become stronger, more sustainable, and better able to serve their communities. McKinsey & Company prepared the study at the request of VPP. McKinsey also developed a practical assessment tool for this report that nonprofits can use to measure their own organizational capacity.

Fire, Aim, Ready: Why Most Foundation-Funded Capacity Building Efforts Miss the Mark
Makes the case that today, foundation-funded capacity building has not been successful. The author provides some guidelines to help refocus this effort. Many of the ideas center around leadership development, which the author differentiates from management training.

Funder Networks in Action: Understanding Their Potential for Philanthropy
This map shows funder networks concerned with improving member satisfaction, based on GEO's research on funder networks.

Good Growth, Bad Growth, And How to Tell the Difference
When nonprofit executives talk about growth, it’s usually in positive terms. However, when growth isn’t carefully planned and managed, bigger is not better and may turn out to be worse. This article, published by The Conservation Company, discusses how the nonprofit world is very different from what it was a decade ago. Funding sources have tightened, while the demand for services has expanded and intensified. In this new environment, growth has become a more compelling issue-and a far more complex one.

Good to Great: Lessons for the Social Sector
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Other's Don't, discusses the challenges the social sector faces and his monograph, Good to Great and the Social Sector: Why Business Thinking Is Not the Answer.

Guide to Effective Social Investing
This guide is intended to provide a means for bringing greater rationality to the ways in which nonprofits are selected to receive funds, and for clarifying how to think about the measurable social value that they - and those who invest in them - can and should be held accountable for creating.

Hidden in Plain Site - Understanding Nonprofit Capital Structure
Highlights capital structure as a critical driver of mission and programs, as well as organizational capacity illustrating how funders often inadvertently contribute to the undercapitalization of nonprofits and suggests ways of reversing poor funding practices.

How Do Networks Support Scale?
In the midst of a mounting imperative to achieve better and more results, grantmakers of all kinds are shifting the way they think about scale, emphasizing not size or reach but impact.

How Does Financial Sustainability Relate to Growth – and What Can Grantmakers Do to Support It?
In the midst of a prolonged economic downturn and a mounting imperative to achieve better and more results, grantmakers of all kinds are seeking to better understand what works, why and how — and are shifting the way they think about scale, emphasizing not size or reach but impact.

How Nonprofits Get Really Big
Nonprofits that have reached $50 million in annual revenue raised the bulk of their money from a single type of funder such as corporations or government – and not, as conventional wisdom would recommend, by going after diverse sources of funding and just as importantly created professional organizations tailored to the needs of their primary funding sources.

Impact Investing: Harnessing Capital Markets to Drive Development at Scale
Impact investing is emerging at a time when financial markets worldwide are in turmoil. While industry participants can do little in the short term to address the wealth destruction that is reducing available capital, they can work strategically to position the industry to absorb a greater share of investment capital when markets inevitably thaw.

Linking Mission and Money: An Introduction to Nonprofit Capitalization
For every nonprofit organization, there is a tension between the pursuit of mission and the maintenance of financial viability. Any plan to change or expand activities needs a parallel capitalization strategy - a plan for how the organization's capital structure should be shaped to support the plan. This monograph describes a "holistic" approach to growth.

Making Change: How Social Movements Work and How to Support Them
In recent years, there has been a renewed philanthropic interest and openness to investing in social movements and policy change. This document, which is published by University of Southern California with funding by The California Endowment, seeks to provide a guidepost to this interest by detailing what makes for a successful social movement, what capacities need to be developed, and what funding opportunities might exist.

Making Growth Work: Planning and Management Guidelines for Nonprofit Organizations
This briefing paper published by The Conservation Company draws on its experience examining the benefits, dimensions, and challenges of organizational growth, and discusses techniques for managing growth in a way that maximizes a nonprofit’s impact.

Managing Multi-site Nonprofits
Explores ways to accommodate the unique dynamics of the multisite nonprofit organization to inform and inspire management decision and action by focusing on Outward Bound USA, Planned Parenthood, Habitat for Humanity, SOS Kinderorf, and The Nature Conservancy.

Nonprofit Geographic Expansion: Branches, Affiliates, or Both?
Entrepreneurship Working Paper, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University A survey of U.S. nonprofit leaders experience with or considering expanding their organizations via branches, affiliates, or both, providing greater insight into the process of geographic expansion and exploring some of the key similarities and differences across these three organizational structures., motivations, challenges, and benefits of nonprofit expansion via a range of organizational structures.

Nonprofit Growth Capital: Defining, Measuring and Managing Growth Capital in Nonprofit Enterprises: Part One: Building is not Buying
Building an enterprise is fundamentally different than buying services from that enterprise. And yet, standard nonprofit accounting sheds no light on the building vs. buying distinction. George Overholser believes that this missing distinction is a major reason why a market for nonprofit growth capital has failed to materialize. The good news is that the system can be fixed more easily than one might expect. Read this report to find out more on this subject.

Nonprofit Organizations and Their Local Affiliates: A Study in Organizational Forms
Compares two structures semi-autonomous franchise model and a wholly-owned branch office model against the distinctive management concerns of nonprofits and argues the advantages of the franchise structure and discussing mechanisms for enhancing intra-organizational coordination in that model.

On the Money, The Key Financial Challenges Facing Nonprofits Today - and How Grantmakers Can Help
This publication highlights the financial challenges nonprofits face and the ways in which grantmakers are both improving the situation as well as perpetuating the problem.

Organizational Lessons for Nonprofits [requires purchase]
Nonprofit leaders zealously build programs and raise money, but often neglect the organizational structures and management processes that help institutions endure as demonstrated in the near-demise and dramatic turnaround of Teach For America.

Reflections on Capacity Building
Ignoring basic organizational needs and more generic management assistance of grantees and failing to provide adequate resources to address them can significantly compromise the larger goals of grantmaking programs.

Social Impact Markets
In this article, Andrew Wolk of Root Cause argues that the time has come for a social impact market -- one that fosters innovation and collaboration across the governmental, business, and nonprofit sectors to maximize scarce resources and spread solutions. In the private sector, financial markets provide the infrastructure, information, and incentives to help move capital based on performance. Similarly, social impact markets are emerging as essential mechanisms to enable individuals or institutions to provide financial, volunteer, or in-kind resources with the expectation of those resources resulting in social impact.

Social Movements and Philanthropy: How Foundations Can Support Movement Building
This report published by The Foundation Review identifies five core elements to movement building: organizing an authentic base; leadership; vision and ideas; alliances; and advocacy infrastructure. Because a funder's role should focus on supporting movement building, it should, likewise, focus on outcomes and benchmarks related to progress associated with developing the five core components of movement building.

Social Return on Investment (Overview, Guide & Methodology)
Understanding how to capture and quantify the value created by the nonprofit sector’s going beyond “good cause” criteria to measuring the resulting benefit to individuals and society is becoming increasingly important in the accessing limited charitable dollars.

Social Venture Partners Capacity Building Model, 2003
SVP works within a capacity building model to provide cash grants, skilled volunteers, professional consultants, leadership development and management training opportunities to its investees.

Stories from the Field: Fiscal Fitness for Nonprofits
This project put 25 of Chicago's leading after-school program through a "financial workout". This report describes the financial exercises and results of activities. It stresses the importance of fiscal health in nonprofit organizations.

Technology-Related Grantmaking: Amplifying Social Impact in a Connected Age
This research project was motivated by ZeroDivide’s longstanding commitment to strengthening the quality and quantity of philanthropic investment in nonprofits’ use of technology for social impact — with an emphasis on nonprofits representing historically underserved communities. This report outlines funders’ interests in technology-related grantmaking for social benefit, identifies the key barriers to increased philanthropic investment, and explores suggestions that could help the sector in surmounting these barriers.

Ten Nonprofit Funding Models
Unlike the profit sector, the nonprofit sector has not been strong in defining their funding strategies. This article outlines 10 funding models of some of the largest nonprofits in the U.S. These models can serve as guides to help nonprofits leaders more clearly define their own funding models to better support the growth of their organizations.

The Balanced Scorecard - Measures that Drive Performance
Developed in the early 1990’s the 'balanced scorecard' provides a clear prescription as to what companies should measure in order to 'balance' the financial perspective.

The Growth of the Social Enterprise, Q&A with Jan Wei-Skillern
To branch or affiliate? Different organizational structures have different strategic implications for nonprofit expansion, say HBS’s Jane Wei-Skillern and Duke-based colleague Beth Battle Anderson.

The Rise of Social Capital Market Intermediaries
This article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review explores the advances that information and funding intermediaries have brought to the social sector, and the challenges—in concept and implementation—that remain for achieving true efficiency in the work of social change. Information intermediaries—which include philanthropic prizes, social networks, and new measurement and evaluation entities—have significantly enhanced efficiency in the social capital market. There has also been progress in creating strong funding intermediaries, though significantly less than the progress achieved by information intermediaries. Donors and grantmakers are allocating money more efficiently, thanks to the emergence of information and funding intermediaries.

The Value of Measuring Social Return on Investment
If you care about social return on investment (SROI) as a measure and as a management tool, then the report “Measuring and/or Estimating Social Value Creation” published by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a must-read. It provides a thoughtful synthesis of various approaches, each of which can help decision makers understand the relative benefits vs. cost of different programs and organizations. However, as Bridgespan Group Partner Dickie Steele notes in this commentary, it’s also important to keep in mind three overarching factors that further affect their use and applicability.

Truth or Consequences: The Implication of Financial Decisions
NFF analyzed over 1,000 nonprofits with findings that proved that many of the conventional ideas about nonprofits’ financial decisions can lead to strategic errors that can undermine organizational effectiveness. The three areas of focus were: 1) the need for a diverse revenue base, 2) the pros and cons of government funding, and 3) the value of facility ownership.

Virtuous Capital: What Foundations Can Learn from Venture Capitalists [requires purchase]
This article published by Harvard Business Review address new ways U.S. foundations and nonprofits, that work diligently on behalf of society's most needy, can learn to be more effective with their limited resources. Venture capital firms offer a helpful benchmark for foundations and nonprofits on how to invest not only in program innovation but also in organizational needs. Foundations and nonprofits are encouraged to develop hands-on partnering skills to more effectively achieve their respective missions.

Way to Grow: Charities Use Business Practices to Rapidly Expand Their Programs
This article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy discusses the trend of young charities seeking to go to scale, including a look at what various organizations have struggled with, and their corresponding growth strategies.

Local Growth & Roll-Out

An Experiment in Scaling Impact: Assessing the Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation provides a comprehensive assessment of its five year experiment called "Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot" which started in 2007. The pilot tests whether a new form of coordinated, collaborative philanthropy could help high-performing organizations expand to significant, sustainable scale and improve the life prospects of America’s growing numbers of economically disadvantaged youth.

Channeling Change: Making Collective Impact Work
This article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review provides a deep analysis of collective impact. Three conditions must be in place before launching a collective impact initiative: an influential champion, adequate financial resources, and a sense of urgency for change. Together, these preconditions create the opportunity and motivation necessary to bring people who have never before worked together into a collective impact initiative and hold them in place until the initiative’s own momentum takes over. This article provides examples of collective impact, how to bring it to life, and how to measure its impact.

Citizen Schools: Creating a strong program locally as a basis for national expansion
When Citizen Schools launched its after-school program in Boston in 1995, it already had its eye on broader horizons. “We always intended to use growth to drive larger change,” said President and Co-Founder Eric Schwarz. “In addition to running a Boston R&D lab, running a national network of branded Citizen School programs would be an important strategy.” But the organization was patient, fine-tuning its innovative apprenticeship model and carefully tracking outcomes for Boston youth until it had established a solid foundation. In 2001, when Citizens Schools was finally ready to expand, it grew along three dimensions: extending the program in Boston, developing a training program for other organizations, and expanding to other cities. By maintaining clear outcomes and investing in key talent along the way, Citizen Schools has actually improved its quality as it’s grown.

Community-Service Group Develops a Guidebook to Manage Growth
This article discusses the approach that City Year, a Youth service corps, takes when deciding to expand its program into another city. The organization developed a list of criteria each site must meet to ensure that it is "operationally sound and sustainable."

Ensuring that Bigger is Better
Explores how nonprofit federations manage themselves and how the national offices can achieve their full potential by giving affiliates four tangible benefits: a valuable national brand, a reliable system for measuring performance, shared administrative services, and coordinated fund-raising.

Expanding the Supply of High Quality Public Schools
Everyone knows that individual schools work, but how can what works be effectively reproduced in other contexts?

Going to Scale: The Challenge of Replicating Social Programs
Tackles question of how proven nonprofit programs can increase their reach beyond single communities and how nonprofits can think about the decision to replicate and steps they can take through lessons learned by Jumpstart, City Year and STRIVE.

Greater than the Sum of Its Parts, Part I: A Regional Perspective on Changing Demographics
Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP) prepared this report to offer practical lessons from the experiences of four nonprofit leaders in the VPP portfolio who expanded to new jurisdictions to fill unmet service needs. In addition to interviews with each of the four leaders, long-time observers of the region’s human services sector also shared insights about the short- and long-term implications of the demographic trends in light of the economic crisis that the region, the country and the world are experiencing.

Growing Bigger Better: Lessons from Experience Corps' Expansion in Five Cities Executive Summary
This summary presents key findings from the full report, Growing Bigger Better, which examines the Experience Corps program's four-year expansion initiative. The summary briefly considers whether and how the local sites, and the program as a whole, benefited from the expansion effort and presents lessons that are relevant to other programs considering expansion.

Growth of Youth-Serving Organizations
In January 2004, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation commissioned the Bridgespan Group to study growth in U.S. youth-serving organizations: the prevalence of growth, the factors that were critical in shaping how these organizations grew, and the major consequences of growth. We hoped that by increasing our understanding of this phenomenon, we could become more effective in our own work. We also hoped that these efforts would be useful for other organizations committed to supporting nonprofits that serve young people.

Growth of Youth-Serving Organizations: Appendices
Executive summary of the white paper, "Growth of Youth-Serving Organizations," commissioned by The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity
In this book, Morino calls on funders to empower nonprofits to manage smarter through greater use of information on performance and impact. The book also includes essays written by sector leaders with hands-on experience leading the transition to managing to outcomes, a framework to help organizations begin "managing to outcomes" and a compendium of relevant readings.

Locally Grown: Key Strategies for Expanding Workforce Services
This report profiles three workforce organizations across the country—in Colorado, Georgia and New York—and explores the strategies they used to grow their programs locally. The report examines the dilemmas workforce organizations frequently face in meeting not only the needs of their dual customers—job seekers and employers—but also the needs of a third customer, the public funding agency that is often paying the bill. Along with a look at how these organizations created environments that supported staff in their work, the report also considers the ways a vision and commitment to the workforce field—beyond the interests of the organization—contributed to their success.

Managing Multisite Nonprofits
Explores ways to accommodate the unique dynamics of the multisite nonprofit organization to inform and inspire management decision and action by focusing on Outward Bound USA, Planned Parenthood, Habitat for Humanity, SOS Kinderorf, and The Nature Conservancy.

Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity [requires purchase]
Thanks to Dr. Susan Kenny Stevens, the nonprofit sector has a vocabulary to describe nonprofit capacity and understand what it looks like in each of seven stages: Idea, Start-up, Growth, Maturity, Decline, Turnaround and Terminal. This book is geared towards nonprofit executives and board members, foundation officers, consultants and evaluators, and dozens of academics for whom this book has become a core part of their management curricula.

Nonprofit M&A is No Oxymoron
This paper is a guide for nonprofits in mergers and acquisitions. John Macintosh provides advice on how to develop a successful collaboration among nonprofits.

Nonprofit Organizations and Their Local Affiliates: A Study in Organizational Forms
Compares two structures semi-autonomous franchise model and a wholly-owned branch office model against the distinctive management concerns of nonprofits and argues the advantages of the franchise structure and discussing mechanisms for enhancing intra-organizational coordination in that model.

Partnering with Intermediaries
The purpose of this paper, published by Grantmakers in the Arts, is to explore the dimensions of foundation-intermediary partnerships in order to inform future philanthropic strategy and practice. A prime strategy for extending a foundation’s reach and augmenting the knowledge and skills of its staff is to partner with a variety of intermediary organizations (IOs). In addition to providing specialized expertise, IOs can take on a variety of critical assignments, including program design and management, regranting, fiscal sponsorship, capacity building with subgrantees and convening and coordination of a field.

Pathways to Social Impact: Strategies for Scaling Out Successful Social Innovations
Discusses a conceptual framework to help social entrepreneurs systematically identify and assess their scaling options based on examination of historical success stories and interviews with numerous practitioners.

Public Allies: Building the Infrastructure for Growth
Strong support from AmeriCorps, fees from organizations who sponsor "Allies" and clearly documented program results have propelled Public Allies' growth. Over the years, Public Allies has worked hard to find the appropriate level of control and decentralization with its branches, and the organization recently decided to migrate all of its sites to a licensee model in which organizations or universities manage local programs, relieving some of the administrative and financial burden on local sites. Public Allies also is planning future growth with a new, lower cost model and a more targeted approach to site development.

Talent Initiative Case Study: Nonprofit with High Performing, Vibrant Culture Builds Talent Infrastructure to Support International Growth
Often, as nonprofit organizations grow and face new situations, or if other external factors such as the competition for talent change, human capital management practices that worked well in the past may no longer be effective. An organization’s human capital management capabilities need to evolve to keep developing the leadership and organization its strategy requires. A new case study on Root Capital provides an excellent example; sustaining its success through rapid growth required a conscious effort to maintain its shared culture and build its team’s capabilities. This case study looks at why an organization might think critically about its human capital management in order to preserve and continue a track record of success.

The Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations: Where You Are, Where You're Going, and What to Expect When You Get There [requires purchase]
This book asserts that the life stage model is a powerful tool for understanding — objectively — an organization's current status and preparing it to move ahead to the future. This useful guide helps nonprofits understand where it is in its life and how to avoid unnecessary struggles and act on opportunities to boost the organization's development.

The Fulfillment Fund: Managing Programmatic Growth
Over the years, the Los Angeles-based Fulfillment Fund has received extensive support from individual donors, frequently relying on relationships with locally-based major studios and celebrities. This case study describes how the organization initially grew by adding programs to address students’ unmet needs and subsequently decided to double the number of students it served. It is an analysis of the consequences of these changes, unexpected management challenges, and new performance management strategy to satisfy a new base of funders.

The Growth of the Social Enterprise; Geographic Expansion: Branches, Affiliates, or Both?
Harvard Business School's Jane Wei-Skillern and Duke-based colleague Beth Battle Anderson discuss their analysis of some 300 social enterprises.

The Growth of YouthBuild
This case study highlights the strategic decisions made in the scaling process of YouthBuild. YouthBuild combined both replication and advocacy efforts to effectively scale its impact. Learn about the challenges it faced and how it got legislation passed and partnered closely with the federal government to support its expansion.

The Spiral of Sustainable Excellence
This article is adapted from a new book by Paul Light entitled Sustaining Nonprofit Performance: The Case for Capacity Building and the Evidence to Support It, published in 2004 by the Brookings Institution Press. Light compares a nonprofit’s life to a journey up and down a development spiral. Some organizations start with a simple idea for some new program or service and then move up the spiral toward greater and greater impact, progressing through five landings, or stops, along the climb while others linger at one stage or another, perhaps for long periods, without any guarantee that they would advance. He asserts that nonprofit development varies in direction and speed, which is why it is important to understand the organic history of an organization.

Raising Growth Capital

"I'm Not a Rockefeller": 33 High Net Worth Philanthropists Discuss Their Approach to Giving
Summarizes the results of interviews with 33 high net worth philanthropists to better understand how they make their decisions about giving. The results show a diverse practice, but one reliant on peers for information and a negative view of evaluation.

"Stepping Out of the Maze" Series: SROI Act II: A Call to Action for Next Generation SROI
SROI Act II: A Call to Action for Next Generation SROI Readily available, commonly accepted systems that enable nonprofits to compare their results to their costs do not currently exist. Despite advances in knowledge about what the social sector does and how it does it, we really do not know what it costs to accomplish social mission goals. Until we have systems that address this need, we won’t be able to credibly assess social investment returns. Social Return On Investment (SROI) is a concept that has been embraced by the field as one standard for determining social ROI in the nonprofit sector. In this paper, REDF proposes significant improvements to existing SROI approaches. This is the second article in REDF’s “Stepping Out of the Maze” series. The series grew out of our concern for the environment in which nonprofits carrying out critical social change must operate.

A Framework for Determining Advocacy Capacity
The California Endowment has funded this paper published by the TCC Group to provide frameworks and methodologies that meaningfully evaluate policy change efforts. As advocacy becomes increasingly widespread as a strategy in nonprofits, foundations are looking to fund more of this type of work; nonprofits are learning how to harness its power to achieve their mission; and both are trying to better understand how to evaluate success. The purpose of this paper, drawing on a variety of sources, is to look at the context for policy and advocacy work and the distinctive characteristics of such work, outlining a model for evaluating organizational capacity and describing how this is adapted for advocacy organizations.

A New Kind of Grant
The toughest thing about building or expanding a nonprofit enterprise is getting the funding. Here's a different way to find the money you need without ending up on the fund-raising treadmill: the Sustainable Enhancement Grant: A New Funding Tool for Building Organizations.

A New Tool for Scaling Impact: How Social Impact Bonds Can Mobilize Private Capital to Advance Social Good
The purpose of this publication is to provide an overview for a broad audience of both the promise and challenges of developing and implementing Social Impact Bonds in the United States. Despite the many complexities, multi-stakeholder interactions, and varying dimensions of risks, Social Impact Bonds represent a potentially valuable new tool for scaling social impact.

A Technical Guide to Developing a Social Impact Bond: Vulnerable Children and Young People
This guide aims to set out the steps that are required to assess the feasibility of a Social Impact Bond (SIB) idea. It starts with the identification of a social issue where a SIB might be applicable and examines each factor that must be considered if a SIB is to be effective. The guide is written to assist those developing SIBs to reach a stage where it would be possible to establish a contract between a public sector commissioner and investors. This guide is one in a series of technical guides. Each document focuses on how a SIB can be developed to address the root causes of a specific social issue.

Accounting Service Helps Charities Raise Growth Funds, for a Price
NFF Capital Partners has devised a strategy to make it easier for nonprofits to raise growth capital. They have developed an accounting system which tracks the growth funds separately and provide regular updates which helps donors determine if the charity is making progress.

Almost everything you ever wanted to know about Impact Investing
The best teachers are those who understand their subjects so thoroughly they can focus on the learners, not on the material. When it comes to the topics of impact investing and blended value, Antony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson can be called good teachers.

Assessing Impact Strategy: A Discussion Guide (requires login)
This discussion guide includes targeted questions to aid investors and investment advisors when assessing a fund manager’s approach to issues related to social and environmental impact and provides supplemental data available from GIIN's ImpactBase, a comprehensive online directory of global impact investment funds designed for impact investors as a tool for early search.

Billions of Drops in Millions of Buckets: Why Philanthropy Doesn't Advance Social Progress [requires purchase]
This book suggests that if donors were smarter about where, when, and how much money they gave, the organizations could devote more attention to making better use of greater amounts of money. Author Steven Goldberg explores three critical questions: Why does the social sector need more effective capital markets? What would robust nonprofit capital markets look like? How can such markets be created? Goldberg addresses how the nonprofit market should be structured to best allocate funds in support of high-performing organizations that deserve additional resources to achieve optimal scale.

Blended Value Investing: Capital Opportunities for Social and Environmental Impact
Blended value investments would generate significant demand from many types of investors who do not now take account of how they might create blended value in making capital investment decisions. Investments meeting the goal of real social returns together with financial returns that are not concessionary to the risk adjusted rate investors could otherwise attain would be fairly easy to trade and have investment terms that are understood by the average investor.

Breaking the Wall Between Funding Direct Services and Advocacy
This article from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy dispels the myth that funding direct services precludes funding advocacy and community organizing, which is an assumption held by many grantmakers. The piece features two foundations that fund important social services their communities need as well as policy and civic engagement efforts that seek to address the root causes of critical social issues. May their stories inspire other foundations to break the imagined silos.

Can Foundations Take the Long View Again?
Discussion of the value of foundations making larger, longer-term operating grants of unrestricted funds that can be used to support the organization and its overall mission, not just specific projects or programs.

Case Study: Preparing for a Pay for Success Opportunity
Third Sector Capital Partners, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, has published a case study on its experience working with Roca, Inc. on their successful response to Massachusetts’ Social Innovation Financing project for juvenile justice. The case discusses the challenges, lessons learned, and process of launching the nation’s first state-level Pay for Success contract.

Changing Capital Markets and Their Implications for Community Development Finance
Summarizes research from the Community Development Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative (CDIII) an 18-month project on the future of community development and community development finance asking where does the community development field need to be in order to have impact in the new economic and financial world, and how does the industry move into this new position?

Collaborative Funding for Greater Impact: A Case Study of the Cincinnati Experience
A group of 15 grantmakers collaborated to deliver funding and technical assistance to nonprofits working to improve outcomes - from cradle to career - for young people in the region. This guide explains their story and offers takeaways that apply to any grantmaker that wants to join with others to amplify impact and support nonprofits in collaborative ways.

Collective Impact
This paper was published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations. Substantially greater progress could be made in alleviating many of our most serious and complex social problems if nonprofits, governments, businesses, and the public were brought together around a common agenda to create collective impact.

Creating a Capital Curve for Social Enterprises
A key question many impact investors have is how best to arrange the financing mix of the social businesses they support in order to achieve greatest possible impact. Acumen Fund has worked with thousands of social enterprises to help them scale their businesses. This paper shares Acumen’s insight into how best to help social enterprises navigate the path towards scale and sustainability.

Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets [requires purchase]
Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets presents practical strategies for re-imagining philanthropy. It suggests that the resources of individual philanthropic players -- people and institutions -- can have a far greater impact, provide more satisfaction, and contribute to a better world if the system of philanthropy as a whole is redesigned. Through a coherent framework for pursuing improvement, the book suggests new ways for individuals and organizations to invest grant funds, approach regulatory structures that guide giving, and define their goals, activities, outcomes, and achievements.

Divining a Vision for Markets for Good
This article, which was published in Alliance Management magazine, argues that social entrepreneurship will continue to face challenges in promoting more intelligent, proactive and generous philanthropy via the Internet unless new strategies are invoked to remove impediments to progress. Buzz Schmidt revisits early initiatives that attempted to facilitate more generous and intelligent philanthropy from the past 15 years. He proposes an alternative vision for the philanthropy ecosystem and stresses the need for social entrepreneurs to pursue opportunities for coordinated or collective action across the ecosystem.

Encouraging Social Innovation Through Capital: Using Technology to Address Barriers
This paper builds upon the Innovation for the Public Good project’s first publication, “Steering Capital: Optimizing Financial Support for Innovation in Public Education,” which examined what it would take to foster a robust capital market for public education innovation. It examines the application of a specific lever—technology—to a particularly challenging aspect of that ecosystem: the flow of investment capital to fuel innovation. How can technology optimize the investment resources available from private, philanthropic, and public sectors so they more effectively identify and support innovations in ways that help achieve the public good of improving students’ outcomes and educational productivity?

Family Charities Shift Assests to Donor Funds
Philanthropists are choosing to unwind private foundations due to the high administrative work and expense. Instead, they are moving to donor-advised funds.

From Potential to Action: Bringing Social Impact Bonds to the U.S.
This report explains how Social Impact Bonds (SIB) are structured, assesses their potential in two specific program areas (homelessness and criminal justice), describes the various stakeholder groups involved, and presents the results of a pro forma analysis of a hypothetical SIB.

From Grantmaker to Federal Grantee: Risks and Rewards
This guide highlights three grantmakers that participated in the Social Innovation Fund's inaugural year. The report includes their experience of shifting from grantmaker to federal grantee (benefits and barriers), how they strengthened their own knowledge and what capacities they developed to make the partnership with the federal government work.

Funder-Intermediary Relationships: Promise & Pitfalls Survey Report
Findings of the Fieldstone Alliance online survey outlines critical success factors that lead to positive, mutually beneficial relationships between funders and intermediaries. Includes success factors which can be used by both funders and intermediaries as a guide when developing contracts or grants, and as a tool to manage the ongoing work of the partnership.

Good Growth, Bad Growth, And How to Tell the Difference
When nonprofit executives talk about growth, it’s usually in positive terms. However, when growth isn’t carefully planned and managed, bigger is not better and may turn out to be worse. This article, published by The Conservation Company, discusses how the nonprofit world is very different from what it was a decade ago. Funding sources have tightened, while the demand for services has expanded and intensified. In this new environment, growth has become a more compelling issue-and a far more complex one.

Guide to Effective Social Investing
This guide is intended to provide a means for bringing greater rationality to the ways in which nonprofits are selected to receive funds, and for clarifying how to think about the measurable social value that they - and those who invest in them - can and should be held accountable for creating.

How Can Grantmakers Aggregate Resources to Grow Impact?
In the midst of a mounting imperative to achieve better and more results, grantmakers of all kinds are shifting the way they think about scale, emphasizing not size or reach but impact. Growing impact doesn’t necessarily require organizational growth or the wholesale replication of programs — it may instead require expanding an idea, technology, advocacy or policy change. With impact as its central focus, the philanthropic sector is forging some promising new pathways for innovation, working beyond the traditional constraints of individual grants, initiatives or organizations to more intentionally grow what works.

How Can Grantmakers Support Readiness to Scale Impact?
In philanthropy, there are multiple definitions for and ways to think about “scale,” including the expansion, replication and adaptation of programs to new areas or populations or the deepening of programs within an already-served area. There is great virtue in helping successful nonprofit organizations and effective programs expand, but it is not the only way grantmakers can achieve impact — and it is often not the most effective way to do so. Recognizing this, grantmakers of all kinds are shifting the way they think about scale, emphasizing not size or reach but impact.

Impact Investing 2.0: The Way Forward – Insight from 12 Outstanding Funds
This report is designed to be a resource for the broad community interested in the future of impact investing, but especially for impact investing practitioners – those fund managers, investors, entrepreneurs, policymakers and advisors creating and managing new and existing funds and working hard to achieve successful social and financial performance. The report, created in partnership with CASE i3, InSight at Pacific Community Ventures and ImpactAssets, identifies twelve high-performing funds that have seen both financial and social returns on their investments. The funds represent a rich and diverse cross-section of impact investing and prove that concurrently delivering significant social impacts and financial returns that meet investor expectations is not only possible, but is being done at significant scale.

Impact Investing: Harnessing Capital Markets to Drive Development at Scale
Impact investing is emerging at a time when financial markets worldwide are in turmoil. While industry participants can do little in the short term to address the wealth destruction that is reducing available capital, they can work strategically to position the industry to absorb a greater share of investment capital when markets inevitably thaw.

In New Brand of Philanthropy, Nonprofits Invest in For-Profits
Increasingly, philanthropy is taking its cues from Wall Street and Silicon Valley. The shift stems from a new generation of philanthropists, like Bill and Melinda Gates, Pierre and Pam Omidyar and Steve and Jean Case, hoping to stretch their dollars. According to this article, the pool of philanthropic assets is too small to make a dent in seemingly intractable social problems and corporations and individual philanthropists alike are looking for ways to reuse existing financing and to attract new types of capital.

Insight Into the Impact Investment Market
This research report, which was released by J.P. Morgan and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) finds that the majority of the 52 surveyed impact investors have tempered optimism about the impact investing industry: they believe it is "in its infancy and growing." It also finds that 1) investor use of third party systems for impact measurement has increased by 10 percent since 2010, 2) the lack of track record of successful investments is one of the industry's biggest challenge, 3) the biggest risks are investment illiquidity and uncertainty of financial returns and 4) increased government activity and infrastructure development are helping to address these challenges by increasing market information and promoting growth. The purpose of the report is to advance a broader understanding of impact investing as an appropriate and economically effective way to complement government aid and philanthropy in solving the world's greatest problems at scale.

Investing for Impact: Case Studies Across Asset Classes
Governments and charities do not have sufficient capital nor the complete skill set required to solve the world’s pressing challenges. At the same time, the recent economic crisis has shaken established orthodoxies about the risk and return profiles of traditional investments. The Impact Investment sector is emerging as a partial answer to the twin challenges that these two realities present: Impact Investment unlocks substantial capital to build a more sustainable and equitable global economy while allowing for diversification across geographies and asset classes.

Investing For Social And Environmental Impact: A Design For Catalyzing An Emerging Industry
A growing group of investors around the world is seeking to make investments that generate social and environmental value as well as financial return. This emerging industry of impact investing has the potential to become a potent force for addressing global challenges. This report examines impact investing and how leaders could accelerate the industry's evolution and increase its ultimate impact in the world. It explores how impact investing has emerged and how it might evolve, including profiles of a wide range of impact investors. The report also provides a blueprint of initiatives to catalyze the industry. In addition to the full report and executive summary, a brief, two-page snapshot that highlights a number of the key concepts from the report is also available.

Investor Spotlight: UBS
Mario Marconi, Head, Philanthropy and Values-Based Investing at UBS, Shares his Perspective with the GIIN Community.

Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?
The Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) describes a study on how funders are seeking additional ways to stay plugged in, including seeking feedback from grantees to help strengthen their performance. Funders are increasingly participating in dialogue with their peers through communities like the GEO network. In particular, grantmakers with an ear to the ground tended to use their investments to help build strong, adaptable nonprofit organizations. It is these resilient nonprofits that stand the greatest chance of making a difference at times when their communities are in the greatest need.

Making Growth Work: Planning and Management Guidelines for Nonprofit Organizations
This briefing paper published by The Conservation Company draws on its experience examining the benefits, dimensions, and challenges of organizational growth, and discusses techniques for managing growth in a way that maximizes a nonprofit’s impact.

Money Matters: the Structure, Operations and Challenges of Nonprofit Funding
Analysis of various sources of data pertaining to the financial status of nonprofit organizations in the US and activities of institutions and individuals who provide funds to those organizations addressing the role that scale plays in determining nonprofits’ access to and use of funds.

Money to Grow On
Discusses the need for donors to provide funding for growth capital to help the best nonprofits grow to reach their full potential. It then provides some guidelines for donors to assist them in performing their due diligence.

More Than Money: Making a Difference with Assistance Beyond the Grant
This paper published by The Center for Effective Philanthropy analyzes the provision of assistance accompanied with grants by foundation staff and consultants, which is often categorized as “capacity building,” “technical assistance,” and “organizational effectiveness.”. The paper examines the perspectives of grantees receiving this type of assistance and what its potential impacts may be.

Moving Ideas and Money: Issues and Opportunities in Funder Funding Collaboration
This paper presents a first level of analysis of funding collaboration, reports general findings from a diverse sample of experienced collaborators, and frames tensions funders face when choosing a collaborative approach. The final section suggests both cautions about funder collaboration, as well as opportunities that funder collaboration offers philanthropy.

New Frontiers in Mission-Related Investing
Explores whether a private foundation can prudently make investments from its endowment that support its mission without jeopardizing the value of that endowment and, consequently, its ability to support that mission in the future?

Online Philanthropy Markets - from "Feel-Good" Giving to Effective Social Investing?
Keystone, a British citizens’ organization, presents their in-depth study on the emergence and benefits of online philanthropy. After almost a decade of online philanthropy, it has become clearer what the key drivers of its present success and how it can be even more effective in the future.

Out of Philanthropy's Funding Maze. Roadmap #1: Strategic Co-Funding
Discusses the need for a more strategic and collaborative effort- defined here as strategic co-funding -- in funding nonprofits. The article provides the key characteristics of strategic co-funding, which are taken from lessons learned from the for-profit world. This is the first in a series of three articles which explores ways that private sector financing practices, especially those in private equity and venture capital, can be adapted to improve practices in nonprofit funding.

Pathways to Grow Impact: Philanthropy's Role in the Journey
This publication is the result of a collaborative project with Ashoka, Social Impact Exchange, Taproot Foundation and TCC Group that sought to answer the question: How can grantmakers best support high-performing nonprofits in their efforts to grow their impact? It offers a framework for understanding different approaches to scaling impact, stories from nonprofit leaders who have successfully grown their organizations' impact, and practical recommendations for grantmakers seeking more effective ways to achieve better results.

Patient Capital: The Next Step Forward?
This speech discusses why nonprofit capital funding often backfires, and how we can adapt traditional capital campaigns to fix the problem.

Perspectives on Progress: The Impact Investor Survey
Perspectives on Progress, the latest report by J.P. Morgan and the GIIN, reveals the experiences, expectations, and perceptions of 99 impact investors in 2012, as well as their plans for 2013. The report indicates a growing market, with the vast majority of respondents feeling that progress was made last year across six key indicators of market growth.

Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World
An examination of how today’s leading philanthropists are revolutionizing the field, using new methods to have a vastly greater impact on the world. For philanthropists of the past, charity was often a matter of simply giving money away. For the philanthrocapitalists – the new generation of billionaires who are reshaping the way they give – it’s like business. Largely trained in the corporate world, these “social investors” are using big-business-style strategies and expecting results and accountability to match. Matthew Bishop and Michael Green examine this new movement and its implications. Proceeding from interviews with some of the most powerful people on the planet—including Gates, Bill Clinton, George Soros, Angelina Jolie, and Bono, among others—they show how a web of wealthy, motivated donors has set out to change the world.

Real Results: Why Strategic Philanthropy is Social Justice Philanthropy
This report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy’s suggests that prioritizing and including underserved communities and support of community organizing are important components of successful philanthropic strategy regardless of issue focus. The last several years have seen a shift in philanthropy: an emphasis on maximizing impact has grantmakers aiming to be more organized, focused and, perhaps above all, “strategic” in their efforts. While this admirable shift has made philanthropy more effective, our society and the nonprofit sector continue to confront significant disparities.

Seen But Not Heard: Strengthening Nonprofit Advocacy [requires purchase]
Seen but not Heard is a comprehensive analysis of the results of the Strengthening Nonprofit Advocacy Project, a joint research effort of OMB Watch, Tufts University, and the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest. The book should be of interest to anyone concerned with nonprofits, as well as anyone who makes policy and tries to influence it. It is written from the perspective of one who believes it is right, proper, and beneficial for nonprofits to engage in the formation of public policy.

Serve America Act, 2009, 111th Congress
The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (H.R. 1388) received final passage on March 31, 2009. The act creates new service and volunteer opportunities for Americans that will help to build a stronger country. It will launch a new era of service that will give Americans of all ages the opportunity to help make progress on education, health care, energy and other key goals by volunteering.

Social Impact Bonds Hit the U.S.: Using Private Capital To Do Public Good
Instead of asking the government to invest its slim budget in innovative programs, what if you could invest in them and get paid back if they save money? That’s the premise of these popular new financial instruments for good.

Social Impact Bonds: A Conversation with Simon Jawitz
Social Impact Bonds may be the latest and newest instrument for drawing private investment into entrepreneurial social programs. But with only one major example of Social Impact Bond financing, from the United Kingdom, and efforts to gin up Social Impact Bond initiatives in Boston and the Twin Cities having only just begun, there are as yet too few results to trumpet. NPQ contributing editor Jon Pratt sat down with Simon Jawitz, board member of and senior advisor to Growth Philanthropy Network, to discuss the concept’s prospects.

Social Impact Bonds: A Promising New Financing Model to Accelerate Social Innovation and Improve Government Performance
This report examines the social impact bond, including why existing government approaches create barriers to social innovation, describing the social impact bond model and the U.K. Peterborough Prison test, discussing the key challenges in selecting promising applications, and discussing the work to be done to establish the first U.S.-based tests of the model.

Social Movements and Philanthropy: How Foundations Can Support Movement Building
This report published by The Foundation Review identifies five core elements to movement building: organizing an authentic base; leadership; vision and ideas; alliances; and advocacy infrastructure. Because a funder's role should focus on supporting movement building, it should, likewise, focus on outcomes and benchmarks related to progress associated with developing the five core components of movement building.

Technology-Related Grantmaking: Amplifying Social Impact in a Connected Age
This research project was motivated by ZeroDivide’s longstanding commitment to strengthening the quality and quantity of philanthropic investment in nonprofits’ use of technology for social impact — with an emphasis on nonprofits representing historically underserved communities. This report outlines funders’ interests in technology-related grantmaking for social benefit, identifies the key barriers to increased philanthropic investment, and explores suggestions that could help the sector in surmounting these barriers.

Ten Nonprofit Funding Models
Unlike the profit sector, the nonprofit sector has not been strong in defining their funding strategies. This article outlines 10 funding models of some of the largest nonprofits in the U.S. These models can serve as guides to help nonprofits leaders more clearly define their own funding models to better support the growth of their organizations.

The Capital Curve for a Better World
This article from Innovations, an MIT Press Journal, outlines a movement called "philanthrocapitalism" in which refers to the middle of a fundamental rethinking of the process of social innovation, with the goal of making it far more efficient and effective than ever. The “capital curve” refers to the move from start-up finance to venture capital. Although the finance sector does a good job of matching the right kind of capital to the best prospects for profitability, the social sector needs an explosion of innovation and new thinking to follow suit, including developing its own well-functioning capital curve.

The Emerging Capital Market for Nonprofits [requires registration]
This Harvard Business Review article states that the new generation of charitable foundations and intermediaries is changing the game by measuring the social impact of donations and offering ways to funnel dollars to the most-effective nonprofits. It sketches out how the nascent capital marketplace for nonprofits is developing. The article starts by looking at the current deficits in the sector’s infrastructure.

The Equity Capital Gap
For-profit businesses can efficiently and quickly raise large amounts of money to fund growth and innovation by tapping equity capital-money that people invest in a company in return for ownership and a share of profits. The nonprofit world has no corollary, making it difficult, costly, and time-consuming to raise money. In this article the author explores ways that nonprofits and funders can create their own version of equity capital, and, just as important, develop an equity approach to doing business.

The Growth Capital Market in the U.S. (subscription required)
Uses a College Summit organizational case study to illustrate that insufficient capital exists for growing social innovations to scale in the U.S.

The Impact Investor: People and Practices Delivering Exceptional Financial and Social Returns
This report published by Pacific Community Ventures focuses on recent growth and development of impact investing, its current challenges, and potential advancements. Impact investing is at an inflection point, building off the rich histories of community finance in the United States and other countries, microfinance, international development, and the integration of environmental, social and governance factors in institutional portfolios more broadly. For over 30 years, these practices have been laying the foundation for an expanded continuum of investor options for thematic and asset allocations into privately-owned investments structured for financial returns and social and environmental impacts.

The Nonprofit Sector In Brief: Facts and Figures from the Nonprofit Almanac
This brief highlights trends from the seventh edition of the Nonprofit Almanac, which is the latest in the Urban Institute’s series of statistical profiles of the nonprofit sector and focuses primarily on 501 (c)(3) public charities. It also highlights key findings on private charitable contributions and volunteering.

The US Nonprofit Capital Market: An Introductory Overview of Developmental Stages, Investors and funding Instruments
This article presents a basic framework for understanding the work of funders and practitioners, and the resources that connect the efforts of both. It uses as its basic frame of reference the for-profit capital market, drawing parallels and lessons from that comparison. It is an effort to help inform the thinking of those concerned with understanding the strategic use of philanthropic capital in the pursuit of charitable goals.

Tomorrow's Philanthropist
A study discussing the future of philanthropy in the US, UK, and around the world.

Tools to Support Public Policy Grantmaking
This article published by Grantmakers in the Arts asserts that achieving large-scale and lasting results for individuals or communities — a goal linked to many foundation missions — typically cannot be accomplished with private resources alone. Larger and more sustainable funding sources are needed to scale up those interventions and broaden their impacts. Public policy grantmaking has been described as “one of the most powerful tools available to foundations for creating real change."

Venture Philanthropy 2002: Advancing Nonprofit Performance Through High-Engagement Grantmaking
Advances the practice of high-engagement grantmaking in all its many forms. In a series of essays and profiles sharing knowledge with the broader philanthropic community through the voices of those who are leading the way to help nonprofit leaders understand how they can approach and succeed in high-engagement partnerships.

Virtuous Capital: What Foundations Can Learn from Venture Capitalists [requires purchase]
This article published by Harvard Business Review address new ways U.S. foundations and nonprofits, that work diligently on behalf of society's most needy, can learn to be more effective with their limited resources. Venture capital firms offer a helpful benchmark for foundations and nonprofits on how to invest not only in program innovation but also in organizational needs. Foundations and nonprofits are encouraged to develop hands-on partnering skills to more effectively achieve their respective missions.

Widening the Pool: Open and Inclusive Grant Competitions
This guide explores how grantmakers designed and managed open grantmaking processes as a condition for receiving SIF grants. Topics include broadening the applicant pool, open communication, consistent technical assistance to applicants, and application review. Lessons are applicable to grantmakers interested in making their processes open and transparent.