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SSIR Articles

Published: 2016-12-08T15:59:00+00:00


Measuring Outcomes to Improve Social Services (Blog)


Funders can support positive change by backing proven, replicable interventions and new measurement tools that help draw the connection between services offered and results achieved.

How Investors Can (and Can’t) Create Social Value


A growing number of investors are attempting to create social value with their investments, but it’s often more difficult to achieve than one might think

Three Lessons for Impact Investing Education Programs (Blog)


Academic institutions can help build the impact investing field by teaching students a fuller suite of skills, clarifying the range of career paths open to them, and developing a better theoretical and practical knowledge base.

Making the Case for Evidence-Based Decision-Making (Blog)


Evidence-based practice has great potential to improve social outcomes, but only if we do a better job marketing and adapting it to address the specific problems at hand.

Press Button to Complete School (Blog)


Like games, classes aren’t interesting when the skills they require are too easy to master and there’s no chance of failure.

Foundation CEO Angst: Moral Imperatives and Insomnia (Blog)


A new study reveals that foundation leaders are more self-critical than ever and are seeking urgently to create greater social impact.

Trump: A Potential, and Peculiar, Source of Impact? (Blog)


How an infrastructure imperative and tax overhaul could unlock capital for social and environmental impact.

Green Bonds and Land Conservation: A New Investment Landscape? (Blog)


Green bonds are experiencing explosive growth, but are they a useful new financing tool to bridge conservation funding shortfalls or just the latest chapter in greenwashing?

Getting More Than You Pay For With Pay-For-Success (Blog)


In laying the groundwork for stronger cross-sector collaboration and outcomes-focused approaches, pay-for-success projects in Silicon Valley are reaping benefits far beyond the success they’ve agreed to invest in.

Eliminating Implicit Bias in Grantmaking Practice (Blog)


Some of philanthropy’s core practices may unwittingly be leading funders to perpetuate the inequities they’re trying to eliminate.

Rethinking Business Plan Competitions (Blog)


Examining the pitfalls and potential of social business plan competitions, and how educators can redesign them for greater impact.

Facts Over Factions (Blog)


How technology and data can form the basis for common-sense, bi-partisan policy reforms amid new uncertainties.

From Family Data to Neighborhood Outcomes (Blog)


By offering better early support for struggling families, child welfare services can reduce the need for more serious interventions down the line and improve the wellbeing of whole neighborhoods.

Leadership Development: Aligning Funders’ Good Intentions with Nonprofits’ Real Needs (Blog)


The time is right for funders to reconsider how they can make the most of the dollars they invest in grantee leadership development, but they must start by better understanding the leadership challenges nonprofits face.

Critical Competences for Social Impact Leaders (Blog)


Five opportunities for educators to more clearly connect classic entrepreneurial skills to the social impact field and to foster skills that can serve a range of social impact leadership roles.

Structuring Innovation in the Next Administration (Blog)


Faced with a potentially dramatic shift in federal policy, how can policymakers, civic tech leaders, philanthropists, and social innovators reshape their approach to innovation, technology, and data so that the US government is more responsive and connected to the people?

Using Technology to Teach the Art of Asking Questions (Blog)


Technological innovations have the potential to transform education, but only if they encourage a more active learning environment that fosters critical thinking.

A Letter to the President-Elect (Blog)


How the next administration can improve global security and advance American interests by strengthening its support for social innovation in global health and development.

Advocating and Giving During the Trump Administration: Five History Lessons for the Social Sector (Blog)


As funders, providers, and advocates pivot to face a dramatically different funding and political environment, some lessons from history may be instructive.

The Curb-Cut Effect


Laws and programs designed to benefit vulnerable groups, such as the disabled or people of color, often end up benefiting all of society.

Selling Social Change


Rather than focusing so much effort on creating services that are “innovative,” nonprofits need to develop a more sales-driven approach to social change.

Across the Returns Continuum


Omidyar Network has built a framework for pursuing investment opportunities that takes into account not only firm-level impact but also market-level impact.

Toward the Efficient Impact Frontier


At Root Capital, leaders are using ideas from mainstream financial analysis to calibrate the role that subsidies play in their investing practice. Includes magazine extras.

Two Countries, One Vision


From fraternity houses in the American Midwest to villages in rural India, Breakthrough is experimenting with novel approaches to reducing violence against women and girls.

Plugging Into the Past


An architecture firm is helping bring modern amenities to Beijing’s historical hutong courtyard homes with minimal disruption.

A Journal for Refugees


An Oxford project provides a place where migrants forced to flee their homes can publish their work.

Mapping Land Titles From the Sky


Can drones help solve the complex problem of recognizing property claims in the Philippines?

Convenient Care for the Elderly


In Japan, minimart chains such as 7-Eleven and Lawson play a major role in providing services for a burgeoning elderly population.

Healing Through Hip-Hop


In the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, mental health professionals are using hip-hop culture to reach troubled youth.

Radio for Good


National Prison Radio, run by inmates, reaches more than 60,000 prisoners in England and Wales—and aspires to better the lives of every single one.

Fellowship for Change


A network sponsored by the Aspen Institute is enabling corporate social intrapreneurs to become less lonely—and more effective.

HELP for Haiti


It’s a ripple effect: HELP fulfills Haitian students’ dreams of college, and then they take up the baton.

A Question of Outcomes


For more and more social change efforts, the key to success lies in clearly defining the desired results for beneficiaries.

Conflict Aid Goes “Lean”


Iterative design methods are essential to development work—even (or especially) in regions marked by war and violence.

Seeking and Solving


Through an online crowdsourcing platform, one foundation is reaching new types of partners who offer new types of solutions.

Good to the Last Mile


Solving the problem of rural distribution in the developing world starts with following the time-honored model of local traders.

Judging “Poor” Choices


Disapproval of welfare recipients who use their benefits to buy “ethical” but costly items is widespread.

Why Some Big Companies Back Boycotts


Corporations that suffer from reputational threats often form unlikely alliances with social activist groups.

The Subsidy Solution


Contrary to conventional economic wisdom, relying solely on carbon taxes will not create an optimal transition to clean energy.

Purpose Versus Popularity


In working with stigmatized groups, an organization must manage the risk that it may experience stigma as well.