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SSIR Articles

Published: 2017-01-23T17:28:00+00:00


Constancy and Thoughtful Realignment: The Next Era of Social Investing (Blog)


The changing US political playground requires that foundations both double down on what works and actively explore what might work in uncertain times ahead.

Unlocking the Potential of Tactical Urbanism (Blog)


Many small-scale (but scalable) creative efforts to foster tangible urban change, inspired by the burgeoning “tactical urbanism” movement, have met with success—and yet the movement itself faces limitations. How might this approach continue to evolve so as to effect inclusive, sustainable, and meaningful social and political change at the local level?

Amplifying Impact with Mission Investments (Blog)


How foundations can reimagine a proven philanthropic tool to more effectively address today’s social and environmental challenges.

Student Debt: An Opportunity and a Challenge for the Nonprofit Workforce (Blog)


Student debt is hurting recruitment, retention, and diversity in the nonprofit workforce, but a Federal program is poised to help.

Philanthropic Pioneers: Foundations and the Rise of Impact Investing (Blog)


As impact investing expands in scope and sophistication, foundations are leading the way.

Breaking the Double Barrier of Poverty (Blog)


Instead of prescribing higher education as the silver-bullet solution to poverty, we must provide diverse and contextualized pathways to disadvantaged children, enabling them to redefine the dominant narrative of success.

Systems Change in Education: It Begins With Us (Blog)


To make education systems more adaptive, innovative, collaborative, and empathic, we as change leaders must first model these characteristics ourselves.

Onward: Accelerating the Impact of Social Impact Education (Blog)


University social impact centers are stretched thin. Rather than do more of everything, the best strategy may be to establish a baseline level of services, and then focus on making significant progress in one distinct area.

Designing a Renewable Food System (Blog)


Borrowing from the renewable energy sector, we can create a better food system by organizing regional governments to create markets for smaller producers and establishing coordinated networks that can amplify best practices.

Contributory or Disruptive: Do New Forms of Philanthropy Erode Democracy?


Modified from an excerpt of Philanthropy in Democratic Societies: History, Institutions, Values, edited by Rob Reich, Chiara Cordelli, and Lucy Bernholz.

How Inclusive Businesses Can Tackle Poverty in China (Blog)


The tide of China’s recent economic boom hasn’t lifted all boats. But inclusive businesses can help provide sustainable solutions for China’s vast impoverished population.

Putting Community First in Social Innovation Education (Blog)


Social innovation educators are responsible for teaching students how to become collaborative community partners. Here's how.

Shifting Philanthropy From Charity to Justice (Blog)


We need a new framework for giving to address America's economic, social, and political inequalities.

The Messy Middle: Managing the Challenges of Scale-up (Blog)


Five lessons on scaling educational technology for the most vulnerable children.

Evaluating Community Change (Blog)


A collective impact effort in Greater Cincinnati offers a useful framework for evaluating community change.

Fortifying Civic Participation Worldwide (Blog)


How civil society organizations can come together in the defense of civic space.

Building Opportunities for Inclusive Leadership (Blog)


Are social entrepreneurship education programs excluding those who have directly experienced social problems from working on social change solutions?

Bringing Together Business and Social Change: Not for the Faint of Heart (Blog)


Launching social enterprises with national reach holds great promise, but there’s no easy route to success—a look at four lessons from the field.

The 10 Most Popular SSIR Articles of 2016 (Blog)


Favorites from the magazine and website.

The New Double Bottom Line (Blog)


By combining the characteristics of small and nimble organizations with those that have successfully scaled, can we have our impact and our numbers too?

It’s Time to Break Arts Philanthropy Out of Its Silo (Blog)


Connecting arts goals to a foundation’s larger vision can make support for the arts more targeted and impactful.

To Build Leaders for Social Impact, Universities Must Adapt (Blog)


Universities play a critical role in producing social impact leaders committed to the public good and prepared to confront the challenges of an uncertain world.

From Guessing to Knowing (Blog)


We do best when we let communities define and direct their own “positive outcomes.”

The Freedom, Insecurity, and Future of Independent Work (Blog)


With a growing part of the workforce earning a living independently, we need a new system that provides greater stability and security.

Moving From Pass/Fail to Continuous Progress (Blog)


It’s hard to fully understand the effects of interventions that aim to address several life challenges at once. But it can help to transition from all-or-nothing assessments to more incremental measures.

Why Universities Shouldn’t Teach Social Entrepreneurship (Blog)


For true social change to happen, we must welcome social entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, but universities simply can’t do that in their current form.

Education Decision Makers Need More Timely, Actionable Data (Blog)


Although we are ultimately most interested in long-term life outcomes for students, to achieve them education leaders will need a new focus on shorter-term, intermediate measures of success.

Three Trends in System-level Impact Investing (Blog)


Investors must intentionally incorporate new ways of investing if they are to address big global problems or harness global trends while achieving competitive returns—a look at the path ahead.

When Nonprofits Become Market Innovators, Social Returns Are Exponential (Blog)


Three lessons from the field for NGOs pursuing social impact investing.

Funding Without Prescription (Blog)


In bringing the nutrition cohort a carefully calculated strategy, patient capital, and a willingness to let go, Newman’s Own Foundation is demonstrating success at the heart of the collaboration challenge.

How to Make Crowdfunding More Inclusive (Blog)


To realize their potential, crowdfunding efforts need to engage traditionally excluded communities by emphasizing more than one bottom line.

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.