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SSIR Articles

Published: 2017-06-27T16:30:00+00:00


Putting Community First (Blog)


Community foundations should reaffirm their unique role in the philanthropic landscape and focus on the needs of their geographic community.

The Charity That Big Tech Built


The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has grown to become one of the world’s most well-funded foundations. But who in the Valley benefits from this largesse?

Do Benefit Corporations Respect Human Rights?


The B Corp movement has pushed a powerful model of socially responsible business that has the potential to advance human rights. But it has so far failed to engage human rights advocates—to its detriment.

Scaling Science


A new approach to scaling is needed in which the goal is scaling up social impact for public good.

The Promise of Skills-Based Volunteering


One of the fastest-growing corporate citizenship programs is skills-based volunteering—in which a team of corporate employees works for an extended period of time to help a nonprofit solve a complex operational problem.

Creating a Policy Index for the Arts


The National Arts Index established a quantitative measure for arts vitality in the United States that aided public discussion by policy makers and the arts community. In the era of big data, what can we learn from its creation and impact?

Making Kids Into “Makers”


The new annual Inventor’s Challenge prompts children to develop their creative problem-solving skills by building something to address a problem in their community.

Planting Trees With Drones


To fight deforestation, a UK-based startup is using unmanned aerial vehicles that can plant seeds 60 times faster than humans can.

Rethinking Lunchtime


New legislation around the United States aims to combat the widespread practice of shaming students who cannot pay for school lunch.

US States Embrace Baby Boxes


Several states are adopting the Finnish practice of distributing “baby boxes” to expectant parents—and taking the opportunity to also educate families about safe sleep for infants.

1,001 Story Times


We Love Reading brings imaginative reading circles for children across the Middle East and around the world.

Sharing Is Daring


Sage Bionetworks is transforming the culture of biomedical research with open-source methods.

Step by Step


ChildObesity180 is combating the nation’s child obesity epidemic by incubating and promoting the best ideas.

Marginalized Returns


Impact investing has been seduced by a false narrative of combining social impact with financial gains.

The Impact of Periods


Promoting menstrual health is critical to women’s economic empowerment around the world.

Capital for Creativity


Impact investors have ignored the arts and culture sector, at the expense of the communities they seek to help.

Pound Foolish


Food banks must reject measuring their impact by pounds of food distributed and instead promote access to nutritious food.

The Motivations Behind Giving


Charitable appeals that address a wealthy person’s agency are more effective.

Winning Texas to Renewables


The Energy Foundation used a two-pronged strategy of engaging policy makers and grassroots activists to sell green electricity.

The Mortality of Arts Nonprofits


The funding ecosystem has a greater role to play in the survival of nonprofits than their internal structure.

How Political Donors Band Together


The ultrarich are teaming up to make politics more partisan.

Stretching Toward Solutions


Although his advice could at times be more concrete, Kahane offers an effective critique of current approaches to collaboration and shows the need for a different way of working together.

Resetting the Table


Carolan makes an ambitious attempt to analyze the social relationships that undergird our global food system.

In Defense of Perpetuity


Limited-life foundations are currently all the rage, but Fleishman’s book reminds us that perpetual, endowed foundations are in many cases preferable.

Learning From Each Other


Experienced educators provide guidance for those wishing to create and maintain effective partnerships between researchers and educators.

Bridging Governments’ Borders (Blog)


Connected policy is essential to solve society’s hardest challenges; here’s how to make it happen.

Puerto Rico in Peril


Puerto Rico has effectively declared bankruptcy, putting government programs and social progress at risk.

Cash for Leaving Prison: A New Solution to Recidivism? (Blog)


We must address the poverty that underlies criminal recidivism if we want to reduce the number of people in US prisons and jails.

At the Heart of Impact Measurement, Listening to Customers (Blog)


Investors looking for data on social impact should start by helping investees deliver a compelling value proposition.

A Roadmap to Better Boards (Blog)


It’s time for nonprofits to recognize that diverse groups are more innovative and better performing, and to apply that insight to their organizations’ governing bodies.

The Organizational Innovation Behind One of Asia’s Largest Charities (Blog)


How the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Association evolved from a small local charity into a global NGO.

Sustainability Managers Could Lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Blog)


Corporate sustainability leaders can turn challenges into opportunities for society and companies alike.

Let’s Create Charter Schools that Strengthen School Districts (Blog)


Six ways funders can help support quality education for all students and improve communities in the process.

Gaming for Infrastructure (Blog)


Online games can help prepare public-private partnerships to succeed.

Small Business Today, Social Enterprise Tomorrow (Blog)


Communities and the social sector both stand to gain when nonprofits acquire existing for-profits.

Can Business Elites Save the “Africa Rising” Narrative? (Blog)


Four strategies in particular may help Africa’s wealthiest businesspeople effect social change and drive economic growth.

Beyond Command-and-Control Campaigns (Blog)


Many see distributed, directed-network campaigning as the unique domain of small advocacy groups, but the approach has generated impressive results for established organizations as well.

Is Your Nonprofit Built for Sustained Innovation?


Six useful starting points for nonprofits that want to build their capacity to continuously innovate.

What Does the Public Think About Cross-sector Collaboration? (Blog)


Insights gleaned from focus groups exploring the public’s views of cross-sector collaboration can help practitioners better communicate their work.

Innovative Solutions for Climate Change Need More than Money (Blog)


Climate-change entrepreneurs need funding, but they also need the expertise, networking, and intellectual capital that incubators and foundations can provide.