July 2010

A Nonprofit Case Study: Nonprofit Taps Technology Benefits to Improve Services and Save Money, Time

It's hard to believe but true: Some nonprofits aren't taking full advantage of technology. But perhaps they'll be inspired by the experience of the Council of Senior Centers and Services, a New York-based advocacy group.

Employee Perks Build Small Business Success

What do the New York Jets, Patagonia, a landscaping company in Massachusetts, and a catering company in Illinois have in common?

Making Change Personal

How do you define social responsibility? I've asked that question before; this time I have 30 answers, 30 people from all walks of life who took what they had – a little or a lot – and used it to help others.

Do Ethics Matter in Social Enterprise?

What is your definition of social entrepreneur? I've asked that question before but feel compelled to revisit in light of an article in the July 11 The New York Times.

Speaking Up Can Bring Change

Nothing illustrates the difference between the 20th and 21st century business model more than the two stories about Walmart, side by side, in the New York Times June 4. 

Innovating for Positive Social Change at the Earliest Stage

Social innovation doesn’t just happen; it needs to be inspired, encouraged, and nurtured if it is to prosper and be effective. Such support can – and now does – come from many sources:

Saving a City, One Entrepreneur at a Time

An interesting twist on public-private partnerships – and a social enterprise home run – is Bizdom U, a bootcamp for aspiring entrepreneurs in Detroit. It is funded by Dan Gilbert, a self-made man who has focused his philanthropy on one city and on building a network of small businesses to raise that city's economy. For four months, the would-be entrepreneurs receive a stipend while they work on business plans and refine their products and services. Some receive a $100,000 grant to implement the plan.

Financing Options Needed for Nonprofit Scaling

 Yves Salama, CEO of Charity Matrix

At the Social Impact Exchange Conference: Taking Innovation to Scale, the panel discussion on Impact Investing (investing for both a financial and a social return) brought to light two interesting problems:

Use Your Edge: 4 Trust Factors That Attract Customers to Small Businesses

Most Americans – 71 percent – trust small businesses more than they trust their government, their preacher, their teacher, or the nightly news, according to a very dense report issued in April by the Pew Research Center for People and the Press. 

Scaling - How To Adapt a Business Process to Each Context Successfully

Yves Salama, CEO of CharityMatrix

Who could have anticipated that Starbucks would open 50+ stores in France, home of the original cafè crème, but not in Italy, home of the original latte? While Starbucks adopted the Italian model (coffee as a social event) to the U.S. and 43 other countries, they could not improve the experience for Italians.  Streamlining the business process to make it portable and adaptable to other areas requires that evaluation include the context: the region or culture. 

Social Impact Exchange Conference on Scaling: What's Next?

Yves Salama, CEO of Charity Matrix

It's hard to imagine an inaugural conference spurring more thought, discussion and contacts than spurred by the Social Impact Exchange Conference on bringing nonprofit innovation to scale. That all participants are eager for the follow-up next year is undeniable. The question is where will the conversation pick up? Will it take off from where it ended on June 18, or leapfrog to encompass ideas generated during the next 12 months?

Proven Solutions to Social Problems Exist: With Your Help They Can Scale

The Social Impact Exchange business plan competition has only one designated winner in each category, but that doesn't mean the others are losers. Funders still can -- and should! -- fund the runners up.

Financing Options Needed for Nonprofit Scaling

By Yves Salama, CEO of Charity Matrix

At the Social Impact Exchange Conference: Taking Innovation to Scale, the panel discussion on Impact Investing (investing for both a financial and a social return) brought to light two interesting problems:

You're Richer Than You Think So Sharing Won't Hurt

Feeling strapped in the current economy? To get a reality check on just how lucky you are, check out the global rich list. Enter your yearly income and you'll find out just how well you are doing compared to the rest of the global population.