Vistas: Geri Stengel’s Blog: Scaling Social Impact

Social Enterprises and Solving the World's Problems: How Impact Investing Needs to Change

Impact investment suffered a blow to its credibility last week with the news about SKS, the Indian company that took micro-credit from the realm of nonprofits to the stock exchange, has been linked by its own investigations to the suicides of over-extended clients who were allegedly bullied to death by debt collectors.

Read all of Social Enterprises and Solving the World's Problems: How Impact Investing Needs to Change on Huffington Post.

Scaling Nonprofits: Lessons Learned By A Winner

Editor’s Note: This is the last in a 7-part series on Developing A Growth Business Plan. The series is based on presentations made at the Social Impact Exchange Symposium on Scaling Impact held June 14 and on the experiences of nonprofits that participated in the business plan competition.

The Parent-Child Home Program won much more than $50,000 and nine months of free consulting at last year’s Social Impact Exchange Conference.

Business Plan for Nonprofit Growth: Organization and Infrastructure

Editor’s Note: This is the fifth of a 7-part series on Developing A Growth Business Plan. The series is based on presentations made at the Social Impact Exchange Symposium on Scaling Impact held June 14 and on the experiences of nonprofits that participated in the business plan competition.Organization and Infrastructure was presented by Mike Burns, partner in BWB Solutions.

Before you scale, be sure the structure of your organization can support growth. You’ll need to assess your nonprofit’s management team, governance, and staffing.

Howling at the Moon

By Robin Mockenhaupt, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Last month Robin Mockenhaupt, Chief of Staff at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, attended the Social Impact Exchange conference. Here she shares her perspective on the value of strategic collaborations in scaling for social impact.

One of my favorite New Yorker cartoons features a group of wolves on a mountaintop howling at the moon. One of them says, “Do you think we’re having an impact?” That’s what it often feels like in philanthropy; we’re all up there howling at the moon.

Business Plan For Nonprofit Growth: Evaluation and Knowledge Dissemination

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of a 7-part series on Developing A Growth Business Plan. The series is based on presentations made at the Social Impact Exchange Symposium on Scaling Impact held June 14 and on the experiences of nonprofits that participated in the business plan competition. Evaluation and Sharing Knowledge was presented by Geri Stengel.

“Evaluation” and “measurement” bring shivers of apprehension to some, with visions of a mound of data collected for external reports that have no bearing on anyone’s job but do affect whether the organization gets funding.

Get rid of that mindset and you get rid of “data angst.”

Business Plan For Nonprofit Growth: Planning for Scale

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a 7-part series on Developing A Growth Business Plan. The series is based on presentations made at the Social Impact Exchange Symposium on Scaling Impact held June 14 and on the experiences of nonprofits that participated in the business plan competition. Scaling Plan was presented by the managing director of Social Impact Architects.

Scaling doesn’t necessarily mean new sites or more clients. It could mean “going deeper,” that is, providing a broader range of services for the communities you already serve. Or it could mean expanding your indirect influence through increased advocacy and influence on public policy. It may mean promoting your model, packaging it or licensing it.

Having the Potential to Scale

This year’s Social Impact Exchange conference was a great opportunity to bring people together from traditional philanthropy and donor advised funds, as well as high net worth individuals, to engage in a dialogue about the complex issues that are inherent in trying to drive innovation and impact. We’ve walked away better able to understand how we scale promising innovation. We recognize the solutions that we’re all trying to work toward require us to enter into strategic collaborations with many different kinds of partners. We cannot scale something on our own.

Bring Your Hard Heads to Social Investing

Last week’s second annual Social Impact Exchange conference was filled with high energy, creativity, and a sincere dedication to improving people’s lives by scaling up evidence-based or high-performing social interventions. While many in the room represented philanthropic foundations, individual donors have been and are still the largest source of funding for the nonprofit sector. How can we create markets that successfully tap these sources of wealth for greater social return?

Six Nonprofits That Have Successfully Scaled: Hats Off!!

It was called “Scaling In Action,” but it was really about giving the best and brightest in nonprofits going to scale the opportunity to address an audience of funders at the June 14 Symposium On Scaling Social Impact, sponsored by the Social Impact Exchange.

Scaling In Times of Tight Money: What Can We Do?

Big solutions – scaling – is needed for big societal challenges, such as housing, health and education, according to Gara LaMarche, president and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies.

LaMarche was the luncheon speaker at the 2011 Social Impact Exchange’s Conference On Scaling Impact.



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