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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: 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.”

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?

Engaging Philanthropists and Opening New Channels and Sources of Growth Capital

It’s marketing 101: Emphasize the benefits to the consumers, not the benefit you gain by selling to them.

So, too, with philanthropists and high-net-worth individuals, according to panelists addressing Engaging Philanthropists and Opening New Channels and Sources of Growth Capital at the 2011 Social Impact Exchange’s Conference On Scaling Impact.

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.

Intermediaries Can Leverage Impact of Philanthropic $$$

It may seem like that dreadful “overhead,” but using an intermediary to put together funding options for scaling a nonprofit … well, it’s an investment in expertise, not a frivolous expense.

That was the point very clearly made by the panel, Intermediaries and Impact: How Can We Make Our Philantrhopic Dollars Go Further By Leveraging the Work of Intermediaries? at the 2011 Social Impact Exchange’s Conference On Scaling Impact.

The Challenge Ahead: Unlocking Growth Capital for Nonprofits

Unlocking growth capital, now there’s a challenge, one addressed by a knowledgeable panel at the 2011 Social Impact Exchange’s Conference On Scaling Impact.

Foundations don’t invest enough for nonprofits to succeed, according to Kelly Fitzsimmons, chief program and strategy office for the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation. The missing links:

  • money to experiment and learn,
  • money for capacity-building.

It’s a point made at last year’s conference as well but one well worth repeating.

Government as a Catalyst for Change and Scaling

Stephen Goldsmith, deputy mayor of New York City, sees government as the catalyst for bringing effective nonprofits to scale. Its role will not be to provide direct services, he said, but to create networks and leverage resources.

Among Goldsmith's many accomplishments in civic life is that he is director of the Innovations in American Government Program at Harvard's Kennedy School Of Government. And, as keynote speaker at the 2011 Social Impact Exchange's Conference On Scaling Impact, innovate is exactly what he challenged funders and philanthropists to do.



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