Stanford Social Innovation Review Spring 2007

 Social Entrepreneurship: The Case for Definition (no subscription required)
Social entrepreneurship is attracting growing amounts of talent, money, and attention. But along with its increasing popularity has come less certainty about what exactly a social entrepreneur is and does. Some say that a more inclusive term is best, but the authors argue that we need a more rigorous definition.

How Nonprofits Get Really Big (no subscription required)
Since 1970, more than 200,000 nonprofits have opened in the U.S., but only 144 of them have reached $50 million in annual revenue. Most of the members of this elite group got big by doing two things. They raised the majority of their money from a single type of funder such as corporations or government—and not, as conventional wisdom would recommend, by going after diverse sources of funding. Just as importantly, these nonprofits created professional organizations that were tailored to the needs of their primary funding sources.

Learn to Love Lobbying
Most nonprofits don’t know how to lobby and, worse, think that it entails cutting shady deals with sleazy characters. But lobbying is simply educating legislators—a strategy nonprofits should be using to make change.

Luck of the Draw (no subscription required)
Grantees of foundations have little control over which program officer takes their case. Yet program officers make or break grantees’ experiences with foundations. To trigger social change, foundations must give program officers better training, clearer expectations, and regular performance feedback.


Sound and Fury—Much public affairs lingo, such as “capacity,” signifies nothing in particular.



Secret Agents (no subscription required)—Method products keep their greenness under wraps.

Bettering Beantown—A Boston organization brings home the best of the country’s nonprofits.

Policing the Police (no subscription required)—A Nigerian NGO teaches human rights to law enforcement.



A Pyramid Scheme for Technology (no subscription required)—Identify your IT needs to get funds for them.



Kevin Johnson (no subscription required)—This former NBA superstar is bringing back the neighborhood where he grew up.



Profiting From Failure (no subscription required)—What nonprofits and donors can learn from the closing of a venture philanthropy firm.

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