Editor’s Note: I’m getting on this guy’s blog, if he has one. Two articles I’ve read recently, this one and “Ten Smart Things I’ve learned from People Who Never Went to College” are outstanding in content and in style. Hope you enjoy as well.
Editor’s Note: If you notice, all of this month’s reference material comes from the 10th anniversary issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review (www.ssireview.org) from whom I have learned a lot. If your interest is keen on social innovations, I recommend you subscribe and support their efforts. This article from Jacqueline Novogratz of the Acumen Fund is essentially the “dream come true” I began pursuing in 2005, when my favorite MBA professor, Jay Dial, said “Government and NGOs are doing the best they can to solve social problems but need business to take their appropriate social responsibility in order to succeed long term”. Amen, Jay, and amen Jacqueline for describing Acumen and other’s progress the last ten years.
Article of the Month:
Editor’s Note: The story of three friends from Galveston, Texas, seems less a tribute to upward mobility than a study of obstacles in an age of economic inequality. Each showed the ability to do college work, even excel at it. With little guidance from family or school officials, college became a leap that they braved without a safety net. Their story resonates as our foundation’s vision is that all low-income and/or first-generation students will have a caring and committed mentor to help get them get to and through college.
Editor’s Note: A sobering fact from the article I wanted to highlight: “A small portion of philanthropic efforts are aimed at helping those who most need it. A study by Rob Reich, an associate professor of political science at Stanford University, concluded that only a small share of charity redistributes income from the wealthy to the poor. “
Editor’s Note: Our foundation studiously avoids advocacy but if we ever change that policy, here’s the first windmill I will tilt. Forbes 50 wealthiest people for example had net worth of $800 million in 2007 just before the bust and this year have an average net worth of $5.5 billion. And as this article tells us, the rich getting richer and poor getting poorer is not only wrong, it’s bad for the economy.
Editor’s Note: This article’s surprise for me is that most of the world’s poorest people don’t live in the poorest countries. Does this mean sending aid to autocrats that never reaches their poor might be a bad idea? Right, I’m being sarcastic. I love this article from the Economist, provided by my son, Tim, that reminds us that helping countries reach stability and good governance is more important than simply writing a check.
The Premier Source for Objective, Qualified and Relevant Microfinance Performance Data and Analysis
Editor’s Note: For perhaps the first time, rather than an article, I’m recommending an entire website. I just ran into the Microfinance Information Exchange while I was looking for data to use for our own decisions. It is by nature pretty broad but you’ll find some fascinating studies and global information on this important sector.
Editor’s Note: I recently began researching PRIs, or Program Related Investments, to gain an understanding of how they create leverage and whether it makes sense for our foundation in some cases to provide low-interest loans instead of grants to our nonprofit partners. The attached, provided to me by the helpful people at Ohio Grant makers Forum, gives a good overview of the features and benefits of using PRIs.
Editor’s Note: I recently met Professor Wei-Skillern at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business where she was teaching a class in social enterprise with Rick Aubry of New Foundry Ventures (http://newfoundryventures.org/). Her decades of research on successful nonprofit collaborations highlight key success factors required for collective impact initiatives to succeed.
Finding Your Funding Model” by Peter Kim, Gail Perreault, & William Foster http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/finding_your_funding_model
Excerpt: Many nonprofit leaders seek reliable funding but are not sure how best to pursue it. Four guidelines provide a road map for leaders to identify and develop the right funding model for their organization.