Issue 1: Spring 2008Subscribe via RSS

Financing Civil Society: A practitioner’s view of the UK social investment market

by Louisa Mitchell, John Kingston, and Emilie Goodall, Venturesome; September 2008. This article is essential reading for those seeking to better understand the emerging social investment marketplace. In a nutshell, social investment aims to achieve both social and financial returns. Laden with case studies from the UK, the authors argue that social impact organisations are most effective when they strategically target social investors instead of becoming caught in the vicious cycle of short-term fundraising. Mitchell, … Continue reading

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Agreeing to Disagree: Maintaining dissent in the NGO sector

Gemma Edgar, The Australia Institute; August 2008. The Rudd government is currently floating the idea of a National Compact to strengthen its relationship with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) as part of its social inclusion agenda for Australia. Gemma Edgar of the Australia Institute provides a detailed discussion of the pros and cons of such a Compact, with a particular focus on implications for advocacy NGOs. On the plus side, a Compact would aim for a better … Continue reading

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Non-Profit Capitalism

The Economist, print edition; September 11, 2008. Under the banner: ‘The Business of Giving’, The Economist reports on the latest trend in not-for-profit fundraising circles: the Initial Public Offering (IPO). IPOs were the golden child of the dot.com era, occurring when a company floats its stock on a public stock exchange and the shareholdings become publicly available. Now, some nonprofits in the US have launched their own ‘IPOs’ as part of their fundraising efforts, following … Continue reading

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Achieving Breakthrough Performance

by Mark Gottfredson, Steve Schaubert, and Elisabeth Babcock, Stanford Social Innovation Review; Summer 2008. How might social sector leaders position themselves to weather economic storms and ultimately flourish? Drawing on extensive consulting experience and not-for-profit management, authors Gottfredson, Schaubert, and Babcock outline a path to ‘breakthrough performance’. The authors define this as: “the kind that positions nonprofits to create high levels of social impact and lasting change.” To achieve such status, they identify four principles: … Continue reading

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Spring 2008: Philanthropy, Social Investment and Public Policy

Welcome to Knowledge Connect, CSI’s review of noteworthy social impact thinking worldwide. In this issue, five selected articles focus on the market dynamics of philanthropic and social investment funds. From the expansion of social investment in the UK, the dawn of non-profit IPOs, and excesses in US philanthropy, we examine ideas flowing from the social marketplace. What’s working? What’s not? And, what’s an appropriate role for the State? Two of the pieces summarised focus on … Continue reading

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Can the Rich Save the World? An interview with Matthew Bishop and Michael Green

Caroline Hartnell, Alliance Magazine; October 1, 2008. Matthew Bishop coined the term ‘Philanthrocapitalism’ in an essay for The Economist in February 2006, referring to the movement to make non-profits more like businesses and create new markets for goods and services with positive social impact. In their new book: Philanthrocapitalism: How the rich can save the world, Bishop and co-author Michael Green probe the potential they see when philanthropy combines with capitalism to benefit society. They … Continue reading

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Rich Bitch

by Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker; September 29, 2008. For a tale of philanthropic extravagance, we need not look far from Wall Street. In the New Yorker, contributor Jeffrey Toobin tells a fetching story of a cashed-up pooch named Trouble. Trouble, a female Maltese, was left US$12 million in a trust fund by her owner, the notorious New York hotel tycoon, Leona Helmsley. Ms Helmsley’s bequest and the establishment of her foundation (purportedly worth between $3 … Continue reading

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Book review: The Art of Public Strategy: Mobilising Power and Knowledge for the Common Good

Geoff Mulgan, Oxford University Press; 2008. Book reviewed by Peter Shergold, Chief Executive, the Centre for Social Impact Geoff Mulgan, Director of the Young Foundation in London, is well-known to Australians for his active role in promoting social innovation. Already he has spoken twice at CSI events. As befits someone who has previously served as senior policy adviser both to Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, he is also a perceptive thinker on political life. A … Continue reading

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