Through an agreement with the Stanford Social Innovation Review, PND is pleased to be able to offer a series of articles and profiles related to the "business" of improving society.

It Takes Three to Tango

Johan Van de Gronden May 13, 2011

Johan Van de Gronden, CEO of the Dutch chapter of the World Wildlife Fund, examines American civil society through a European lens and suggests a different relationship between business, government, and the nonprofit sector in the United States....

What's Next: Retailing with Heart

Suzie Boss April 15, 2011

Since opening its first "restaurant of shared responsibility" last May in a St. Louis suburb, the Panera chain is poised to take its upscale version of a soup kitchen nationwide. A second Panera Cares caf? opened in November outside Detroit, and a third was slated to open in Portland, Oregon, in January. Neighborhoods have been selected to include a mixed clientele, with well-heeled professionals dining side by side with homeless families. The concept is groundbreaking in the food service sector....

For Love or Lucre

Jim Fruchterman March 3, 2011

Social entrepreneurs who want to start a new venture quickly confront an important question: What type of legal structure should I create? Should I start a traditional nonprofit, a for-profit, or something in between? This is not a simple question to answer, and it is in some ways becoming more difficult with the proliferation of new legal structures like the B corporation that are intended to allow entrepreneurs to meet financial, social, and environmental bottom lines. Fruchterman, the founder of Benetech, writes about the upsides and downsides of various forms of philanthropic for-profit and nonprofit ventures in order to help other social entrepreneurs navigate these waters....

Collective Impact

John Kania, Mark Kramer January 5, 2011

Collaboration is nothing new. The social sector is filled with examples of partnerships, networks, and other types of joint efforts. But collective impact initiatives are distinctly different. Unlike most collaborations, collective impact initiatives involve a centralized infrastructure, a dedicated staff, and a structured process that leads to a common agenda, shared measurement, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities among all participants....

Monk, Architect, Diplomat

Mark Albion November 17, 2010

In 2005, the Social Venture Network asked social entrepreneur Mark Albion to research why its members had difficulty scaling their social enterprises. Instead of scaling, why did they almost always sell their companies to larger enterprises? Was a lack of finances the primary culprit? No, as it turns out. To successfully scale an enterprise, entrepreneurs need to think and lead differently from their peers. They have to understand that social entrepreneurship is not just a form of entrepreneurship but rather an instrument for social change....

Freeing the Social Entrepreneur

Chantal Below, Kimberly Tripp October 6, 2010

Social entrepreneurs are often reluctant to relinquish control and create strong leadership teams. Unless they make this important transition, the organizations entrepreneurs worked hard to create are unlikely to scale or have the desired impact....

Do No Evil

Suzie Boss August 26, 2010 was launched in 2004 with bold ambitions and almost $1 billion in seed funding. But the corporate culture built by Google engineers proved challenging for the development experts brought in to run "DotOrg." Six years later, the philanthropy's leadership has been replaced and its ambitions have shrunk....

Q&A: Jeffrey Sachs

Eric Nee July 9, 2010

In this interview with Stanford Social Innovation Review managing editor Eric Nee, Sachs explains why sustainable development is humanity's most pressing challenge, why lifting billions of people out of poverty is the first order of business, and why the development of new technologies offers the best hope for simultaneously increasing economic growth while reducing our impact on the planet....

Scaling Impact: How to Get 100x the Results With 2x the Organization

Jeffrey Bradach June 8, 2010

Today, there may be no idea with greater currency in the social sector than "scaling what works." But since this way of thinking about growth is quite new, social entrepreneurs are still figuring out the best ways to scale impact. Some pioneers have identified tools and strategies that can expand the impact of organizations well beyond what their size would seem capable of generating....

Q&A With Joanne Weiss, Director, U.S. Department of Education Race to the Top Fund

Eric Nee May 5, 2010

The Race to the Top Fund is not a typical government program. Instead, it borrows from the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, most notably the idea that competition can stimulate change. Rather than getting grants based simply on how many children are in school or how many schools are failing, states must compete for money by putting forward innovative programs that improve their educational system. Some states will get money and others will not, based on performance and outcomes. In this interview with Stanford Social Innovation Review Managing Editor Eric Nee, Weiss explains what the department hopes to accomplish with Race to the Top, and what sets it apart from other education initiatives....

The Case for Stakeholder Engagement

Courtney Bourns, Kathleen Enright April 7, 2010

Grantmaking initiatives often fail when the foundation remains isolated from its grantees and the communities they both serve. To remedy this problem, grantmakers must work more closely with their grantees, community leaders, and other important stakeholders. This engagement helps everyone involved gain a deeper understanding of the problems they are tackling, create new and better solutions, and build more effective organizations ....

Outrun the Recession

Alan Tuck, Don Howard, William Foster February 17, 2010

SSIR's ongoing survey of nonprofit executives across the United States has revealed the seven healthy habits that might help nonprofits not only endure this recession but also thrive when it ends....

Endowment for a Rainy Day

Burton Weisbrod, Evelyn D. Asch January 20, 2010

In recent decades, nonprofits have significantly increased the size of their endowments. Yet during the current economic crisis, they made scant use of their sizable holdings. Instead of drawing down their endowments to offset losses of income, nonprofits resorted to cutting programs and personnel, sometimes dramatically. To prepare for future financial downturns, nonprofits should treat endowments as rainy day funds, not cut programs to preserve the endowment....

The Wrong Risks

Sheela Patel November 25, 2009

Many grantmakers worry too much about managing risks....

Behind the Curve

J. Peter Pham October 21, 2009

Over the past 50 years, Africa has received more than $1 trillion in foreign assistance. After subtracting the $400 billion that these countries have paid back, the continent has received a net transfer of more than $600 billion. Yet donors and recipients have little to show for this unprecedented redistribution of wealth.

Research: How to Survive the Recession

Alana Conner September 16, 2009

The current recession has left few nonprofits unscathed and has hit theaters particularly hard, reports the most recent communiqué from the Johns Hopkins University Listening Post Project.

The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle

Ann Goggins Gregory, Don Howard August 25, 2009

Building infrastructure in nonprofits can be a daunting task when expectations exceed costs.