Category Archives: Innovation

GOOD Buys Jumo, Seeks Social Connective Tissue

Jumo is supposed to be Facebook for nonprofits. Founded by Facebook co-founder and chief digital organizer of the Obama 2008 campaign, Chris Hughes, Jumo launched with great fanfare and grant funding from the Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network and Knight Foundation. GOOD is a publishing and marketing company “for people who want to live well and [...]

Bill Gates’ Annual Letter & Brilliant Video

In the wealth management business, many money managers write quarterly or annual letters to their investors. Far from simple boilerplate memos, these letters are read closely by investors and seen as important sources of knowledge. Philanthropy has a little bit of this dynamic, but not much. For the most part, foundation annual reports are ignored [...]

The Energy Foundation: A Major Speed-Freak Grantmaker

In my recent post on speed-freak philanthropy, I cited two small foundations (Mulago and Philanthropic Ventures) for their rapid grantmaking. One of my points was that the slow grantmaking process of most foundations was due to self-imposed constraints rather than anything inherent. So I was thrilled to see the comment below left by Jason Ricci, [...]

Philanthropy’s Period of Rapid Innovation

One of the defining characteristics of a blog, that sets it apart from historical publishing models, is the conversational focus of the medium. If a “blog” just publishes items that talk about the author or their organization each day, that’s really just a newsletter. But when blog authors write about what other authors are discussing, [...]

On Scale & Innovation in Philanthropy

This is a guest post by Kathleen Enright, executive director of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. By Kathleen Enright If I tried to sum up the discourse in philanthropy in 2010 with two words, they would be innovation and scale. Innovation and scale are key themes in several new, high-profile federal initiatives, including the Social Innovation [...]

Exploring the Edge: Social Sector Ideas That Matter

  “I have always felt that the action most worth watching is not at the center of things but where edges meet. I like shorelines, weather fronts, international borders. There are interesting frictions and incongruities in those places.” Anne Fadiman The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down Today I’m happy to announce the re-launch [...]

Announcing the Smart Money Award

During the Monitor Future of Philanthropy workshop, the attendees broke into small groups to rapidly prototype an innovation that could help propel some of the themes discussed in the workshop. The group that I was a part of ended up winning the prize for best innovation. Given that the winning entry from last year’s workshop [...]

Innovation & Effectiveness in Philanthropy

This is my most recent column in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. You can find an archive of my past columns here. More Than Money, a Lack of Research Hampers Nonprofit Innovation By Sean Stannard-Stockton | Chronicle of Philanthropy The federal government will soon release guidelines to spell out how it will award $50-million through its [...]

Causes, MySpace & ideablob

In recent days, Causes has left MySpace and IdeaBlob has shutdown. To some, these events were unimportant. In reaction to the Causes announcement, Economist bureau chief Matthew Bishop tweeted “Who knew it was on MySpace?” to which New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom tweeted back “No kidding.” But to many people active in online social [...]

Social Innovation Fast Pitch

For-profit markets have mechanisms where groups of potential investment opportunities are vetted and then presented to potential investors. The success of this model, is that the potential investors come to the table looking for potential investments. This is radically different from most nonprofit fundraising interactions where the potential “investee” approaches the potential “investor” without having [...]