Category Archives: Social Investing

Liquidnet Impact Challenge

Liquidnet, the sponsor of the Tactical Philanthropy Track at last year’s Social Capital Markets conference and producer of these highly regarded slides about Giving Markets, is hosting a competition for business school students to figure out ways to transform traditional donors into social investors. They now have seven finalists selected by a great group of [...]

Burning Bridges to Make Venture Philanthropy Work

This is a guest post by John MacIntosh of SeaChange Capital Partners, a nonprofit firm that arranges collaborative growth capital funding for outstanding nonprofits. By John MacIntosh I joined SeaChange Capital Partners after a career in venture capital. In my experience on the inside, the venture capital market is a dynamic system where three key [...]

Performance Vs. Impact Debate Rekindled

Last summer, an epic debate took place on this blog as a number of readers and social sector leaders argued about whether donors should focus on supporting “high performing” or “high impact” nonprofits (see links here, here, here and here). The basic difference is that a high performing nonprofit is an organization that is run [...]

GuideStar Launches Expert Nonprofit Reviews

Last year, GuideStar, Charity Navigator, GiveWell, Philanthropedia, GreatNonprofits and Philanthropy Action put out a joint press release announcing their rejection of overhead expense ratios as the primary approach to evaluating nonprofits. GuideStar was a little bit of an odd group to sign the press release, because while they provide information about nonprofits, they do not [...]

Curmudgeonly Comments: Online Capital Markets for Nonprofits?

This is a guest post from George Overholser of the Nonprofit Finance Fund. This post follows the bullet point format George used when he wrote the Bullet Point Manifesto guest post last year. By George Overholser Someone recently defined nonprofit “mid-caps” as organizations with revenues in the $5 million to $25 million range. We need [...]

Crowdsourcing the SoCap Conference

Within minutes of announcing that there would be a Tactical Philanthropy track at this year’s SoCap Conference we started getting emails from people who had suggestions for panels and speakers. So I’m glad to say that our plans for designing the track include soliciting your ideas and comments. Below you’ll find a number of session [...]

Saving Philanthropy: The Documentary

A documentary film called Saving Philanthropy is currently under production. The subtitle is “Moving from charity to social investing before it’s too late.” From the website: “Saving Philanthropy is a documentary film exploring the issues confronting effective philanthropic giving, specifically those involving the funding of direct service organizations. The film contends that direct service organizations [...]

Social Venture Partners & Passionate Social Investing

I’m one of those people who uses words like “investing”, “leverage” and “impact” when I talk about philanthropy. For some people, this sort of language seems to imply a passionless approach to philanthropy. As if investing was nothing but a number crunching exercise. But having spent part of last week at the Social Venture Partners [...]

Do Social Investors Look Down on Nonprofits?

Responding to my post from Monday, reader Aaron Stiner, program manager for Advancing Philanthropy at the Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation, writes: It seems to me this conversation is looking at nonprofit organizations from a “we social investors know more than they do” kind of approach. This paradigm is very [...]