Friday, September 24, 2010

Enabling Nonprofit Collaboration

Despite a number of encouraging experiments in collaboration among nonprofits, it’s an idea that is (in Hamlet’s words) “more honor’d in the breach than the observance.”  A recent agreement among seven leading organizations in support of “Charity Navigator 2.0” offers a new model based on advancing the mutual interests of the parties in order to make the whole greater than the sum of the parts.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Growth Capital for Small Nonprofits?

This is a response to a blog post by Nell Edgington of Social Velocity, entitled "Can’t Small Nonprofits Raise Capital Too?" which is available here.

Nell, I wanted to offer some comments on your thoughtful post.  I hear this lament from small nonprofits all the time: how do we grow if we're too small to raise growth capital? It's a fair question to which the nonprofit capital market does not yet provide a satisfactory answer.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Deciding What "Works"

Conventional wisdom holds that randomized control trials (RCT) are the “gold standard” of evaluation. In fact, RCTs only make sense under very strict conditions that can rarely be met in the real world. Most of the time, RCTs produce inconclusive results and simply aren’t worth the time and money. As the social sector assumes greater responsibility for improving the lives of many more people, it should focus less on pseudo-scientific “proof” that programs work and focus more on making good programs better.