The Summer 2014 issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review features three informative and engaging articles of importance to the social sector. The first examines a new model of philanthropy that stresses "emergent strategy" to address large scale social problems, the second asks why the social sector lags behind business in its use of big data (and how to fix that), and the third describes philanthropy in the context of modern partisan politics.
Below are the Catalog of Nonprofit Literature's abstracts for each, with a link to full-text. You can read current and back issues of the Stanford Social Innovation Review at any of our libraries.
"Strategic philanthropy for a complex world" by John V. Kania, Mark Kramer, and Patty Russell. p. 26-37. The authors discuss why foundations need to shift from the outcome-based model of philanthropy to an emergent model that focuses on social change. This emergent strategy gives rise to constantly evolving solutions to real-time problems. Also includes ways foundations can adapt their organizational framework, leadership, and culture to this new model, and includes responses from five leaders in the field of philanthropy in an "Up for Debate" feature.
"Big data for social innovation" by Kevin C. Desouza and Kendra L. Smith. p. 39-43. This article discusses how big data is used effectively by scientific and business communities, and the nonprofit sector's lag in using data to tackle social problems. It outlines major barriers to creating and using big data, as well as the four steps the social sector needs to take in order to increase the use of data in social change projects and platforms.
"Philanthropy in a time of polarization" by Steven Teles, Heather Hurlburt, and Mark Schmitt.
p. 44-9 Discusses the high degree of partisanship in American politics, and approaches that foundations and nonprofits can use to rise above it. The authors feel that the philanthropic sector needs to accept and adapt to this political environment by leveraging as much cultural and political capital as it can, and forging new coalitions within shared issue areas.
Foundation Center, New York