From the Social Velocity Blog:From an email from Tony Pipa at Harvard:
"There are three things that I think will matter most to the social sector in 2010:
Perhaps 2010 is too early for all three of these trends to really take hold, but I think the beginnings are there."
- Increased Philanthropic Dollars Will Go to Organization Building. Donors will increasingly realize that they can achieve a greater social return on their investment (more social impact) when they invest in the capacity, or growth of a successful nonprofit. That is to say that donors will increasingly realize the power of BUILDING organizations rather than BUYING services. I don’t think donors will move away from buying services, there will still be a majority of that. But I think donors will start to understand the difference between a “donation” where they are simply supporting an organization’s current program, versus an “investment” that makes the organization stronger, healthier, better positioned to address the social problem head on.
- Nonprofits Will Move From Outputs to Outcomes. And in order to meet this trend of donors wanting to invest rather than donate, nonprofits will begin to understand that they will attract more capital if they can demonstrate a social return on investment, or a change in outcomes, not just outputs. Outputs have been a favorite of the nonprofit sector, i.e. 500 kids went through our after-school program, 1,000 meals were served in our kitchen. But outputs don’t demonstrate social impact, or a change to a problem. Outcomes do, which is what investors increasingly will want to see. Outcomes are about changed lives, changed trajectories. It is so much more powerful and compelling to be able to say that the 500 kids that went through our after-school program stayed in school and increased their academic achievement which was a marked difference from their cohorts that didn’t attend our program. Then, if you can continue to track those children and demonstrate that they continued to stay in school at a higher rate than their contemporaries, you have a compelling change to a trajectory. You begin to show how your organization is an intermediary between donors who want to invest in social change and a change you are making in the community. I believe that philanthropic capital will begin to flow more readily to those nonprofit organizations that can demonstrate outcomes as opposed to outputs, and those nonprofits that can comply will be more successful at attracting capital.
- The Social Capital Market Will Increasingly Include Philanthropic Capital. The social capital market to date has focused mostly on investing in social businesses that provide both a social and financial return. Philanthropy and nonprofit organizations have been somewhat left behind. But this will change with a growing recognition of the benefits of broadening the definition of social capital markets to include nonprofits and philanthropy. There is much to be gained when ALL organizations working towards social impact and ALL investors interested in social return can pool resources and work towards closer collaboration, creation of new financial vehicles, sharing of ideas and information.
"Contraction & uncertainty. Can a field get to "impact" without abandoning folks with urgent needs as organizations fold/struggle? Is it “reset” or “retreat?” The corollary is that the lag of employment in relation to macro economic recovery will be critical. Needs will continue to rise throughout 2010 even if economy looks likes it's recovering. And will all those good NPers losing their jobs find new, better ones where they could have greater social impact?"From an email from Michael Moody, USC:
"Economic recovery will take longer to reach the hardest hit, lowest income folks, and their continued (perhaps even rising) needs for basic services and urgent assistance in 2010 will force the field to innovate new ways to fulfill our persistent role of relieving immediate suffering. New ideas for doing so will spread, like the special "safety net funds" that community foundations have started this year."
"I think/hope it will be the use of networked collaboration to make efficient use of shrinking funds." @workingwikilyThanks everyone. Please take a minute to read through all the responses - this crowd really is wise. I'll do my best to make sense of it all.
"change investor mindset and the role of mvmt bldg in phil+social sector" @FLO_A