publication date: Jan 26, 2012
author/source: Lisa MacDonald
"Here's the good news," writes Jason Saul
. "Someone wants to buy what you have." In The End of Fundraising
, Saul teaches
nonprofits how to capture the impact of day-to-day activities and translate
that impact into powerful value propositions that the market can relate to.
According to Saul, to raise funds in today's "enlightened"
economy, nonprofits must embrace the fact that social change is a fundamental
part of creating economic value. Furthermore, it is imperative that charities
use their energy and creativity to forge social outcomes into economic
The rise of the
social capital market
You need only reference recent headlines from business
journalism found in the Wall Street
to see that manifestations of today's social capital market are
everywhere. As Saul points out, "what is particularly noteworthy is that it's
not just that social issues are more visible, it's that they're more valuable."
Because of this, Saul argues that there is greater emphasis on measuring social
So what does this mean to the work of the nonprofit
sector? Here is a sampling of Saul's
list of "high-level" implications:
It's okay to expect an economic return from
Donors can use websites like
Kiva.org or Microplace.com to make microloans to poor entrepreneurs and get
their money back with interest.
Measurement is no longer optional.
Because such a high value is now
being placed on solving social problems and on outcomes (not just activities),
people actually need to know whether nonprofits are really producing change or
just trying to.
Everyone must be a social entrepreneur.
Living off of the table scraps of
our economy is becoming increasingly difficult. To survive, nonprofits are
going to have to reclaim control of their own fate. The best way to do that is
to find ways of advancing the social agenda and create value in the economy.
Jason Saul is the CEO of Mission Measurement, a social
impact consulting firm, and serves on the faculty of Northwestern University's
Kellogg School of Management. Click here to purchase his book, The End of Fundraising.