Opinion: Let’s Stop Commercializing Services for the Needy

From the Chronicle of Philanthropy – one opinion on the social finance movement:

“Most of the problems America faces today represent the failures of institutions, not individuals.

It’s not people who need to be fixed, it’s our society. So does it make sense to create new capital investment opportunities that will generate profits by serving the needy individuals that our society continues to produce? What inevitably happens, do you think, if these social-impact bonds start producing large investment returns?

Certainly individuals need education, decent health care, and other critical services, but let’s not turn these programs into investment profit centers. It is absurd that at the same time political leaders cut money for nonprofit programs and steadfastly refuse to increase taxes to pay for what needs to done, they come up with new avenues for the nation’s most affluent businesses and people to make a profit in meeting public needs.

Taking a long-range view of social programs and using reasonable and coherent measures to improve their performance is a worthy goal. But we don’t need social-impact bonds for that. Commercializing social projects is not the solution; putting more money into programs government and donors can support—and that are accountable and serve everyone in need—will do more good.”

Click here to read full article

Resource: Shared Space Feasibility Toolkit

From the City of Edmonton Community Services:

“In today’s political and economic climate, more and more non-profit organizations are coming together in shared spaces to realize economic benefits, operational efficiencies and collaborative potential.

The concept of co-location is not new. Resource-strapped non-profit organizations have been sharing office space and photocopiers for decades; however, a new trend is emerging in the world of shared space. Many new multi-tenant non-profit centres are intentionally moving beyond co-location and creating dynamic centres of social change and innovation. These centres are not only providing much-needed space and resources to non-profit organizations, but are also serving to break down silos, increase opportunities for collaboration and cooperation, create knowledge and learning networks and spark social innovation.  Multi-tenant non-profit centres or shared spaces can also serve as community hubs and help to raise the profile of the non-profit sector.”

Click here to access toolkit – 62 pages in pdf


Create your own non-profit career

From MetroNews.ca:

“The non-profit sector comprises 1.2 million employees working across 69,000 organizations. And yet, according to a 2009 survey conducted by Ipsos Reid, only two per cent of Canadian youth aged 16 to 27 named the sector as their first choice to build a career.

Jobs in non-profits are attractive to many as a labour of love rather than payoff, but there are plenty of other perks. Work in this sector is often considered to make a difference and can come with a more relaxed corporate culture, less hierarchy and a broad range of responsibilities.

As a result, jobs are highly competitive and recent grads may need to get creative if they find their heart lies in non-profits.”

Click here to read full article

4 Essential Job Interview Questions to Ask

From BNET:

“Most job candidates feel interview questions can be decoded and hacked, letting them respond to those questions with “perfect” answers. Guess what:  They’re right, especially if you insist on asking terrible job interview questions.  

Interviewing is an imprecise process, but you can improve your ability to evaluate candidates by asking interview questions that elicit facts instead of opinions”

Click here to read full post

Six Common Misperceptions about Teamwork

From the Harvard Business Review: What do you think?

“Teamwork and collaboration are critical to mission achievement in any organization that has to respond quickly to changing circumstances. My research in the U.S. intelligence community has not only affirmed that idea but also surfaced a number of mistaken beliefs about teamwork that can sidetrack productive collaboration. Here are six of them.”

Click here to read full post

Q&A: Roundtable on Shared Value

From SSIR:

“A growing number of multinational corporations—including Unilever, Intel, and Wal-Mart Stores—are embracing a new way of doing business, one that puts societal issues at the core of the company’s strategy and operations. This approach differs from traditional “corporate social responsibility,” which is often built around compliance with environmental and social regulations, improving the corporation’s reputation, and unfocused charitable giving to a variety of causes frequently unrelated to the business.

…Shared value is created when companies generate economic value for themselves in a way that simultaneously produces value for society by addressing social and environmental challenges. Companies can create shared value in three distinct ways: by reconceiving products and markets, redefining productivity in the value chain, and building supportive industry clusters at the company’s locations.”

Click here to read more


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