Shifting Paradigms

3 Ways to Harness Innovation to Scale Meaningful Impact

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Stand Together Foundation’s Executive Director, Evan Feinberg, was recently invited to speak with We Are For Good, a podcast focused on helping nonprofit leaders navigate challenges and unlock potential. The episode focused on the use of innovation to drive impact, and Evan shared a variety of stories from the Stand Together Foundation community to illustrate a new vision for philanthropy. Below are three highlights from their conversation. Check out the full episode at https://www.weareforgood.com/episode/167.

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  1. Find social entrepreneurs who are close to the problem they’re trying to solve.

“You’ve got to look to social entrepreneurs that are discovering new and better ways of unleashing human potential. And frankly, those social entrepreneurs are not where people tend to look. They are folks that have experienced the problems themselves, or have taken some firsthand risk in their life to get close to the problems they’re seeking to solve. They’re trying new things. And they’re finding success.”

  1. Invest in people.

“Most philanthropy is set up to advance compliance to some evidence-based best practice that somebody learned in a college class or through some random control study. I’m not against random control studies, but these are R&D metrics; they help us to think about what we should try and what’s worked in the past, but they aren’t funding social entrepreneurship. Instead, we have to find [individual leaders] and understand their secret sauce and invest in them.”

  1. Measure real value, not just numbers.

“It’s not that we don’t care about how many people you served or services you rendered, but those are counting metrics. And if you treat them as value metrics, you’ll measure how much of the problem you’re managing versus how much of it you’re solving. As a leader, you should care about those numbers, you should track them. But if you treat them as value metrics, versus the counting metrics they are, it’s going to have you incentivized to do the wrong thing.”

Listen to and read the full interview on WeAreForGood.com.

 

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