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Creating a new generation of data to solve social problems.

One of my favorite quotes from the Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Nonprofit Management Institute came from Andy Smith, co-author of The Dragonfly Effect.  In the book, he espouses the virtues of social media in the social sector.  Yet at the conference, he said:  “Everyone should stop doing social media...until they know what they want to do with it.”

As of today, Social Innovation, Inc. is shipping from Amazon! And we’ve been fortunate to have our first review from Lindsay Clinton at Beyond Profit. You can read it here.  I like that Lindsay points out the conflict in pointing out social innovation strategies of companies like Coca Cola or Walmart which others may perceive as socially harmful in other aspects of their business.  Here’s where I come out on this (as I state in the book’s conclusion): 

By now, many people privy to the social sector have read the controversial op-ed recently published in the Wall Street Journal, “The Case Against Corporate Social Responsibility,” by Professor Aneel Karnani.  This article caused an uproar of monster-truck force sparking discussions abound both in favor and against Karnani’s viewpoint  The purpose of this blog post is not to debate the merits of that article as my colleague Cheryl Davenport provides a succinct response to this article in a recent Th

For the second time in as many months, I’m disappointed in the Wall Street Journal’s choice to publish tired opinions and outdated views of corporate social responsibility. 

CRO MagazineThe following excerpt is taken from an article by Jason Saul and Cheryl Davenport currently featured on CRO Magazine's website and to be published in the October print edition.

 

 

In an opinion piece in last week’s Washington Post, the respected author and global editor of Thomson Reuters, Chrystia Freeland, blasted corporate social responsibility as a “cult” and a “fetish.”    At first glance, I found Ms. Freeland’s messages not wholly accurate, the connections somewhat shaky and the language most certainly lamentable and overly instigating.   Overall, the article is a disappointing and alarming step in the wrong direction.

Need directions?What if we did a webinar?  Or took more grant applications?  Or created a foundation?  Or launched a new community program?  Or gave out more money?  My clients regularly toss around questions like these as they search for novel strategies and new ideas in social impact.  While these kinds of brainstorming sessions are fun and exciting, they can also be risky, even futile, if not linked to goals and objectives.

“To realize meaningful benefits, philanthropy cannot be treated as just another ‘check the box,’ but rather must be executed no less professionally, proactively, and strategically than other core business activities.”

Guest blogger “Edil K” posted these questions in the lead up to Mission Measurement’s session at the 2010 Health and Human Rights Conference in Toronto last week. 

My ears perked up when I heard the words “save you money” at a recent CSR event hosted by Jane Madden, SVP of CSR and Sustainability at Edelman.  The guest speaker, Sharon Feigon, CEO of I-Go Car Sharing, explained how her organization has grown beyond individuals to serve businesses and local governments.  “While most of our customers really believe in our social and environmental impact, it’s truly the price that makes or breaks the sale,” she said.  Currently a member of another car share program, I was intrigued.

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