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social service charities

10 Great Social Innovation Reads: October

I think it gets harder and harder every month to narrow down to a list of only 10 great reads in social innovation. October was no exception. Here are my top 10 of the last month (but actually more like 13 if you’re counting). As always, please add what I missed to the comments. And if you want to see the expanded list of what catches my eye, follow me on Twitter @nedgington.

You can also read the lists of Great Reads from previous months here.

  1. Marketing is a brave new world these days, and so is fundraising. Replace “customer” with “donor” and “We’re All Marketers Now” from McKinsey Quarterly applies to nonprofits as well.

  2. A new Chronicle of Philanthropy blog launched recently that focuses on innovation in the nonprofit world. One of the first posts is about how the U.S. Army’s practice of using a “devil’s advocate” in their decision-making processes is something that some philanthropists are copying in order to come up with better solutions.

  3. Occupy Wall Street and the other protests in cities around the country was a big topic this month. Some of the most interesting were Who are the 99 percent?  from Ezra Klein in The Washington Post  and The Demographics of Occupy Wall Street from Fast Company.

  4. From the Harvard Business Review blog comes an argument that I completely agree with. Nonprofits that are struggling lack a “strategy for connecting their mission with their ability to deliver.”

  5. I know infographics are becoming overused, but this one is pretty cool: How the Top 50 Nonprofits Do Social Media.

  6. And speaking of the top nonprofits, the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy 400 is out, all about what the 400 wealthiest nonprofits are up to.

  7. The Alliance for Children and Families, a membership group for human-service charities, released a new report identifying the emerging trends social service organizations must embrace in order to succeed.

  8. If you missed the live-streaming from the White House last week on social impact bonds, Pay for Success: Investing in What Works, you can still watch archived recordings, or check out the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s great resources on the topic here.

  9. As usual, Lucy Bernholz tells it like it is, in her argument that the current debate in American politics about shifting more of the burden of funding for core public services to private philanthropy is undemocratic.

  10. Jennifer Landres from the Center for High Impact Philanthropy finds some lessons for philanthropy in the movie “Moneyball.”

Photo Credit: JeffersonDavis

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