Six Practices of High Impact Non-Profits


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What enables the best non-profits to create lasting social change? This tool, excerpted from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, lays out six non-profit best practices shared by the most successful non-profit organizations. The secret to their success lies in how they mobilize every sector of society – government, business, nonprofits, and the public – to be a force for good. In other words, greatness has more to do with how non-profits work outside the boundaries of their organizations than with how they manage their own internal operations. (2 pages)

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Six Practices of High Impact Non-Profits

1. Serve and Advocate

High-impact organizations may start out providing great programs, but they eventually realize that they cannot achieve large-scale social change through service delivery alone. So they add policy advocacy to acquire government resources and to change legislation. Other nonprofits start out by doing advocacy and later add grassroots programs to supercharge their strategy. Ultimately, all high-impact organizations bridge the divide between service and advocacy. They become good at both. And the more they serve and advocate, the more they achieve impact. A nonprofit’s grassroots work helps inform its policy advocacy, making legislation more relevant. And advocacy at the national level can help a nonprofit replicate its model, gain credibility, and acquire funding for expansion.

2. Make Markets Work

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