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News and Insights
August 2018

Big Topic on Campus--Doing Well by Doing Good

In their most recent article in Forbes.com, Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker highlight college students’ burgeoning interest in careers focused on social change. These days, the speakers who draw the biggest crowds on campus are nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs like Dr. Paul Farmer, cofounder of Partners in Health, whose speech at Stanford was met with tremendous enthusiasm.  Organizations such as Teach for America (TFA), a nonprofit that recruits and trains college graduates to teach in low-income schools, have become top employers for recent grads. This enthusiasm for the social sector doesn’t stop there. Over 300 universities, including Yale, Stanford, and Oxford, are currently offering programs that focus on the study of nonprofits and foundations.
 
The rise in the appeal of the social sector is indeed exciting. However, as with all good things, challenges and pressing questions remain. Meehan and Jonker argue that many social impact courses “do not provide a substantive basis for maximizing impact or for building organizations that can achieve significant impact at scale.”


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New resources for educators and students on the Engine of Impact website

As lecturers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Meehan and Jonker were invited to present at the August 2018 Academy of Management conference in Chicago (an event attended by over 10,000 nonprofit educators, students, and practitioners) in a session titled, “Innovative Approaches to Teaching Social Entrepreneurship and Strategic Nonprofit Leadership.” Materials and teaching resources shared with the audience are now available online, including syllabi from two courses: Strategic Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations and Social Ventures Practicum. In addition, a new resource, “Eight Questions to Ask Before Creating a Social Venture” is now available, along with the “Readiness to Scale Matrix” which was featured in Engine of Impact and is now available online with free access.

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An Important Strategy Tool for Students and All Nonprofit Leaders: Oster’s 6 Forces Model

At the recent Academy of Management conference, Bill Meehan was invited to share remarks in praise of Sharon Oster and her contributions to the social sector during the award ceremony for the Irwin Outstanding Educator Award for Excellence in MBA/Executive Education. Sharon Oster is the Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and her pivotal intellectual contributions to the field of strategy are highly regarded by both Meehan and Jonker.  Sharon Oster’s 6-Forces Model was featured prominently in the strategy chapter of Engine of Impact; the model is a highly useful tool for any nonprofit. As Meehan and Jonker emphasize in Engine of Impactnonprofit leaders simply must undertake their organization’s strategic analysis. In doing so, there are tremendous benefits from applying a robust model for competitive analysis, such as Oster’s six forces model, in order to ensure that the strategy they are using to achieve their mission is sound.

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Upcoming Engine of Impact events

September 12: Bill at the UPenn School of Social Policy and Practice (Philadelphia, PA)
October 24: Kim at Philanthropy Forward ’18 (Columbus, OH)
November 15-17: Kim and Bill speak at the ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action) (Austin, TX)
November 27: Kim and Bill, with Raj Panjabi of Last Mile Health, at Stanford Center for Global Poverty and Development (Stanford, CA)
"Today the speakers who draw the biggest and most boisterous crowds--who fill students with a yearning to follow in their footsteps--are often dedicated men and women who run 'do-gooding' organizations."
— Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker, "Big Topic On Campus--Doing Well By Doing Good" Forbes.com
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Copyright © 2018 William F. Meehan III and Kim Starkey Jonker

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