Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Six Drivers of Goodness

The acclaimed new book Forces For Good by Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant reviews twelve high impact non-profits and distills several common characteristics. These organizations:
  1. Work with government and advocate for policy change
  2. Harness market forces and see business as a powerful partner
  3. Convert individual supporters into evangelists for the cause
  4. Build and nurture nonprofit networks, treating other groups as allies
  5. Adapt to the changing environment
  6. Share leadership, empowering others to be forces for good
I like to think we do a pretty fair job at #2, 4, 5, and 6. Not perfect, but good.

With respect to #3, this year, we saw five "evangelists" each mobilize over 1,500 from their extended networks to support specific projects. Based on that, we are now designing some powerful - and hopefully fun - evangelist tools for the coming year.

We deliberately downplayed #1 until we had a track record to give us credibility. The GlobalGiving platform has now mobilized over $14 million of funding to 1,000 projects run by nearly 500 organizations in 90 countries. The funding came from a web of tens of thousands of individual donors as well as ten Fortune 100 companies. The bottom-up, open-access marketplace approach works. So now, eight years after my "retirement" from the public policy sphere where I spent the first fifteen years of my career (mostly at the World Bank), we are starting to engage again on policy matters. In fact, three of the largest aid agencies have recently called asking for us to provide advice to them on how they can adopt our approach themselves.

Stay tuned.