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Unlocking Growth for Organizations and Idealists Like You

Impact Benchmarking: Helpful or Harmful?

A few Plenty teammates attended Do Good Data 2014 in Chicago last week. One of the sessions they attended spoke about the Impact Genome Project lead by Mission Measurement, which is attempting to quantify and benchmark the impact of social service programs by market and sector. The goal is to help nonprofits and others decide which programs to invest in or support. Programs would be equally set against each other with an efficacy score. By level setting programs this way, the score would also speak to the operational effectiveness of the nonprofit, and become yet another resource used to inform donor-giving decisions.

Topics: Funding Strategy

Doing Good With Data

I’ve just spent two days at Do Good Data 2014, an emerging Chicago-based conference focusing on the intersection of analytics and social good. As the brainchild of Andrew Means and his organization, Data Analysts for Social Good, this two-day conference was a fantastic blend of social scientists, programmers, nonprofit executives, foundation heads, and researchers. I can’t remember the last time a conference has left me so invigorated and challenged.

A lot of the credit for that goes to Andrew himself. Andrew is a former researcher for both Groupon and the YMCA of Chicago. Currently, he is the Associate Director of the Center for Data Science & Public Policy at the University of Chicago. His background in both the social sector and in data analytics runs deep. He’s also personable and passionate. In short, he’s a Plenty kind of guy.

Topics: Funding Leadership

A Benevolent Impatience

Over the weekend, people and organizations at the forefront of social change gathered in San Diego at The Collaborative, hosted by the team at Stay Classy.

According to the website, The Collaborative “brings together hundreds of the top social innovators to share ideas around driving social progress.” As a participant, I found myself in the company of people who are working to solve some of the world’s most pressing, complex problems. We talked about ending poverty; protecting human rights; advocating for animals; feeding the world with healthy, sustainable, and ethical food; educating our children; supporting our veterans; and caring for our planet. No small topics and no simple solutions.

Topics: Inspiration Leadership Strategy

Joseph Kony, Boko Haram, and the Diseased Family Tree

For the last several years I’ve been a volunteer board member for Invisible Children. I have been tremendously proud of my association with them. It might not be the first thing I mention in a conversation, but after my family and Plenty, it is in the top two or three. The organization’s mission, the arrest of warlord Joseph Kony, is compelling to me, and I find the staff and volunteers involved with the organization to be invigorating.

When I tell friends that I work with Invisible Children, they usually say, “IC, aren’t they the video guys?” Yes, I say, you are probably thinking of Kony 2012 – the most viral video of all time, focused on the capture of Kony, undoubtedly one of the most despicable people currently breathing on the planet. Kony earned his infamy by kidnapping children in villages throughout Central Africa and then pressing them into service as soldiers in his self-styled Lord’s Resistance Army.

Topics: Inspiration Strategy