Becoming sustainable or profitable is often the top concern for social entrepreneurs. Management teams of start-ups spend an exorbitant amount of time focused on furthering their business models. However, the social capital markets lack the efficiency of the traditional capital markets, making the process of capital raising a challenge for both nonprofit and for profit social ventures. Concurrently, scarce philanthropic, government and investment dollars have caused nonprofits to innovate new revenue generating businesses to augment their budgets. Nonprofits, struggling to survive in an increasingly competitive landscape, are working to become more efficient by adapting business models to their organizational needs. Trends in philanthropy have also forced the social sector to adapt. Some in the philanthropic sector has adopted venture capital principles to become more highly engaged with their grantees, and they now expect a higher level of performance. This rise of venture philanthropy has forced nonprofits to develop performance measurement tools and improve accountability within their organizations.
As many nonprofits work to become more self-sustaining by diversifying their revenue streams beyond traditional foundation and government support, organizations are creating business ventures and corporate partnerships. This course is designed not only to educate students about the models and practices currently being pursued by these organizations, but also to provide practical tools that foster new innovations in this area.
Authors: Professor Shore is the founder and executive director of Share Our Strength and the chairman of Community Wealth Ventures. After running Earth Tones – The Environmental Phone Company, Professor Chiles initiated and currently directs NYU Stern's Stewart Satter Program in Social Entrepreneurship.
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