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By The Numbers

Workplace Survey, Findings

1.Workers are struggling to work effectively. 

When focus is compromised in pursuit of Collaboration, neither works well.

2. Effective workplaces balance focus and collaboration. 

Workplaces designed to enable collaboration without sacrificing employees’ ability to focus are more successful.

3. Choice drives performance and innovation. 

Employers who provide a spectrum of choices for when and where to work are seen as more innovative and have higher-performing employees.


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Social_ImpactToday, non profit leaders are searching for ways to scale impact beyond adding sites. Put simply, the question now is “How can we get 100x the impact with only a 2x change in the size of the organization?”

Today, there may be no idea with greater currency in the social sector than “scaling what works.” This effort builds on the work of innovative social entrepreneurs and represents an opportunity to address some of society’s most intractable problems. At the same time, non profit leaders and philanthropists are searching for ways to scale impact beyond adding sites. Put simply, the question now is “How can we get 100x the impact with only a 2x change in the size of the organization?”



Because this way of thinking about growth is quite new, social entrepreneurs are still figuring out the best ways to scale impact. But pioneers have identified some tools and strategies that expand the impact of organizations well beyond what their size would seem capable of generating. Here are four ways that can help your organization to scale its social impact.


1.Convert Bricks to Clicks. Social media hold much promise for scaling impact through knowledge sharing, network building, campaigns, and collaborations. For example, KaBOOM! helps communities build new playgrounds for children. In its first 10 years, KaBOOM! built nearly 750 playgrounds. But its reach was partly limited by the number of staff it could deploy to each site. Then KaBOOM! shifted from hands-on management to a Web-based platform that helps communities organize their projects. The result: approximately 4,000 more playgrounds in just three years. Similar bricks-to-clicks models are under way in mentoring, advocacy, and other fields.


2.Build Networks. Enormous numbers of people are able to donate money, volunteer, advocate, and organize through Web sites and social networking technology.  Intermediaries play an important role in many fields by increasing the performance of constituent organizations and serving needs that extend beyond the capacity or interest of any one provider. For example, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) magnifies the efforts of community development organizations by connecting them to corporate, government, and philanthropic resources. LISC helps local organizations secure funding, change policy, and enlist technical and management assistance. As a result of its matchmaking, LISC has helped build 253,000 affordable homes, 38 million square feet of retail and community space, and 132 schools across the United States.


3.Blend Service with Advocacy. In addition to service, advocacy is a lever some nonprofits can pull to extend their impact through policy change. City Year attests to the power of blending advocacy with service. The organization places young people in yearlong missions as tutors, mentors, and role models. In 20 years it has grown to 20 sites engaging 1,500 young people each year. At the same time, an explicit part of City Year’s strategy has been to advocate for federal policies and funding for public service work.


The organization was instrumental in the creation of the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) in 1993 and, most recently, helped pass the Kennedy Serve America Act. By influencing how funds flow from government or private philanthropy, models that blend effective programs with advocacy offer pathways for dramatically scaling impact.


4.Alter Attitudes and Behaviours. Some organizations are making widespread changes by using social marketing techniques to alter people’s perceptions of what’s acceptable. Nonprofits are scaling impact by changing people’s notions of what’s possible. In microfinance, for example, nonprofits first encouraged for-profit companies to invest in unrecognized market segments. Some of these for-profit players are now creating self-sustaining markets among populations that they previously had not considered reachable, let alone desirable.


Social_ImpactCharter schools have similarly triggered changes in school districts across the United States by demonstrating that change is possible—even in schools that people had all but given up on. The effects of their successes far outstrip the number of children they serve directly. For example, KIPP teaches 21,000 students in 82 schools, a minuscule number among the nearly 100,000 public schools in the United States. But by demonstrating that all kids can perform well if given a good education, KIPP and other charter organizations have transformed the debate about what people can and should hold schools accountable for.