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Balance Bold & Believable by Bite-Sizing Social Transformation into “Proof of Concept”

By Diana Peacock Time and time again in our research and our direct work with efforts tackling social problems at the magnitude they exist, we have seen change agents stuck in a precarious balancing act. Leaders of such efforts must constantly balance the need to inspire stakeholders with bold ambition while also providing reassurance that accomplishing dramatic progress is actually possible. “Proof of Concept” is a strategic device we have …Read More

Maximizing Impact by Investing in Sustainability

By Diana Peacock Many of our nation’s communities struggle with problems of mounting crime, economic stagnation, deteriorating housing, and community disunity.  Sometimes the strongest and most sustainable solutions for combating these problems arise not from outside intervention, but instead from within the communities themselves. For nearly a decade, Wells Fargo Regional Foundation has supported neighborhood revitalization initiatives that seek to transform their communities through deep resident engagement, direct service, and …Read More

Reframing What’s Possible: An Update on our Partnership with KaBOOM!

By Diana Peacock Darell Hammond founded KaBOOM! in 1996 after reading a tragic report about two children who suffocated while playing in a car because they didn’t have anywhere else to play. Recognizing that many kids lacked sufficient opportunities to play, the KaBOOM! team set out to build, improve, and open new playgrounds. Since its founding, KaBOOM! has catalyzed over 15,000 playground builds; served more than 6.5 million kids; helped make volunteer-led …Read More

Fail Fast, but Seek Sustainability

By Diana Peacock In recent years, we’ve seen a torrent of axioms from the tech start-up world flowing into the social enterprise space: “fail fast,” “move quickly and break things,” “there is no speed limit.” While these mindsets encourage the type of experimentation, learning and evolution that many of the most successful organizations adopt, they can shroud the marathon nature of tackling social problems. For those who set their sights …Read More

Top 3 Takeaways from Social Enterprise Alliance Conference

By Diana Peacock Regardless of legal structure or tax-exempt status, social enterprise can be a catalyst of sustainable social change and economic development.  At Community Wealth Partners, we see earned-income as one potential route to help organizations achieve financial sustainability.  As such, social enterprise can be an important component of strategies that aim to solve social problems at the magnitude they exist, helping generate unrestricted revenue while often also creating …Read More

Creating your own Arcadia: Where do you start?

This post was inspired by a question posed by Elizabeth Merritt, the Founding Director of the Center for the Future of Museums: “How can museums bolster their financial sustainability while magnifying their impact?” When I learned about Arcadia Center for Food and Sustainable Agriculture—the partnership between Woodlawn and the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, my eyes lit up and my heart beat a little faster. You see, this partnership not only exemplifies the …Read More

What the heck does Community Wealth really mean?

It’s funny how worlds sometimes collide, bringing a new lens to a familiar concept. Many of us who have read Bill Shore’s The Cathedral Within learned to think of Community Wealth as: Revenues generated to promote social change through non-traditional sources such as earned income, social enterprise, corporate partnerships and cause related marketing. These resources are generated because there is market that values the assets or services of a nonprofit …Read More

Capacity Only Equals Impact if there’s a Why and a How

Most parents would be horrified if their child’s school bus showed up in the morning missing a headlight, its brakes, and a few seats.  Or if it arrived with a driver desperately talking on three different cell phones trying to convince station owners to pump the bus with enough gas to get to school. I certainly wouldn’t let my kid hop on that bus. Unfortunately, many nonprofits serving the most …Read More

What Can Listening Tell Us About Successful Cross-Sectoral Partnerships?

Across the country, families seeking affordable housing, women seeking shelter from domestic violence and recent immigrants seeking legal support have all encountered the same stark reality: the demand for health and human service programs significantly outweighs the supply. Public funding for such programs has dropped in communities throughout America.  There simply isn’t enough public support to meet the growing demand for these services. Yet in the face of such grim …Read More