Social impact insights, backed by research.

Birds flying into light
Nonprofit mergers are often presented as a last-ditch attempt to save organizations that would otherwise be forced to close. A new study on nonprofit mergers instead explores the possibility of mergers as a nonprofit strategy to achieve the mission and increase outcomes. NNSI researchers Kate Cooper and Rey Maktoufi worked with Professor Don Haider of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University to conduct the study. The research team
blackboard with light bulb
by: Katherine Cooper Not too long ago, I sat in on a meeting of local leaders as they wrestled with an education initiative that they were trying to implement in the community. Although the group’s goal sounded simple enough – introducing literacy programming into existing school and community projects – the conversation soon became complicated. There is a clear link between improving literacy and improving educational outcomes, but what else
As collaborative partnerships become commonplace for Chinese nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to address a variety of complex social problems and foster the development of the Chinese civil society, the question of how they can expand their partnerships emerges. A recent study by NNSI researchers, Sophia Fu and Michelle Shumate, highlight the significance of guanxi to help Chinese NGOs expand their collaboration networks and increase social impact. Fu and Shumate conducted an
by Sophia Fu While some scholars argue that the Internet is transforming China’s civil society landscape, a recent study by NNSI researchers challenges this claim. Sophia Fu and Michelle Shumate studied the websites of 410 Chinese nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and how Chinese NGOs hyperlinked with each other in 2014. Their findings suggest that Chinese NGOs tend to hyperlink to similar NGOs. For example, government-organized NGOs (GONGOs) preferred to link with
by Katherine Cooper Here at NNSI, we hear a lot about collective impact – what is it? What role should nonprofits play in collective impact? Our researchers have been interested in this phenomenon for some time; this week, we provide an overview of what we know about collective impact – and our efforts to explore collective impact from a research standpoint. What is collective impact? The concept of collective impact
by: Michelle Shumate As nonprofits consider partnering with businesses in a variety of ways, including sponsorships, cause-marketing, or more integrative arrangements, two important questions emerge. First, which businesses should they partner with? Second, how many business partnerships do most nonprofits maintain and talk about? In other words, how many is too many? Shumate, Hsieh and O’Connor examine these questions in their 2016 study of 122 of the largest, most recognizable