Research Summary: Predicting Community Adoption of Collective Impact in the United States

By Brett Mayfield  The collective impact model is increasingly common in the nonprofit sphere. Governments, nonprofits, and businesses partner to best handle resources and increase their social impact as they work toward common goals. At NNSI, our research focuses on these collaborative governance models, like collective impact in the nonprofit sector. This research primarily explores why particular interorganizational networks surface in a community, which consists of individual people, organizations, and … Read more

Why do U.S. faith-based organizations resist collaboration?

By Katelyn Zilke Interorganizational collaboration is crucial to addressing complex social problems.  Faith-based nonprofits are an essential part of the social service landscape, often providing human services and providing connections to hard to reach populations. But previous research suggests they are less likely to collaborate than their secular counterparts. A new study from the Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact at Northwestern University sheds light on the challenges FBOs face … Read more

Why is it so hard to scale up evidence-based practices? And what can you do about it?

by: Katelyn Zilke How do leaders with a great evidence-based practice take it to scale? The challenge of getting organizational leaders across an entire field to adopt innovations remains one of the most daunting management dilemmas of our time. New research from the Network for Nonprofit and Social Impact at Northwestern University unlocks why it’s just so hard to scale up and what leaders can do about it.   How does … Read more

Networks and equity

Group of people standing indoors

Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd have reminded the country about the inequality that is woven into the fabric of many countries, especially the United States. Problems like intergenerational poverty and economic inequality, chronic and infectious disease, home flooding, and educational outcomes are all marked by the systemic racism that plagues the country. Leaders forge networks to reduce or end these wicked problems. … Read more

What makes a good network leader?

Leading a network is much more complicated than advancing a single organization. Many successful organizational leaders are not good network leaders. Organizational leaders are often accustomed to making a decision and then having it implemented by paid staff. Network leaders get organizational leaders to work together without merging into a single organization – meaning they neither make decisions independently nor have the power to mandate their implementation. Conveners and long-term … Read more

Does Corporate Social Responsibility Communication Assuage Activists More Than Other People?

People Protesting with Sign Planet over Profit

Popular culture and management scholars argue that activists serve as the watchdog for corporations. In the absence of government regulation, activists supposedly hold corporations to account. Corporate activists are more informed and, therefore, more skeptical about corporate social responsibility messages than the general public. Activists, the theory goes, can sniff out greenwashing in ways that the average citizen cannot. But, no studies had empirically examined whether activists were more skeptical … Read more