Social Impact Blog

Welcome to the Social Impact Blog!

In this blog, we’ll bridge the gap between what research teaches us about these questions, and what we see every day in our work with nonprofit organizations. Our posts will include:

  1. Easy-to-read summaries of nonprofit research. We will translate NNSI research and other related research on nonprofit organizations into brief summaries or infographics for easy reference. We hope that this will make academic research, based in rigorous scientific methods and peer reviewed by top researchers, as accessible and relevant as the consulting material and best practices currently available to nonprofit leaders.
  2. Broad reviews of nonprofit topics and trends. In these posts, we focus on what we know and what we don’t yet know about how organizations work together in the social sector. These posts are designed to help practitioners make connections between the new, hot trend that everyone’s talking about – such as collective impact or social impact bonds – and research on previous social impact interventions that incorporates similar principles or practices.

And more! Scroll down to see our posts, and check back often for updated content.

NNSI Research Report: How to Expand Chinese NGO Collaborative Partnerships?

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 … Continue reading NNSI Research Report: How to Expand Chinese NGO Collaborative Partnerships?

“Wicked” problems: What are they, and why are they of interest to NNSI researchers?

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. … Continue reading “Wicked” problems: What are they, and why are they of interest to NNSI researchers?

Nonprofit Merger Study released: Implications for nonprofit management

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 mission and increase outcomes. NNSI researchers Kate Cooper and Rey Maktoufi worked with Professor Don Haider of the … Continue reading Nonprofit Merger Study released: Implications for nonprofit management

NNSI Research Report: The Nonprofit Capacities Instrument

By: Katherine Cooper In recent years, funders and consultants have emphasized building nonprofit capacity – that is, the processes, practices, and people that a nonprofit has at its disposal that enables it to produce, perform, or deploy resources to achieve its mission. Many organizations have developed their own tools for assessing capacity; however, despite having … Continue reading NNSI Research Report: The Nonprofit Capacities Instrument

NNSI Research Report: Nonprofit Business Relationships

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 … Continue reading NNSI Research Report: Nonprofit Business Relationships

NNSI Research Report: Civil Society 2.0? Winners and Losers on the Chinese Internet

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 … Continue reading NNSI Research Report: Civil Society 2.0? Winners and Losers on the Chinese Internet