Synopses & Reviews
Praise for Forces for Good
"Crutchfield and McLeod Grant have made a significant contribution with a Very Big Idea— the shift in focus from building an organization to building a movement. Inspired and inspiring, this book can change the way the world works by changing how leaders think."
—Jim Collins, author, Good to Great, and coauthor, Built to Last
"The [nonprofits] having the greatest impact these days are those that have moved beyond old traditions. They are entrepreneurial, adaptive, externally-oriented, and sometimes a little messy. Working together, they are not only trying to fix problems, but also reform whole systems. For people who want to change the world—and who doesn't?—this book provides an invaluable road map. Bravo!"
—David Gergen, professor of public service and director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government
"Global problems like abject poverty and climate change require innovative, scaleable solutions. We have so much to learn from these six practices because they're what lead to wide-scale social change."
—Larry Brilliant, executive director, Google.org, and Sheryl Sandberg, board member, Google.org, and vice president, Google.com
"If you're a funder, you have to read this book. It will frame how you think about lasting impact and greatly enhance your due diligence. The six practices should be your six principles of grantmaking."
—Edward Skloot, president, The Surdna Foundation
"[This book] frees entrepreneurs from the distraction of conventional management measurements. Instead, its findings say, 'Go ahead and change the world!' Indeed! This is the only true bottom line."
—Bill Drayton, chair and CEO, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, and chair, Youth Venture
"Anyone who wants to affect systemic change and make a lasting difference in the world should read this important book and take its lessons to heart."
—J. Gregory Dees, professor, Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, Duke University's Fuqua School of Business
In Generosity Unbound, Claire Gaudiani mounts a spirited defense of philanthropic freedom addressed to conservatives, liberals and centrists. She acknowledges the good intentions of those who favor greater regulation of private philanthropy, but powerfully demonstrates the dangers of this approach.
But this book is more than a warning. Gaudiani also uncovers the fascinating history of philanthropy in America, showing how this nation’s distinctive tradition of citizen-to-citizen generosity has been a powerful engine of economic growth, social justice, and upward mobility.
Finally, Gaudiani calls on foundation leaders, legislators, and concerned citizens to take up anew the great challenge set forth by our nation’s Founders in the Declaration of Independence. She proposes an all-out citizen-led effort to deliver on the Declaration’s promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all of us, particularly our poorest citizens. The success of such a ‘Declaration Initiative’ would enable us to justly celebrate the nation’s 250th birthday on July 4th, 2026.
What makes great nonprofits great? Not large budgets. Not snazzy marketing. Not perfect management. The answer is not what you might think.
Great nonprofits spend as much time working with institutions outside their four walls as they do managing their internal operations. They use the power of leverage to become greater forces for good. This landmark book reveals the six powerful practices of twelve high-impact nonprofits and tells their compelling stories.
Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant spent four years surveying thousands of nonprofit leaders, conducting hundreds of interviews, and studying in-depth a dozen high-impact organizations to uncover their secrets to success. Their quest took them from the well-known, Habitat for Humanity; to the less well-known, YouthBuild USA; and to the unexpected, the Exploratorium. What the authors discovered surprised them.
How did seeing a pile of McDonald's trash lead Environmental Defense's president to join forces with business instead of treating it as the enemy? Why did a school bus driver prompt Self-Help Credit Union to move from serving low-income groups in North Carolina, to launching a national advocacy campaign against predatory lenders? And how did Teach For America turn the teachers it places in underserved public schools into a national vanguard for education reform?
At a time when the social sector has grown to more than $1 trillion, understanding what leads to impact is essential. Whether you're a nonprofit leader, philanthropist, business executive, board member, volunteer, or simply interested in changing the world, this book will inspire you to be a stronger force for good.
An innovative guide to how great nonprofits achieve extraordinary social impact.What makes great nonprofits great? Authors Crutchfield and McLeod Grant searched for the answer over several years, employing a rigorous research methodology which derived from books on for-profits like Built to Last
. They studied 12 nonprofits that have achieved extraordinary levels of impact—from Habitat for Humanity to the Heritage Foundation—and distilled six counterintuitive practices that these organizations use to change the world. This book has lessons for all readers interested in creating significant social change, including nonprofit managers, donors and volunteers.
Leslie R. Crutchfield (Washington, D.C.) is a managing director of Ashoka and research grantee of the Aspen Institute. Heather McLeod Grant (Palo Alto, CA) is a nonprofit consultant and advisor to Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship and the Stanford Center for Social Innovation. Crutchfield and Grant were co-founding editors of Who Cares, a national magazine reaching 50,000 readers in circulation between 1993-2000.
About the Author
Leslie R. Crutchfield
is a managing director of Ashoka: Innovators of the Public, a philanthropic adviser, and a research grantee of The Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program. She serves on the board of the SEED Foundation and resides in the Washington, D.C., area.
Heather McLeod Grant is an adviser to the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and to leading nonprofits. She is a former McKinsey & Company consultant, serves on the Advisory Board of Stanford Social Innovation Review, and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Table of Contents
The Authors xvii
1 Forces for Good 11
2 Advocate and Serve 30
3 Make Markets Work 55
4 Inspire Evangelists 81
5 Nurture Nonprofit Networks 104
6 Master the Art of Adaptation 128
7 Share Leadership 153
8 Sustaining Impact 179
9 Putting It into Practice 207
Appendix A: Research Methodology 225
Appendix B: Field Experts 237
Appendix C: Case Study Research
Guidelines and Questions 241
Appendix D: Key Stakeholders Interview List 245
Appendix E: Organization Profiles 253
Additional Resources 295