The Age of Impact Entrepreneurs

What happened in the world of giving and social impact last week? A lot! Here’s our latest roundup of inspirational news covering philanthropy, CSR and impact entrepreneurs:

Beyond Social: The Age of Impact Entrepreneurs

A recent post on LinkedIn by management consultant Daniel Jordi argues that the industrial age – driven by greed and overly egocentric behavior – is being replaced by a connected economy and a new breed of entrepreneurs. He calls them “Impact Entrepreneurs” because their companies are not only driven by profit but also by a mission of “pushing the human race forward.” Examples of impact entrepreneurs are Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Peter Diamandis, Bill Gates, and Simon Sinek, among others. According to Jordi, “Impact Entrepreneurs don’t try to fix problems. They create new solutions to make old problems obsolete.”

What a great concept! At 121Giving, we believe that the connected and socially conscious generation is changing philanthropy for the better, spurring nonprofits to become more innovative because of Millennials’ tendency to be active life participants rather than watchers from the sidelines.

What Gets Measured Gets Done

The Stanford Social Innovation Review is making the case for using targeted measures of progress in philanthropy. The recent article What Gets Measure Gets Done, highlights a debate about whether the practice and value of strategic planning in philanthropy effectively solve social problems or whether they stifle innovation. The assertion is that a more predictive strategy tied to specific outcomes works if it is well-crafted. “What gets measured gets done” is the conclusion, and it gets done better when “foundations focus on the ‘what’ and maintain some flexibility when it comes to the ‘how.'”

That’s why new crowdfunding platforms that bake measurement into the process provide the transparency that want donors – and enable them to track their philanthropic ‘investment’ to the end.

Former Napster Founder Plans to Spend his Fortune Disrupting Philanthropy

Sean Parker, the 35-year-old former founder of Napster, told The San Francisco Chronicle recently that he intends to give away most of his $2.8 billion fortune in his lifetime. But apparently, that giving pledge is not enough. Parker’s focus on giving in three areas — life sciences, global public health and civic engagement, makes it clear he wants to be a different kind of philanthropist, a role model for his generation’s wealthy entrepreneurs-turned-social-givers.

Our take? Actively engaged givers can truly effect change, one pledge at a time.

Questions Surround Corporate Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart’s recently released its 8th annual Global Responsibility report which reveals that the retailer boosted its minimum wage for associates to $9 an hour in April this year and will increase it to $10 in February 2016. This marks a big step toward the company’s acknowledgement of the importance of social good. The company also announced $15.5 million in grants to seven nonprofits to help low-income children meet their nutritional needs.

The way we see it, earning goodwill with customers goes far beyond discounts in the shopping aisle. Socially-conscious consumers are increasingly gauging the impact of corporate social responsibility programs, many with increased skepticism. Large companies such as Walmart are under the gun to demonstrate the good they are doing in local communities is actually good for the community and not just the bottom line.



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