Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs

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Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs Enhancing the Performance of Your Enterprising Nonprofit

The rising spirit of social entrepreneurship has created all kinds of new opportunities for nonprofit organizations. But at the same time, many are discovering more than their share of challenges as well. This essential book will help anyone in the field gain the necessary skills to meet these challenges. In this course, we will focus on examples in which a nonprofit organization creates a new social enterprise that earns revenue while it benefits its community and the people who live there.

Consider a local example: the Rescue Mission in Trenton has a variety of programs—a homeless shelter, drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs, programs to help the homeless make the transition to work and housing, etc. But it also runs a thrift shop that earns revenue. The thrift shop provides low-cost clothing and household goods for area residents and experience for people who are making the transition to work.

Enterprising Nonprofits

Catalog Description: Social entrepreneurship is the process through which an organization develops a new program to solve social issues. The analytic focus will be on nonprofit organizations creating new social enterprises that earn revenue while benefiting their communities and clients. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

Specific social entrepreneurship analytic areas and learning goals We will emphasize doing rather than memorizing: you will learn the core concepts of social entrepreneurship in order to master the performance of specific social entrepreneurship analytic tasks in three areas: 1. Analyze the function of the nonprofit sector in creating vibrant communities and contributing to the public good.

Understand the structure of the nonprofit sector.

Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs

Evaluate the public functions performed by nonprofit organizations. Examine the behavioral processes that motivate individual participation in the nonprofit sector. Understand and analyze the relationships among the government, the nonprofit sector and the private sector in promoting the public good.


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Analyze the role of entrepreneurship in building the capacity of nonprofits to contribute to the strengthening of the communities in which they operate. Understand the conceptual foundations of entrepreneurial activity in the nonprofit sector. Assess the ways that nonprofits use social enterprises to build their capacity. Distinguish the characteristics that allow a social enterprise to contribute to the success of its social mission. Analyze the tools used by nonprofits to create successful social enterprises. Explore the processes used by social enterprises to plan, implement, and evaluate their programs.

In particular, the following outcomes will be achieved: 1. Students should be able to understand the dynamics of human behavior in social interactions. They should recognize the fundamental factors that shape themselves in relationship to others. Students should understand the nature of human social relationships. They should know how people construct relationships within family, schools, work, and communities. Students should be able to understand how major social institutions organize and regulate social life, and allocate resources according to prevailing and alternate cultural values.

They should be able to examine the balance of collective and individual interests and examine how social systems and cultural values are used to perpetuate patterns of privilege and inequality.

Students should be able to analyze the impact of major social institutions such as the family, economy, education, government, and religion. Students should be able to gather information, analyze data, and draw conclusions in selected areas of the social sciences. Readings The assigned readings for this course include three books, journal articles, and reports from a variety of sources about emerging social entrepreneurship activities in the nonprofit sector.

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They provide material to help you to 1 understand the core concepts of social entrepreneurship and nonprofit organizations and 2 develop the skills that you will use to analyze social enterprises. In order to participate fully in classroom activities, every student should read the material before class. You are responsible for understanding all the concepts and applications contained in the readings, even if we have not discussed them in class.

Our emphasis will be on the core concepts and their applications, I do not want you to memorize the countless facts contained in the readings.

Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs

You should also consult additional reading suggestions that are cited in the course schedule as well as any additional readings and materials that you find to help you to understand social entrepreneurship. Both of these newspapers are available online at no cost. You should also regularly browse online resources that focus on social entrepreneurship, such as Ashoka, the Skoll Foundation, the Social Enterprise Alliance, and its online community SocialEdge.

The books that we will read for this course are: 1.


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  • In addition, you should try to be self-conscious about the people with whom you interact, the places that you work, the stores in which you shop, and the media that you view. This will provide you with irreplaceable opportunities to sharpen your understanding of the core social entrepreneurship concepts by applying them to the material that you know best—your day-to-day social world.

    Each class will begin with a discussion of real-world examples of social issues and nonprofit organizations that will provide material for class analysis. I will ask for volunteers to provide examples of a current situation that you have read about in the course reading, that has appeared recently in the news, or that you have experienced directly. You should be prepared to summarize the real-world social issues that you volunteer. At the beginning of the semester, I will help those who volunteer an issue to identify relevant nonprofit and social entrepreneurship concepts and analyze the issue.

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    As the semester proceeds and you develop the skills necessary to perform the analytic tasks, the analytic burden will shift from me to the student who introduces the example. The goal of such in-class discussions will be to provide models for the more sophisticated analyses that you show in your memos and enterprise plan.

    In addition, each of you will be responsible for presenting the key analytic concepts from two of the readings to the class. You will be responsible for 1 presenting a brief review of the reading and its implications for our work and 2 serving as the lead in our in-class discussion of the reading. You will summarize the main arguments of the article or articles, show how the themes relate to the topic of the day, and critique the arguments in light of the other readings for the course. Dates for these presentations will be chosen during the early weeks of class. In addition, you will take no more than a page or two to clearly and concisely address these issues in a memo.

    You will sharpen your analytic skills by writing about the readings and real-world social enterprises. Written by the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field, Enterprising Nonprofits offers concise and engaging explanations of the most successful business tools being used by nonprofits today.

    The authors clearly describe all the concepts so you'll be able to embrace the methods of social enterprise for your organization. With this book, you'll learn how to use practical business techniques to dramatically improve the performance of your nonprofit. Praise for Enterprising Nonprofits "I can't imagine a better team to bring powerful insights and practical guidance to social entrepreneurs.

    Readers will be inspired by the examples, and then they will roll up their sleeves to apply the many useful management tools in this engaging book. A wonderful mixture of analysis, practical advice, and inspiration. He also serves as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Kauffman Foundation's Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Table of Contents Preface. Editor's Introduction. Social Entrepreneurship J. Defining Your Mission R. Recognizing and Assessing New Opportunities J.