*Summer Fellowship Program in Social Enterprise*

This sounds like an excellent opportunity for college students interested in social enterprise–

Students Will Make a Difference and Gain Critical Management Skills While Helping Boston-Based Non-Profit Organizations

BOSTON, MASS, February 23, 2007 – Experience, Inc., the leading provider of career services for college students and alumni, today announced a unique Summer Fellowship program that will provide college sophomores extensive management training and work experience with Boston-area non-profit organizations. Responding to the marked and growing interest in social enterprise, Experience is partnering with New Sector Alliance, a nonprofit strategy consulting firm in Boston, to create exciting opportunities for
students to build transferable skills while making a positive impact on the community. Support from Experience, AmeriCorps and the Massachusetts Service Alliance will enable 45 students to participate in the program this summer.

Through this partnership, talented undergraduates will be chosen to work with nonprofit organizations to achieve critical goals: expand programs, measure outreach impact, strengthen operating procedures and increase stakeholder base.
New Sector Alliance will pre-screen each project to ensure that it will make a substantive impact on the organization and give Fellows the opportunity to learn new skills and build their resumes with rewarding, real-world social enterprise experiences.

Fellows will also participate in world-class trainings and workshops designed to give students a well-rounded experience. Trainings will focus on skills relevant to all industries – project management, persuasive communication, basic finance – as well as non-profit-specific topics such as theories of change and introduction to the non-profit sector.

“The most critical obstacle to economic growth is the increasing scarcity of high-caliber talent,” said Jennifer Floren, founder and CEO of Experience, Inc. “This Summer Fellowship program will demonstrate that young talent can master the skills needed to lead global organizations, while at the same time having a positive impact on society.”

In addition to training, another key component of the program is interaction with role models. Each Fellow will be matched with a mentor from top management consulting firms such as Accenture, Bain, BCG, Bridgespan, McKinsey and Mercer. Mentors provide real-time guidance and help Fellows accomplish project and personal goals.

Application deadline for interested students is March 1, 2007. The Summer Fellowship program begins in late May and runs through the summer, depending on the project and host site. For additional information or to apply for the Summer Fellows program, please visit www.experience.com.

Thanksgiving Day: Volunteering At Your Local Soup Kitchen

Thanksgiving Day
There is no better way to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day than to head down to your local soup kitchen to volunteer. If you live in New York City, here are some resources for you. The Bowery Mission is probably the most popular, but there are several other organizations that are well known in the city and that do good work.

The Bowery Mission in New York City: Thanksgiving Volunteer Information. [NOW FULL] You’ll need to fill out an online form to register before you can volunteer.

City Meals On Wheels: Citymeals-on-Wheels’ Senior Centers need your help on Thanksgiving Day. Help PREPARE, SERVE and DELIVER MEALS.

New York Cares: New York Cares has hundreds of different ways that you can make a difference in our city this holiday season.  Help prep and serve a Thanksgiving dinner for the clients of the Yorkville Common Pantry on the Upper East Side.  Check out there blog here. (I’ve participated in several New York Cares events and they are top notch.)

EDIT: More organizations to volunteer at on Thanksgiving Day– Feel free to send me other organizations that I can add to this list.

VolunteerNYC: Opportunities to volunteer (LINK FIXED!) – The Isaiah J. Jones Memorial Foundation will be hosting their third annual Thanksgiving dinner for our homeless. VolunteerNYC lists opportunities with various charities and nonprofits in the NYC area.

Robin HoodVolunteer opportunities.  The following organizations best match your interests. Click on the name of an organization to find out more about the available volunteer opportunities as well as who to contact to get involved.

Hope for NY– Lists many different types of volunteer opportunities in and near New York City.  Please visit there site to browse through the opportunities and RSVP for any that interest you.

  • Put together food boxes (to be delivered to the needy).  Can be done with the family. RSVP HERE.
  • The Bowery Mission.  You won’t be working directly with the homeless but since this is a big operation, there are plenty of opportunities to help with the logistics, planning, and coordination.  The catch is that you have to attend a training on Nov 15.  There are four shifts you can RSVP for: 6:30am-10am9:30am-1pm12:30pm-4pm3:30-7pm.


Awards To Spur Social Innovation

WorldChanging reports that Kleiner Perkins, a top venture capital firm, is establishing a $100,000 prize for innovation in green technology.

“This award will encourage innovation in sustainable, green growth,” said KPCB partner Brook Byers. “We will bring worldwide recognition to entrepreneurs who achieve breakthroughs in green energy generation, storage, conservation or policies, whether from an individual or a team, whether public or private, anywhere in the world.”

If green technology is not your cup of tea, take a look at Fast Company’s Social Capitalist Awards. You can read the call for entries here. The registrations are due in June so you only have a few weeks if you want to get an entry in for the 2007 awards.

TechSoup Stock- Connecting Nonprofits With Technology Product Donations from Leading Providers

My laptop is in the shop right now so this week has been very inconvenient for me. The last few days have reminded me of how much I’ve come to depend on technology.

This is actually a good segue into a discussion about resources available for nonprofits that are in the planning stages of building their organizational infrastructure. Check out the resources available at TechSoup Stock,

“an online product donation service that connects nonprofits with technology product donations from more than twenty leading providers. All products are available either for donation, or for prices that are deeply discounted just for nonprofits.”

A little thin on hardware but they have a pretty strong selection of person and enterprise software. Some of those refurbished Thinkpads would be a great replacement for my recent loss though.

Jim Collins On Leadership In The Social Sector

Good to Great and the Social Sectors

Jim Collins is considered one of the great business gurus of our time and really made a name for himself with Built to Last : Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, which was on the Businessweek Bestseller List forever), and followed up with Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t.  These two books are a must read for anyone interested in learning more about leadership and management in the business world.More recently, Jim Collins has focused on leadership in the social sector and last year, he published his findings in Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great.
WSJ article:

For years, Mr. Collins has maintained that top-flight leaders are defined by a combination of humility and fierce resolve. In his most popular management book, “Good to Great,” published in 2001, Mr. Collins asserted that such leaders “will sell the mills or fire their brother, if that’s what it takes to make the company great.”

Now Mr. Collins is reworking his ideas about how to set goals, build teams and achieve lasting growth. The adjustments are based on 2½ years of studying police departments, symphony orchestras and other “social sector” entities — and most are aimed at nonbusiness leaders. But he argues that some principles apply to corporate bosses, too.

I think this is a must read for any social entrepreneur. Amazon offers Good to Great together with the Monograph for a 40% discount off the cover price.

Another Blogroll That Deserves A Shout Out: 4Nonprofits

4Nonprofits is a blog run out of the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Pace University here in New York City.

The blog features news and commentary presented by Rob Johnston, (a fellow Yalie, woot!)

I’m adding 4nonprofits to the “blogs I read” section (over on the right —>) and also adding a direct link to the blogroll they’ve put together over there, which lists lots of interesting and relevant blogs.

Check it out if you haven’t yet.

WorldChanging Tries To Bring Out the Social Entrepreneur In Us All


WorldChanging is a great website I recently found and added to the “Blogs I Read” section on the right. WorldChanging is one of those websites where I knew exactly what it was about as soon as I saw it BUT even after reading the “About Us” page, I had trouble putting together the words to describe it.

However, after thinking about it for a few minutes, I think I came up with a title that perfectly describes what it tries to do– bring out the social entrepreneur in all of us.

WorldChanging works on the premise that everything that we need to build a better future already exists– we just need to take those things, whether they be tools, models, or ideas, and apply them properly.

When a profit motive exists, the act of pulling together disconnected things to create value is called entrepreneurship. But when the profit motive is missing, (or is not as big enough to be motivation), those who step up to the challenge to pull everything together to create value is called social entrepreneurship.

WorldChanging aims to act as a repository and a “market” for all information that can enable social entrepreneurship and make it easy for us to see.

I’m not sure if everyone at WorldChanging agrees with my interpretation but the reason why I see it this way is because those were some of the reasons that motivated me to start SocialROI!

Tech Resources for Non Profits/Social Ventures: TechSoup

I recently found out about TechSoup through this CNet Blog post covering TechSoup’s new project called NetSquared.

Before we get into NetSquared, I think I need to cover TechSoup first because it could be helpful to many of you out there running your own non profit or social venture.

TechSoup offers “nonprofits a one-stop resource for technology needs by providing free information, resources, and support.”

Its has a great little community section, how-to guides, and programs to “[connect] nonprofits with donated and discounted technology products”

This website is a great resource and I don’t think I can cover everything it has to offer so make sure you check it out yourself.

I’m adding it to my “Resources” section over on the right.

Diggin’ Out of Snow

New York City Snowstorm
We just had a record snowstorm over the weekend here in New York City. The snow started about mid afternoon here in Midtown Manhattan but didn’t start sticking until after midnight on Saturday night. The next morning when we woke up, it was still snowing and the accumulation was pretty high. At that point you could we were about to break some records.

So we were stuck indoors on Sunday so I spent a nice chunk of my day playing around with this blog. I learned a fair amount about the technology that powers this blog and how all the pieces work together. PHP, MySQL, CSS. I’ll try to piece a little tutorial on how it all comes together and post it here.

In the meantime, if you guys are dying to get yourself a WordPress blog, just email me at john at socialroi.com at I’ll give you a quick tutorial via email.

Global Discovery Contest– Calling All Social Entrepreneurs!

I can’t believe it February already– I just got my Feb. edition of the NetImpact Newsletter and boy are there lots of things going on this spring! Starting with the most important, NetImpact and Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western Reserve University is inviting all social entrepreneurs to enter the Global Discovery Contest. The contest is sort of an inquiry to discover innovative business practices and models that:

re-define the role of business in society and provide alternative profitability models of mutual benefit.

Why? Because:

In September 2000, one hundred ninety-one United Nations Member States signed the Millennium Declaration, which challenged the world to reach seven diverse goals spanned across such issues as poverty, health, education, ecology, gender equality, and cooperation, by year 2015. To date, much work has been done by various organizations and agencies to move towards the targets. However, little attention has been paid to the role of business in achieving the Millennium Development Goals

So find a business that is working to address one of the items in the Millennium Declaration list, conduct an interview with the social entrepreneur to learn more about the business, and then write it all up in a nice article. The article with the most votes wins $500.

The competition, in many ways, is trying to do the same thing I am with this blog– shed more light on to the works of social entrepreneurs and get the word out about this movement!

There were a few other interesting things in the NetImpact Newsletter which I’ll blog about in my next post.

Have a good weekend!