Digital Toolkit

Nonprofit Resource Links

Collective Impact

Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is a part of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University. Their mission is to share substantive insights and practical experiences that will help those who do the important work of improving society do it even better. Click here to read the article on Collective Impact by Mark Kramer and John Kania.

Connected Citizens – The Power , Peril and Potential of Networks (pdf) is collaborative effort between the Knight Foundation and the Monitor Institute examines how advances in digital media and technology are changing how people connect, engage in public dialogue, coordinate and solve problems. With new networks emerging everywhere, this paper examines the questions: What is this new network-centric world? What does it mean for community change?

Philanthropy in an Age of Government Retrenchment
Download a pdf of Rip Rapson’s remarks (President of the Kresge Foundation) at a June event hosted by the Minnesota Council on Nonprofits.


Capacity Building

Catalyzing Networks for Social Change
The newest publication from Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Monitor Institute explores what it takes for grantmakers to cultivate a network mindset, and offers recommendations for how funders can effectively build the capacity of networks and share what they’re learning with the broader field.

Earlier this year The Harvard Business Review published the article Creating a Shared Value that offers a suggested template for courageous leaders in businesses.

Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is one of the nation’s leading community development financial institutions (CDFI). They make millions of dollars in loans to nonprofits and push for fundamental improvement in how money is given and used in the sector. In addition, they provide a continuum of financing, consulting, and advocacy services to nonprofits and funders nationwide. Their website contains many useful resources and articles, as well as a blog. Check out the yearly state of the sector survey here. More than 3,000 executive directors participated in

Daring to Lead 2011, the third Daring to Lead national study produced in partnership by CompassPoint and the Meyer Foundation, with previous studies published in 2001 and 2006. Explore this website for reports, current findings, and to learn about the implications for nonprofit executives and boards, philanthropy, and capacity builders.

A Summary of “What Do We Know about Nonprofit Mergers?” published by MAP for Nonprofits and Wilder Research in March 2011. An increasing number of nonprofits are considering a strategic restructure or merger to leverage resources, enhance services, or become more cost effective. This report defines mergers and restructuring, outlines the three stages of a merger, and identifies 30 factors that affect its success.

Next Generation Organizations – 9 Key Traits is a paper by CompassPoint, they first outline the major trends and environmental influences that are having an impact on nonprofit organizations. They then draw a picture of the “next generation organization”—the nonprofit that embodies new ways of pursuing mission impact. To sharpen the picture, they provide examples of next generation practices adopted by two community nonprofits.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar USA and Independent Sector developed Charting Impact as a common presentation that allows staff, boards, stakeholders, donors, volunteers, and others to work with and learn from each other. It complements planning, evaluation, and assessment that organizations already undertake, and can be used by nonprofits and foundations of all sizes and missions.

Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration
The Status of Minnesota’s Volunteer Programs in a Shifting Environment
– As Minnesota is gradually coming out of the recession, the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) conducted a follow-up study to our 2009 report on the status of volunteerism and volunteer programs dur­ing challenging economic times. In late 2010, 350 leaders of volunteers and nonprofit managers across the state responded to a survey. Read the Executive Summary.

14 Steps to Start a Volunteer Program, Article published February 19, 2009
Relationships Matter: Volunteerism in Immigrant Communities Report by Mai Moua, Ph.D. published March 2010
12 Best Practices for Engaging Boomers and New Generations of Volunteers, Article published 2010



The Project on Social Innovation provides this virtual knowledge hub for social innovation in cities and municipalities. Its purpose is to provide a practical platform for sharing the stories and lessons of exciting innovators from the nonprofit, philanthropic and public sectors. The Project on Social Innovation accomplishes this purpose through an innovator’s toolkit, relevant news updates, profiles of best practices, regular blogging, and links to other online resources. The site is an initiative of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Click on this link for a great list of online resources.

Success by Design – How R&D Activates Program Innovation and Improvement in the Nonprofit Sector (pdf) is a briefing paper from the TCC Group. The TCC Group has offices in New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco and provides strategic planning, program and grants management, evaluation, and capacity-building services to foundations, nonprofit organizations, corporate community involvement programs, and government agencies.