PACS Publications

PACS Publications

Problem Solving, Human-Centered Design, and Strategic Processes
Paul Brest, Nadia Roumani, Jason Bade

Date: May 2015

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Logic Models: An Overview
Basic information on logic models, curated by Paul Brest

Date: March 2015

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Integrating Capacity and Strategy: A Handbook for Next-Generation Grantmakers and Grantees
C.R. Hibbs

Date: July 2014

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The Emergence of Digital Civil Society
Lucy Bernholz, Rob Reich, Chiara Cordelli

Date: September 2013

Click here to read as an eBook.

Click here to download a PDF (this is the best format to read on an iPad or as an iBook).

Social Economy Policy Forecast 2013: Project on Philanthropy, Policy, and Technology 
Lucy Bernholz, Rob Reich

Date: September 2013

Click here to read as an eBook.

Click here to download a PDF (this is the best format to read on an iPad or as an iBook).

Good Fences: The Importance of Institutional Boundaries in the New Social Economy
Rob Reich, Lucy Bernholz and Chiara Cordelli

Date: September 2013

Click here to read as an eBook.

Click here to download a PDF (this is the best format to read on an iPad or as an iBook).

The Shifting Ground Beneath Us: Framing Nonprofit Policy for the Next Century
Lucy Bernholz, Rob Reich and Chiara Cordelli

Date: September 2013

Click here to read as an eBook.

Click here to download a PDF (this is the best format to read on an iPad or as an iBook).

Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, PACS founder/advisory board chair

Giving 2.0 is the ultimate resource for anyone navigating the seemingly infinite ways one can give. The future of philanthropy is far more than just writing a check, and Giving 2.0 shows how individuals of every age and income level can harness the power of technology, collaboration, innovation, advocacy, and social entrepreneurship to take their giving to the next level and beyond.

Civil Society, Philanthropy and the Fate of the Commons 

Bruce Sievers, PACS Visiting Scholar

Among the greatest challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century is that of sustaining a healthy civil society, which depends upon managing the tension between individual and collective interests. Bruce R. Sievers explores this issue by investigating ways to balance the public and private sides of modern life in a manner that allows realization of the ideal of individual freedom and, at the same time, makes possible the effective pursuit of the common good.

Philanthropy and Social Investing: Blueprint 2011

Lucy Bernholz, PACS Visiting Scholar and founder of Blueprint Research and Design

The first annual industry-wide analysis for giving and social investing! Blueprint 2011 answers questions such as:

Philanthropy, social investing, and the social sector are rapidly changing. This monograph, Philanthropy and Social Investing: Blueprint 2011, provides an overview of the current landscape, points to major trends, identifies meaningful innovations, and directs your attention to corners where we can expect some important breakthroughs in the coming year.

Giving Well: The Ethics of Philanthropy, Oxford University Press 2010 and includes "Toward a Political Theory of Philanthropy" by Rob Reich, PACS Faculty Co-Director

Edited by: Patricia Illingworth, Thomas Pogge, Leif Wenar

So long as large segments of humanity are suffering chronic poverty and are dying from treatable diseases, organized giving can save or enhance millions of lives. With the law providing little guidance, ethics has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the philanthropic practices of individuals, foundations, NGOs, governments, and international agencies are morally sound and effective. 

Anything Goes: Approval of Nonprofit Status by the IRS
Rob Reich, PACS Faculty Co-Director

The IRS approved more than 50,000 new organizations as 501c3 nonprofits in 2008. It has approved more than 50,000 organizations for every year of the past decade, leading to a massive growth in the nonprofit sector. The number of 501c3s has grown by more than 50% in just a decade. What kinds of organizations are most often approved? How strict or lax is the approval process? Stanford's Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) new report examines the approval of nonprofit status by the IRS based on research conducted by faculty co-director Rob Reich over the summer with two terrific students, Lacey Dorn and Stefanie Sutton.

A Simple Change in Phrasing Can Increase Voter Turnout
Christopher Bryan, Postdoctoral Psychology Researcher

Co-authors, Greg Walton, Carol Dweck and Todd Rogers

In a paper published this week, researchers found that people are more likely to vote if a subtle change in the wording of a few questions makes them focus on themselves as a voter rather than voting as a task. Psychology researcher Christopher Bryan is lead author of the study.

Philanthrocapitalism: Reflections on Politics and Policy Making
Ramdas, Kavita

Kavita N. Ramdas, a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University's Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law, was most recently president and chief executive officer at the Global Fund for Women where she currently serves as a senior advisor.




The Platform for Performance: Integrating Organization into Strategy for Next Generation Grantmaking

C.R. Hibbs and Brook Manville

This paper seeks to: 1) reframe capacity building as part of overall strategy and performance planning; 2) focus and prioritize capacity-building to ensure it aligns with organizational goals, theory of change, and the broader strategic operating context; and 3) differentiate between basic capacity and a higher level of sustainable performance capacity.

The core concept of the piece is to frame what we believe is a next generation model for philanthropic strategy based on an integration of organizational capacity and strategy. This integration, which we call the “platform for performance,” brings together many of the traditional aspects of organizational effectiveness, with more recent thinking about strategic philanthropy driven by such things as “theory of change” and measurable outcomes, etc. We believe that re-framing critical organizational elements as a part of overall grant-making strategy—is an overdue integration, and is the key not just to achieving impact but sustainable impact.  We also argue in the paper that there is an emerging trend—and increasing practice of—approaching organizational development not just for individual grantee organizations, but as a collective good across multiple grantees, i.e. the emerging paradigm of “platform for performance” is also something that should be tended and developed as a change-making community of practice “ecosystem” strategy.



Theorizing and Strategizing with Models: Generative Models of Social Enterprises

Christian Seelos

Social entrepreneurship research often relies on presenting narratives of organizations that integrate various actors, actions, contextual elements and outcomes without a clear perspective on why these elements were selected and what can be learned from them.This paper provides a transparent and systematic process of modeling organizations and proposes a validity triangle that adequately integrates analytical, theoretical and ontological dimensions. An illustrative case study demonstrates the choices involved in a valid modeling process. It also illustrates the steps involved in building a generative model of a social enterprise that accounts for the mechanisms that explain how the focal organization achieves multiple strategic objectives.


Organizational Capacity for Continuous Innovation (OCCI) - Outline of a Research Agenda

Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair

This research agenda is the outcome of a joint project between the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) and the Rockefeller Foundation. The purpose of this agenda is to make progress in our understanding of how established social sector organizations (SSOs) can build an organizational capacity for continuous innovation (OCCI). The starting point for this agenda was to provide a snapshot of scholarly and also practitioner knowledge as a basis for identifying priority areas for future research. Two criteria were used to provide focus. First, future research as part of this agenda should be expected to provide practically useful insights. And second, future research should be expected to provide substantial new knowledge.


Organizational Capacity for Continuous Innovation (OCCI) in Established Social Sector Organizations

Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair

The dimensions and complexities of global social and environmental problems are challenging the ability of social sector organizations to remain relevant. Supporting the ability of organizations to continuously innovate is therefore a prime mechanism by which funders can contribute to progress. This report informs a process leading up to a future research program that aims to generate actionable insights into the mechanisms that promote or inhibit the capacity for continuous innovation in social sector organizations. It provides an overview of the mainstream organizational and social sector literature on innovation capacity. On that basis, we propose an analytical process model of organizational capacity for continuous innovation. It captures the dynamic of how ideas are generated internally or accessed from external sources and how they are evaluated, experimented with, adopted or rejected, and formalized in organizations as technical or managerial innovations, new products, or services. This model is used to integrate a number of internal and external factors that are known from the literature to impact innovation capacity.


Organizational Mechanisms of Scaling Social Enterprises

Christian Seelos and Johanna Mair

In the social sector, the subject of scaling has recently emerged as a dominant discourse. The scholarly literature on this phenomenon is in an embryonic stage. In this paper, we provide a clear definition of scaling that makes it a subject for mechanism-based scholarly investigation. An analytical model of organizational scaling is developed that is grounded in a critical realist philosophy of science. Critical realism provides a sophisticated view of reality that enables explicit operationalization of the causal links between actors, mechanisms and outcomes. The analytical model thus provides guidance to and structure for the empirical investigation of an extraordinary organizational example of scaling. A number of propositions for scaling are developed and we reflect on the implications for practitioners and further scholarly research.


The embeddedness of social entrepreneurship: Understanding variation across local communities

Christian Seelos, Johanna Mair, Julie Battilana and M. Tina Dacin

Social enterprise organizations (SEOs) arise from entrepreneurial activities with the aim to achieve social goals. SEOs have been identified as alternative and/or complementary to the actions of governments and international organizations to address poverty and poverty-related social needs. Using a number of illustrative cases, we explore how variation of local institutional mechanisms shapes the local "face of poverty" in different communities and how this relates to variations in the emergence and strategic orientations of SEOs. We develop a model of the productive opportunity space for SEOs as a basis and an inspiration for further scholarly inquiry.


Leadership for Feminist Movement Building: An Intergenerational Conversation on Theory, Practice and Philanthropy

Miranda Mammen, Women’s Glib; Vanessa Daniels, Groundswell Fund; Shannon Farley, Spark; Helen Kim, Building Movement Project; Linda Burnham, Women of Color Resource Center; Kim Meredith, Stanford PACS; Moderated by Casey Nichols, Stanford University, PhD Candidate, Department of History

Participate in an intimate evening with a panel of academic leaders, practitioners and students who will address the challenges of leadership in the next phase of the feminist movement, considering questions about how we define the movement, how it operates and how we fund it.


To Act or Not to Act: Context, Capability, and Community Response to Environmental Risk

Rachel A. Wright and Hilary Schaffer Boudet 

Social movement theory has rarely been tested with counterfactual cases, that is, instances in which movements do not emerge. Moreover, contemporary theories about political opportunity and resources often inadequately address the issue of motivation. To address these shortcomings, this article examines 20 communities that are "at risk" for mobilization because they face controversial proposals for large energy infrastructure projects. Movements emerge in only 10 cases, allowing for the identification of factors that drive mobilization or nonmobilization.