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Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up, and Make a Difference

Social Startup Success: How the Best Nonprofits Launch, Scale Up, and Make a Difference

by Kathleen Kelly Janus


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With business advice from an expert entrepreneur, learn how to identify and leverage the key factors that will bring sustainability and success to your startup.

In order to make a difference, any modern nonprofit needs to achieve multimillion-dollar annual revenues. After surveying more than 200 high-performing entrepreneurs across the country—including the leaders of Teach for America, City Year, Donors Choose, charity: water, and Hot Bread Kitchen—Kathleen Kelly Janus is here to show you how to reach and sustain lasting organizational growth. Janus asked a simple question: “What is the key to nonprofit success?” The answers she received reveal five key strategies responsible for the most successful social startups:
  • Testing Ideas
  • Measuring Impact
  • Funding Experimentation
  • Leading Collaboratively
  • Telling Compelling Stories
In these uncertain times, we need every bit of creativity and determination to find better solutions. The stories in Social Startup Success and the tools it recommends will help you to make your organization—whether a fledging startup or a large, well-established operation—thrive.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738234816
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publication date: 06/01/2021
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 710,577
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Kathleen Kelly Janus is the Senior Advisor on Social Innovation to Governor Gavin Newsom.  As a social entrepreneur, author and lecturer at Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship, she is an expert on philanthropy, millennial engagement and scaling early stage organizations.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Part 1 Testing Ideas

1 The Discovery Phase 3

2 Engaging All Stakeholders 24

3 Reframing Failure as Learning 33

Part 2 Measuring Impact

4 Crafting a Compelling Theory of Change 51

5 Maximizing Use of Data 65

6 Making Your Data Tell a Story 82

Part 3 Funding Experimentation

7 Laying the Foundation to Experiment with Earned Income 97

8 Testing Earned-Income Strategies 107

9 Optimizing Fundraising Efforts 121

Part 4 Leading Collaboratively

10 Cultivating Collective Leadership 145

11 Bringing in Senior Leadership Early 164

12 Building an Active Board 173

Part 5 Telling Compelling Stories

13 Creating a Compelling Narrative 188

Conclusion 201

Acknowledgments 203

Appendix A Cast of Characters 207

Appendix B Methodology 222

Appendix C Additional Resources 231

Notes 236

Index 244

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