The Complete Guide to "Social Capital Marketplaces"

Limited, precious charitable philanthropic resources should go to nonprofits that create the most impact with them. That's the thesis of this blog, in a nutshell.

Our audience is donors, especially those with significant institutional or personal funds, who accept the humbling responsibility of discerning with whom such dollars should be entrusted.

In a very solid new paper from the Skoll Centre for Social Entreprenuership, co-authors Jed Emerson and Joshua Spitzer explore systematic efforts to promote strategic social investment through the lens of the oft-touted concept of social capital marketplaces. In "From Fragmentation to Function: Critical Concepts and Writings on Social Capital Markets’ Structure, Operation and Innovation" they echo the obsession of PhilanthroMedia and many others when they say:

As the 'capital markets' moniker suggest, we would like to see these capital flows be performance--based (so that funds advance the work of high-performing investees, while being less accessible to lower performing and/or risker ventures)

For those of us who have been around awhile, watching and participating in myriad efforts to birth a system for effective social capital investment, the paper's goal to "...focus future research and praxis on efforts that build on the significant body of existing work without unduly re-treading well-worn analytic paths" is welcomed with a loud amen.

The paper also has a terrific resource section citing who many of those players have been.

Since a successful marketplace structure has so long eluded us, new players and new insights are more than welcome. And by building on information captured by Emerson (who has so long championed these concepts at the bleeding edge) and Spitzer, new players should be able to more quickly hit the ground running.

Susan Herr

Posted at 1:54 AM, Mar 18, 2008 in Global Philanthropy | Performance Measurement | Philanthropic Strategy | Scaling Philanthropy | Social Entreprenuers | Permalink | Comment