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Fixing Your Nonprofit Board: When Incremental Steps Aren't Enough

If your board is absent a person with expertise in a certain area -- like finance or law, go find and recruit the right person. If your board needs a bit of training and inspiration, bring in a terrific expert for a lively, illuminating session. In some cases, however, the board can't be fixed by simply adding a board member or two, or featuring a governance seminar.

Nonprofits face greater financial challenges than ever before; studies from the...

To Scare or To Inspire? Bringing Admission, Ambition & Pragmagic to CSR


By Dr Wayne Visser 

Part 13 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

What is the most effective CSR/sustainability strategy – to scare or to inspire? How do you get the balance between sharing the bad news (i.e. the state of the world) and the good news (i.e. the innovative solutions)?

Betty Sue Flowers, co-author of...

Will Anyone Join Your Revolution?

By Dr Wayne Visser

Part 12 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

Margaret Mead once said, ‘The only person who likes change is a wet baby’, to which Hunter Lovins added ‘and the baby squalls all the way through the process.’ So change is never easy, especially on the big issues of sustainability. In thinking about this...

Sustainability Marketing Needs 'Here's How' Not 'Just Say No'

Telling customers what they can't have will send them elsewhere. Earn their trust and educate them to promote sustainable purchasing.

In the 1980s, the ...

Executive Compensation in the Nonprofit Sector: Getting It Right

Excessive executive compensation is at the forefront of discussions about public companies, but what about the nonprofit sector? In fact, one of the most important things that nonprofit boards can do to strengthen the organizations that they govern is to get the salaries right for the CEOs of their nonprofits.

What does it mean to get compensation right? And why does it matter so much?

Getting it


Stakeholder Relationships: Key to a Sustainable Enterprise


Most companies envy the passionate loyalty that Apple customers have for their products, the dedication that Southwest Airlines employees demonstrate without understanding that effectively managing their stakeholder relationships is the key to earning these benefits. Employee engagement and customer loyalty are intangible (non-physical) assets that contribute more to the value of a company than the physical 'things' it owns....

Big Business, Little Splash – Tackling the World Water Crisis

By Dr Wayne Visser

Part 11 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

About 2.4 billion people live in water-stressed countries, according to a report by the Pacific Institute. Water demand in the next two decades will double in India to 1.5 trillion cubic meters and rise 32% in China to 818 billion cubic meters,...

International Corporate Volunteering: Experiential Learning Advances Diversity And Communications

“In spite of there having been a translator to help facilitate conversations, I have never been so keenly alert to my client’s body language and every nuance of expression, as well as my own,” explained Susan E. Wedge, partner, IBM’s Global Business Services Public Sector, about her experience as a member of a pro bono consulting team deployed by IBM to help Bucharest, Romania’s civic government to create a...

What Drives the Business Case for CSR?

By Dr Wayne Visser

Part 10 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

One of the ways the business case is determined is that each region, country or community has a different combination of CSR drivers. I will start with the five typical CSR drivers that are local (or internal) drivers, namely pressures from within the...

Open Sourcing Sustainability: Web 2.0 meets CSR 2.0

By Dr Wayne Visser

Part 9 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

CSR 2.0 responsiveness goes beyond traditional partnerships and CSO effectiveness; it is also about innovative ways to collaborate. I want to flag several Web 2.0 inspired experiments in responsiveness that are opening up sustainability and responsibility solutions...

Nonprofit Finance Fund State Of The Sector 2012: A System Under Pressure

The Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) 2012 State of the Sector Survey fourth annual survey of nonprofits nationwide was released today, showing responses from 4,607 nonprofits. Nonprofits have been reporting a steady rise in demand for services over the course of the survey’s four years, with 85% reporting an increase in 2011, compared to 67% of nonprofits in 2009. Financially, however, the picture continues to decline. Only 43% of nonprofits...

A Sustainable Business for Social Good: G3BOX

As a socially conscience business, we believe it is important to promote sustainable practices throughout the healthcare and medical field. We were inspired by this story of four engineering students from ASU who turned a class project into a real world solution for social good by repurposing old and used shipping containers.

The assignment was to design a function for the numerous abandoned shipping containers at ports across the world. Due to the high cost of returning shipping containers, many companies desert them once...

Are You Being a 'Muppet'?


The most famous Muppet of all, Kermit the frog, famously stated, "It's not easy being green." Turns out, it's not easy as being an empowered investor either.


CGI University Gets Involved: Microscholarships, Hens For Haiti, WaterWheels, And More

How many students does it take to screw in a compact fluorescent lightbulb? Tony Anderson, Morehouse College ’08, can answer that.

Together with college friend Marcus Penny, they founded Retrofit A Million (LRAM) for the purpose of capturing and replacing 1 million incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs in homes in low-income neighborhoods. So far, 1,000 student volunteers from several universities have screwed in 40,000 bulbs.

The bonus is that these student volunteers have also installed water-...

The Long Tail of CSR: When Smaller is Bigger

By Wayne Visser

Part 8 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

Is bigger always better or can we still say ‘small is beautiful’, as the pioneering economist E.F. Schumacher argued way back in 1973? Certainly, the ‘muesli-eating, sandal-wearing’ New Age approach to small-is-beautiful has been rather more of an advert for ‘small is...

The Single Best Way To Develop Leadership Skills

You might learn a great deal in school, but it’s doubtful that you’ll actually develop as a leader by reading a book or taking a course. The military is right about experiential development: People grow and become leaders by making a commitment to a cause, and having personal responsibility and accountability.

For those of us in civilian life, there are also ways for us to develop as leaders through experience: through volunteer service. There are myriad nonprofit missions from which...

Bracket This: March Madness To Save The World

Whether or not you filled out your NCAA basketball tournement brackets, you have a chance to fill out an even more important bracket for another competition of talented college students. This bracket features 16 student Commitments to Action that will be presented at the fifth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), which will be held at George Washington University in Washington D.C., March 30-April 1. President Bill Clinton and Jon Stewart will announce the winner on March 31....

Nature vs. Nurture: Are Social Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

By Wayne Visser

Part 6 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

What do Taddy Blecher, Anurag Gupta, Wang Chuan-Fu and all of the other social entrepreneurs have in common? Is this a special breed of human being? Are social entrepreneurs born or can they be made? In the academic literature, there is an interesting thread of research that is around the concept...

What Would Impact Investing At Scale Look Like? $20 Trillion for Good

Recently, I interviewed Ben Thornley of InSight and author of a new study on impact investing, which demonstrates that institutional investors, such as pension funds and endowments that invest for social and environmental outcomes are also earning a competitive rate of financial return. Launched a few weeks ago in New York by InSight at Pacific Community Ventures and the Initiative for Responsible Investment...

Telling the Whole Story

More jobs and cheaper energy. In the lead up to this week’s Super Tuesday primaries, these have been constant refrains from the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination. They have also been central messages from President Obama.  No doubt, they will continue to be among the key themes repeated between now and November 6.

Almost as if on cue, comes a new study by Deutsche Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation. The report suggests that a renewed emphasis on energy...

A Call to the Man Behind Europe's CSR Strategy

It's been four months since the EU launched its 2011 - 2014 strategy for CSR and Tom Dodd, CSR Policy Adviser at the European Commission, was one of the key players in delivering the updated definition and overall document. In a project that would have to manage the expectations of an incredibly varied stakeholder group, I believe Tom and his colleagues have done a sterling job in producing such a concise document in the relatively short time period of only 10 months in practical terms. An impressive accomplishment for a process you would expect to be a bureaucratic nightmare.


The Role of Business in a Global Society: Progress or Protect?

The concept of 'The Butterfly Effect' explains that even small actions can have far reaching and unintended consequences. This presents a unique problem for businesses operating in a global context because any business working across cultures must face the fact that -- no matter how they conduct their business -- they are going to have some impacts that will cause some stakeholder to question their actions.

To be sure, global standards such as...

Four Ways to Make Mining More Responsible

“Wanting to be socially responsible is different than having to be socially responsible,” says Juan Pablo Duque, CEO of Four Points Mining, a Colombian-British company devoted to the exploitation and exploration of gold and silver in Colombia.

I’ve spent the last two days participating in the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) Annual International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange – the world’s largest annual gathering of the mineral exploration industry. I 


CSR 2.0 as a New DNA for Business

By Dr Wayne Visser

Part 6 of 13 in Wayne Visser's Age of Responsibility Blog Series for 3BL Media.

By May 2008, it was clear to me that the evolutionary concept of Web 2.0 held many lessons for CSR, and I began to develop my thinking around CSR 2.0. It quickly became clear, however, that a metaphor can only take you so far. What was needed was a set of principles against...

Investing in Women--And Not Just in the Abstract

You can probably name the CEOs of many global corporations--but you might not be able to name the people who serve on the boards. Nor might you be able to say how many women serve on the boards. 

And yet, corporate boards make decisions that affect shareholder value, company brand and reputation, global economies and industries, employment, the environment, human rights, the fortunes of suppliers and



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