CONSTANTLY LEARNING FROM OUR PEERS and experts is key to being thought leaders but there is a huge amount of information available for leaders trying to create change. Here we have distilled down the myriad of resources into a selective library of what we use in our client work and consider to be the best of what others have to offer.

Think we are missing something? Please let us know, as we are always learning with and from others!


Our Favorite Resources

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has published many wonderful articles to introduce and document progress related to Collective Impact as a tool for community change.

The Collective Impact Forum (a partnership of FSG and The Aspen Institute) hosts tools, resources, and advice for practitioners of all kinds – funders, partners, backbones, and interested community members.

In his groundbreaking book, strategy expert David La Piana introduced “Real-Time Strategic Planning,” a fluid, organic process that engages staff and board in a program of systematic readiness and continuous responsiveness. We have found this model to successfully negotiate the balance of strategic thinking with coordinated action necessary to move mission impact forward.

The Bridgespan Group is a nonprofit advisor and resource for mission-driven organizations and philanthropists. They are a leader in publications related to strategy, team and leadership development, and philanthropy.

Strategyzer’s organizational goal is to put practical tools into the hands of every business strategy practitioner. Although the tools like the Business Model and Value Proposition Canvas are not explicitly designed for the social sector, the tools are very useful for breaking down complex issues (such as how to create mission impact, sustainably) into clear, simple building blocks.

The Nonprofit Finance Fund is a national community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides investments, advice, and insights for mission-driven organizations. They frequently publish sector research and tools related to financial sustainability.

BoardSource is dedicated to advancing the public good by building exceptional nonprofit boards and inspiring board service. With more than 25 years of hands-on experience working with nonprofit boards, BoardSource has become the go-to resource for nonprofit organizations looking to strengthen the effectiveness and impact of their leadership at the highest level — the board of directors.

Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) is an independent, nonprofit news organization that has been serving nonprofit leaders, charitable foundations, educators, independent activists, and others involved in the civil sector for more than fifteen years. NPQ’s guiding philosophy is that an active, engaged, and sometimes disruptive civil sector is critical to a healthy democracy in the same way that a free and independent press is.

The Foundation Center has gathered a tremendous amount of research and over 600 examples of organizations working together and presented the findings here.

Beyond the database, the Foundation Center also provides connections to funders interested in supporting collaborative change efforts.

We are advocates for engaged leadership rooted in dialogue and collaborative action. The Art of Hosting is a community of practice for facilitation tools, resources, and approaches to shift individual and collective ideas into action.

The TCC Group is a social sector thought leader with a focus on strategy and capacity building. In particular, their Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT) is a useful online survey to measure effectiveness related to leadership, adaptability, management, and technical capacities. The CCAT is the most comprehensive, valid, and reliable tool of its kind, and has been used by funders and nonprofits as a planning, capacity building, research, and evaluation tool.

Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching or ORSC is an integrated and robust model based on Relationship Systems Intelligence™. Beyond Emotional Intelligence (relationship with oneself) and Social Intelligence (relationship with other) is the realm of Relationship Systems Intelligence where one’s focus shifts to the relationship with the group, team, or system. This approach creates sustainable and resilient teams.

The analogy that we like to use is that ORSC is an operating system upon which other applications, mental models and approaches can be reinterpreted. Once participants make the paradigm shift from engaging and the individual level to the entire group (what we call The Third Entity™), a whole new world of opportunities emerge. Many report great satisfaction because what they’ve already learned and used in their work is even more effective when coupled with ORSC principles.

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