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Mini Case Study: Idealist struggles to survive the Great Recession

PROBLEM: Idealist is a leading online portal for social organizations, job seekers and volunteers to connect with causes, resources and employment opportunities. Despite its well-established brand and loyal user base,…

Portland’s ChangeXchange experiments with crowdsourced funding at the local level

Call it citizen philanthropy, microphilanthropy, or crowdfunding: The idea is to get many individuals to pitch in for a cause.  It’s taken off at the global level in recent years,…

Interview: R. Paul Herman on how to invest to maximize social impact and profit

“Capitalism used to be easy,” writes R. Paul Herman in the opening line of his new book, The HIP (Human Impact+Profit) Investor: Make Bigger Profits by Building a Better World….

Interview: Gerald Chertavian on how he made the jump from business to social entrepreneur

Shortly after Gerald Chertavian landed a banking job on Wall Street in the late 1980s, he  became a Big Brother to David Heredia, a ten-year old who lived in a…

Interview: Jeremy Hockenstein on how Digital Divide Data attacks poverty in Cambodia and Laos

Jeremy Hockenstein is the son of a Holocaust survivor, a fact that made his first visit to Cambodia in 2000 intensely personal.  Much like his mother’s Jewish contemporaries in Nazi…

Top 5 graduation speeches for changemakers

Break out the champagne and mortarboards—it’s graduation time! A century and a half ago, abolitionist Robert Purvis said, “A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands…

Interview: Darell Hammond on building playgrounds that transform communities (1,750 and counting…)

The day Darell Hammond read a Washington Post story about two children who had suffocated in a car because they had nowhere else to play, he knew he had reached…

Portland’s ReBuilding Center: How to avoid millions of pounds of waste with a simple idea

There is no shortage today of people using technology to advance social change. Check out the AshokaTECH blog to get a sense of some amazing ideas bubbling up.  Mobile apps…

Interview: Adam Bucko on how homeless youth can turn their creativity into careers

Adam Bucko helps homeless youth channel their passion into creative careers. His organization, the Reciprocity Foundation, connects youths living on the streets in New York City with college scholarships and…

DoGooder: Change the world through advertising? There’s an app for that…

What if, instead of seeing banner ads for reality TV shows or credit cards, you saw ads of your own choosing that encouraged a sustainable lifestyle? Sounds like a bunch…

The social sector is a hot mess and guess who’s to blame? (Hint: same folks responsible for your work ethic and sexual hang-ups)

“What we’ve been taught about social change is backwards, upside down, and standing in the way of real progress,” said Dan Pallotta during his keynote at Monday’s ReVisioning Value conference….

Interview: Jessica Mayberry reimagines media made by and for villagers

When the World Bank asked 20,000 of the world’s poorest people to list their greatest need, the most common response was a way to express their voice. Jessica Mayberry, founder…

ReVV’ing up Portland as a social innovation hub

Social innovation, impact investing, venture capital: These terms tend to be associated with leading global cities and top colleges: London, New York, San Francisco, the Ivy League. However, as social…

Interview: John Sage on how Pura Vida turned an inspiring story into a real business

One time he was two weeks away from payroll and he didn’t know how he was going to pay his staff. Another time, he delivered a customer coffee beans that…

The wisdom (and danger) of crowds

These days, there’s no shortage of buzz about the power of crowds. The idea that wired masses can be harnessed to accomplish tasks that even large organizations could never handle…