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The Social Profit Handbook

The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations

How to Articulate and Assess What Success Looks Like

The Social Profit Handbook offers those who lead, govern, and support mission-driven organizations and businesses new ways to assess their impact in order to improve future work rather than merely judge past performance.  

For-profit institutions measure their success primarily by monetary gains. But nonprofit institutions are different; they aim for social profit. How do you measure the success of these social profit institutions, where missions are focused on the well-being of people, place, and planet?

Drawing upon decades of leadership in schools and the foundation and nonprofit worlds, author David Grant offers strategies—from creating mission time to planning backwards to constructing qualitative assessment rubrics—that help organizations take assessment back into their own hands, and improve their work as a result. His insights, illustrated by numerous case studies, make this book a unique organizational development tool for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, as well as emerging mission-based social venture businesses, such as low-profit corporations and B Corps.

The Social Profit Handbook presentsassessment and evaluation not as ends in themselves but as the path toward achieving what matters most in the social sector. The result: more benefits to society and stronger, more unified, more effective organizations prepared to make the world a better place.

REVIEWS AND PRAISE

“This handbook is nothing less than revolutionary, and just what we need. If you can describe the change you most want to create, you can measure it, and others will come to value what you measure. Social profit, mission time, planning backwards: here’s the answer to how we measure what matters most, focus our attention, and get to where we actually want to go as change-makers. David Grant is the most level-headed, poetic voice for how we might all live and perform closer to our own values. Three times now, his simple and provocative teaching have shifted the way I think and act, and through this book we can share his nuanced, accessible teaching with everyone. I will give this book to every social profit organization with whom I collaborate.”--Peter Forbes, coauthor of A Man Apart, and cofounder of the Center for Whole Communities

“For many years, David Grant has helped our organization create firm foundations for new projects and initiatives through the principles outlined in this excellent roadmap for rethinking success. At last his guidance and wisdom are available to anyone fortunate enough to come across this book.”--Robert Lynch, President and CEO, Americans for the Arts

"Anyone in the business of improving lives—whether they spend their days in government or in mission-driven organizations—can benefit from this simple, elegant, and incisive guide to having not just more impact, but also the right impact. David Grant has produced a book that belongs on the shelves of every political and social leader interested in translating goals to successes."--Peter Welch, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives

“It has been my good fortune to help launch and run about a dozen mission-driven organizations over the past several decades. When I finished David Grant's wonderful new book, one thought eclipsed all others. Damn, I thought, I sure wish I had had this guide all those years! What a blessing that would have been!”--James Gustave Speth, author, Angels by the River; founder, World Resources Institute; cofounder, Natural Resources Defense Council

"Normally, when I hear the word assessment, I consider a nap. But The Social Profit Handbook is different.  I enjoyed the jogging pace of the writing, the personal narrative, the linguistic memes for easy transmission. Even better, I'm already integrating David Grant's approach into existing assessment tools. Grant's fresh framework emphasizes formative feedback and rubrics to guide your team toward high performance. This is essential reading for mission-driven leaders dedicated to constantly improving their work.”--Adam Werbach, cofounder, Yerdle; former president, Sierra Club

"Wow. Who would have thought a book on assessment could be so compelling! If you are looking for a way to get your board and staff aligned and mobilized around a practical,  impact-driven strategy, Grant’s handbook is essential.”--George Hamilton, President and CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Communities

“I read The Social Profit Handbook over a weekend. My first day back in the office I recommended it to a new executive director and to one of my senior colleagues and referred to its core concept twice in my senior team meeting. Those of us who lead, oversee, and work in social purpose organizations all know how setting out to describe a compelling vision and to hold ourselves accountable to reach it can be treacherous and disorienting. David Grant has written a timely and valuable guide that reminds us how important that journey is and describes how we can all build a map to navigate it with confidence.”--Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO, Nonprofit Finance Fund; founding board chair of the Global Impact Investing Network; former managing director of the Rockefeller Foundation

"Over many years of hosting grantee workshops led by David Grant, I have watched hundreds of individuals shift their mindsets before my very eyes. Executive directors and board members alike move from a palpable distaste and fear of assessment to a place where they embrace it as a major capacity-building tool. Like those workshops, The Social Profit Handbook gives every nonprofit or mission-driven business the tools they need to determine what 'success would look like' if they vigorously pursue what matters most to them. David's approach can help readers focus on mission and goals in entirely new ways."--Wendy Liscow, program director, education and capacity building, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation

"David Grant's Social Profit Handbook is exactly what a handbook should be–accessible, enjoyable, practical, yet linked to important and thought-provoking theory. I have already applied his rubric assessment framework to my ongoing work as a consultant, as his examples are both refreshing and inspiring. Using his comforting educator's voice, Grant powerfully reframes perennial stumbling blocks into questions that can lead to responsible organizational approaches. I have spent my career attempting to improve the performance of foundations and nonprofits, and I genuinely see this resource as a breath of fresh air in the pursuit of effective implementation of strategy. This book will be a permanent resident on my 'foot-long bookshelf.'"--Nadya K. Shmavonian, former executive of The Rockefeller Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts

"Grant has the ability to take on incredibly big ideas, distilling them in a way that sustains their breadth and power, and bringing them into the civic sphere. In The Social Profit Handbook, Grant challenges disheartedness in our sector by providing a rational and aspirational context by which social profit can be better understood and pursued."--Clement A. Price, founding director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Rutgers University

“Those of us in the business of creating social change all want to do great work, work that really moves our society forward. But figuring out just what success is and remaining committed to it turns out to be very hard. David Grant’s great new handbook provides just the sort of wise counsel anchored by practical tools we need to help us get there. And, for me, his insistence that we truly take the time we need to get clear on what great work looks and feels like is a gift in itself.”--Phillip Henderson,president,Surdna Foundation

“The Social Profit Handbook is the most meaningful, understandable, and practical guide to designing metrics that count in mission-driven work that I’ve ever read. What charity-rating organizations completely miss is what David Grant provides in this handbook – the means to measure what truly matters: impact. A must read for foundation leaders, nonprofit professionals, and even individual donors who want to understand the effect of their work, beyond the numbers.”--Nina Stack, President, Council of New Jersey Grantmakers

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Grant

David Grant

David Grant is the former president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey, where he was responsible for development and evaluation of programs in the foundation’s major areas of giving (Arts, Education, and Environment), as well as the foundation’s major initiatives (Poetry and Nonprofit Capacity Building). Grant now consults with people and organizations that have a social or educational mission, specializing in strategic planning, design of assessment systems, and board development. During his years at the Dodge Foundation, Grant delivered over a hundred keynote addresses on a range of topics, led workshops titled Measuring What Matters for over two hundred nonprofit organizations, and received numerous awards.

Grant's career has centered on innovative teaching and learning. In 1983, he and his wife, Nancy Boyd Grant, cofounded The Mountain School of Milton Academy, a highly regarded, semester-long, interdisciplinary environmental studies program in Vermont for high school juniors from throughout the country. Previously, David was a national consultant to schools and leader of workshops on topics of curriculum and program design, professional development, assessment practices, and school climate.

He has served as chair of the board of the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers and a member of the board of directors of the Surdna Foundation. He is currently a trustee of three social profit (formerly called nonprofit) organizations.

He lives in Strafford, Vermont.

CONNECT WITH THIS AUTHOR

The Social Profit Handbook Website
LinkedIn

AUTHOR VIDEOS

David Grant: Assessment and Lifecycles

David Grant: Assessment and Lifecycles

The Social Profit Handbook

Pages:192 pages
Book Art:Black and white tables, charts, and diagrams
Size: 6 x 9 inch
Publisher:Chelsea Green Publishing
Paperback: 9781603586047
Pub. Date March 23, 2015
eBook: 9781603586054
Pub. Date March 16, 2015

Available In/Retail Price

Paperback, 192 pages, $20.00

eBook, 192 pages, $20.00