I spent today surrounded by hundreds of the nation’s most innovative and passionate social change-makers here at the Social Innovation Summit. And if I’m being honest, I’ve had more than a few moments of feeling star-struck: From igniting the fight against human trafficking to rethinking the promise of edtech, these leaders have game-changing ideas and world-shaping commitment.

But we at Blackbaud had our own challenge to make to today to these leaders—and to you, wherever you’re leading from.

Today, we asked these innovators to imagine what it would be like if we – as a society – put as much effort into measuring, understanding and striving to drive growth in the social economy as we do in the broader economy.

A quick definition: the social economy is, to put it simply, the space in which we produce and consume social good. Social good can be created by individual change-makers, by non-profits, by for-profit corporations and every organizational form in between. It’s all of our work to do good in the world.

Here’s the challenge we shared from the Social Innovation Main Stage: It’s time for anyone who cares about pursuing good in the world to adopt a radical new paradigm, and start asking what we each are doing to not only achieve our own goals for good, but to help strengthen the entire social economy.

Because we believe that if we come together and build a stronger social economy –if we can work together across sectors in ways that are more effective and that drive greater participation – we’ll see real traction in creating a better world.

Instead of approaching social good in pieces in parts, this means how we plan, how we practice and execute, and how we measure should all be undergirded with the question: what can we, as a corporation, an organization, an individual do from our unique position and place in the world to drive growth and power more health in the social economy?

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I shared that in a thriving social economy, we’d see greater participation and greater effectiveness.  A healthy social economy requires us to embrace the idea that Good is for Everyone, working to ensure that each and every one of us is able to contribute our unique value-add, from the social sector to private sector; from individual change-makers to large organizations and corporations.

And working toward a healthy social economy means a relentless focus on effectiveness, resulting in improved programs, sustainable, replicable models, and more. All of this will make the social economy run better, producing powerful end outcomes at a greater scale than we’ve ever seen before. The potential impact of even small shifts here is staggering: Consider that just a 1% increase in fundraising effectiveness alone in just the social sector could drive $3.7 billion more every year toward social good program work.

Doing more good more effectively. It’s the kind of world so many of us are working toward—so let’s work together.

 

 

Today was just the start of a much bigger conversation, and over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be sharing more of our convictions about how we can drive health in the social economy based on the insights of our Social Good Scientists tm and more than 30 years at the intersection of tech and social good.

But this conversation needs you.  So let us know you’re interested, and we’ll keep you updated on opportunities to share your insights and your voice.

A better world is waiting on it.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine LaCour is a seasoned marketing executive, strategist and innovator who has deep experience building and promoting brands that drive sustainable growth and profitability for global technology corporations. Catherine believes the best marketing engages, emotes, and creates conversations in the market. She has successfully worked with for profit and nonprofit organizations to create customer-centric marketing programs that provide value and create those connections through a consistent, positive customer experience.

Bringing both leadership and marketing experience to this role, Catherine is senior vice president of corporate marketing, responsible for Blackbaud’s global brand, corporate communications, public relations, event strategy, marketing services, and other strategic functions in order to catalyze new growth, proliferate brand awareness, accelerate innovation and deliver an outstanding customer experience. She is a member of Blackbaud’s executive leadership team. In 2010, Catherine joined Blackbaud to lead the company’s marketing to its enterprise nonprofit, higher education and healthcare customers. Her experience in demand generation, cause marketing and social good led her to expand the company’s market share and awareness in the broader philanthropic market.

Over the course of her career, Catherine has served on a number of nonprofit boards supporting international development and women’s issues. She is frequent speaker and panelist on marketing trends and best practices, including how brand and employee engagement intersect.

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