Forces for Good: The Six Practices for High-Impact Nonprofits
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How did seeing a pile of McDonald’s trash lead Environmental Defense’s CEO to join forces with business instead of treating it as the enemy? Why did a school bus driver prompt Self-Help to move from providing loans to low-income groups in the South, to launch a national advocacy campaign against predatory lending? And how did Teach for America turn the teachers it places in hundreds of public schools into a national vanguard for education reform?

Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant spent four years surveying thousands of nonprofit CEOs, conducting hundreds of interviews, and studying a dozen high-impact nonprofits to uncover their secrets to success. The secret? Great nonprofits spend as much time working outside their four walls as they do managing their internal operations. They use the power of leverage to become greater forces for good. This landmark book reveals the six powerful practices of twelve high-impact nonprofits, and tells their compelling stories.

The Revised and Updated Edition of Forces for Good (Wiley 2012) includes all of the original content, as well as several new chapters that explore how the 12 great nonprofits fared during difficult economic times, and how smaller nonprofits can apply "six practices" in their local communities. It also includes a diagnostic tool for nonprofit leaders who want to strengthen their application of the six practices. The new content is based on additional research conducted by the authors in 2011, including interviews with leaders of the original 12 great nonprofits, and case studies of 13 smaller high-impact nonprofits that are effectively applying the six practices in their local communities.

Who should read this book?
Anyone who is interested in creating social change—or in the nonprofit sector more broadly—should read this book. While there’s something for anyone who cares about social impact, our findings have critical implications for:

  • Nonprofit managers and leaders:If you run an established nonprofit, you’re likely already implementing many of these practices; you can learn to apply all of them, and improve your approach. Local and regional nonprofits can become more successful by applying these practices at the local level; growing nonprofits can use them as a guide to scaling impact more broadly.
  • Donors and philanthropists: Donors who seek maximum impact from their charitable gifts can use these six practices as a screen to predict their grantees' potential for significant impact. And to improve their own application of these practices, donors may wish to read Do More than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World, which was inspired by Forces for Good.
  • Business leaders: Business leaders who want to improve their social performance and “do well, while doing good” can learn how to work with the best nonprofits.
  • Students and academics: Students who are eager to learn more about the social sector will benefit from this book. Academics can use this as a jumping off point for further research on scaling social impact.
  • Elected officials and policy-makers: Government has the money, political power, and distribution might; nonprofits have the talent, knowledge, and energy needed to create social change—together they are more powerful.
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