Using Social ROI for Market Entry Decisions

Social ROI

 

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you are looking for ways to increase your impact. Social return on investment, or social ROI, lets you objectively define and measure your impact. Once you can define and measure impact, use that ability to identify communities to serve. Decisions about who and where you choose to serve–what the private sector calls market entry decisions–have a huge influence on the impact that you have.

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Don’t Start Yet Another Nonprofit

start a nonprofit

“If you’re the kind of person who tends to succeed in what you start, changing what you start could be the most extraordinary thing you do.”

I previously featured this quote in a post about why society needs great marketers. If you’re a marketer interested in or working in the public and social sectors, maybe you’ve wanted to start a nonprofit of your own. As someone who has started his own business and worked at startups and nonprofits, I advise you to think long and hard before you start a nonprofit. It might not be the best way to have the impact you desire.

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If Giving Money Directly To Poor People Works Best, Then What Are Non-Profits to Do?

impact on nonprofits of giving cash to poor people

People in poverty lack money. It seems obvious that the best way to end their poverty is to give them money. Increasingly, studies support this obvious approach to reducing poverty. Yet the vast majority of poverty-reduction organizations and agencies offer goods and services, not cash. What is the impact on nonprofits of giving cash to poor people?

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Free download! Data visualizations from U.S. Census Bureau

Median Household Income

[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]

The U.S. Census Bureau generates so much credible, useful data that it can sometimes be difficult to locate relevant data and format it for easy presentation to your audience. To help with the distribution and promotion of their data, the Census Bureau offers free data visualizations that you can download and add to PowerPoint slides, proposals, reports and other documents.

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The power of promotion: advertising healthy eating to kids

vegetable-characters

Kids don’t often eat healthy foods. The temptations of snacks and sweets is powerful. The tactics major food companies use to promote their products exacerbates the problem. What if those same tactics were employed on behalf of vegetables?

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Scale: What’s the difference between growth and sustainability?

assemble-line-cooking

As I examined in a previous post, Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter thinks that profit is the key to scale, even for nonprofit organizations. Lack of profit might be what keeps social enterprises from reaching the scale necessary to make a difference in the world.

A recent Stanford Social Innovation Review article, “Four Approaches to Nonprofit Sustainability,” discusses ways to scale a social or public organization:

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The Social Progress Index: Measuring the quality of our social nature

Marketers often benchmark their goods and services against the competition. For countries, the main benchmark for nearly a century has been Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. The United States rules in GDP. While increasing GDP does correlate with some improvement in social conditions, it is purely an economic measure. As the measure of a country, a society, it’s narrow and incomplete.

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The power of promotion: marketing same-sex marriage

marriage equality

Regardless of whether you support same-sex marriage or not, have you wondered how the movement went from losing 30 state-wide votes by 2009 to winning approval in 37 states and a Supreme court ruling by 2015? It really was a stunning reversal for the movement.

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Free download! Free state-level data on economy, equity, income, government and more

Compare50

Which states currently rank highest in median household income? Which states have the highest foreclosure rates? Which states are benefiting from domestic migration?

Compare50 gives you access to free state-level data across a wide range of topics.

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Free tools! Free social research data

Data goes a long way towards informing the design process. It can pinpoint who your audience is, where they are, what they need, how they want it delivered, and how they want to pay for it.

Quality data can be difficult for public and social sector organizations to generate on their own, and expensive to purchase. Check out these sources of free, high quality social research data. (Use free visualization tools to explore and present your relevant data.)

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