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The Social Ecosystem Dilemma -- And How to Fix It

January 23, 2020

An estimated $12 trillion in market opportunities are embedded within the Sustainable Development Goals. Companies can unlock these opportunities with shared value, addressing social challenges in ways that improve a business' competitive positioning and profitability. But long-entrenched social and environmental problems often thwart shared value strategies. While executives know how to manage their corporate ecosystem of suppliers, distributors, and related businesses, those approaches do not work for the social ecosystem of governments, NGOs, and local communities. This guide outlines concrete and actionable steps for companies to build shared value ecosystems, based on insights from 12 companies across industries from around the world.

Insuring Shared Value: How Insurers Gain Competitive Advantage by Better Addressing Society's Needs

June 27, 2017

Insurers benefit from societal advances more than almost any other industry. Reducing accidents, improving health, and helping organizations better prepare for economic risks all improve profits for insurance companies, making it the ultimate shared value industry.Yet the industry has yet to proactively target the societal conditions that most affect their business.Featured recently in Harvard Business Review, Insuring Shared Value details how some insurers are reinventing their industry by embedding strategies into their core business models to gain competitive advantage while pursuing large-scale social impact.Researched in collaboration with Shared Value Initiative, Discovery Vitality, IAG, and Skandia, Insuring Shared Value also offers ideas for how actors such as NGOs and consumer groups can work with insurers to reduce risk and advance their own missions to improve society. Any company that offers insurance to their employees will find valuable information.

Banking on Shared Value: How Banks Profit by Rethinking Their Purpose

June 24, 2014

This paper articulates a new role for banks in society using the lens of shared value. It is intended to help bank leaders, their partners, and industry regulators seize opportunities to create financial value while addressing unmet social and environmental needs at scale. The concepts included here apply across different types of banking, across different bank sizes, and across developed and emerging economies alike, although their implementation will naturally differ based on context.

Shaping Global Partnerships for a Post-2015 World

February 11, 2014

As we discuss the post-2015 development agenda, how can we empower global partnerships to achieve the transformational change we need for a better future? This article provides lessons and best practices from six diverse initiatives on applying the collective impact approach on a global scale -- how to develop a common agenda, operate effective shared measurement systems, support and coordinate activities, facilitate communication, and provide strong governance for global collaborative efforts.The report uses a collective impact lens to research and evaluate a range of global partnerships, with a particular emphasis on these six diverse initiatives: Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Global Road Safety Partnership, the World Economic Forum's New Vision for Agriculture, the Global Partnership for Education, and the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Private Enterprise for Public Health: Opportunities for Business to Improve Women's and Children's Health

July 10, 2012

This guide, developed by FSG and published by the Innovation Working Group in support of the global Every Woman, Every Child effort, explores how companies can create shared value in women's and children's health. The document sets out opportunities for multiple different industries to develop new product and services, improve delivery systems and strengthen health systems that can support global efforts to save 16 million women's and children's lives between now and 2015. It particularly notes that companies need not wait for health services to "catch up" with their economic model, but rather they can work proactively to help accelerate change, by partnering with other industries, civil society and the public sector to create collective impact in a specific location. The aim of the guide is to catalyze these transformative partnerships.

Managing for Learning and Impact

January 1, 2012

Over the past three years, the King Baudouin Foundation has developed a more systematic approach for the evaluation of its projects, which FSG helped codify in the KBF Project Management Guide: 'Managing for Learning and Impact'. There is a growing interest of foundations in Europe to evaluate the intended impact of their projects and programs. Foundations invest in an impact-driven philanthropy and therefore develop specific strategies, activities and tools.

Smallholder Farmer Development: International Donor Funding Trends

November 1, 2010

In order to enable more coordination between these various initiatives, FSG and the Smallholder Coalition have catalogued and analyzed $12 billion in funding from 29 donors representing more than 1,700 smallholder-focused projects active from 2009 onwards. Our intention with this analysis is to provide the community of donors, corporations, networks, NGOs, and governments involved with smallholder development with a first-of-its-kind snapshot of the state of smallholder funding flow trends.

Multiplying Impact Through Philanthropic Collaboration

November 1, 2010

This paper was commissioned by the Network Building Committee of EFC in order to better understand the critical factors relating to effective collaboration between foundations and across sectors, to identify mechanisms and services that can trigger and nurture them, and to test which of these (if any) EFC would be well placed to provide or facilitate. In addition to this goal, we hope to spark a wider conversation within the sector about how to catalyse more collaboration between donors --particularly across national borders. The study drew on input from 20 key stakeholders, an in-depth study of five benchmarks and eight examples of successful collaboration.

Lobbying for Good

December 15, 2008

In their efforts to be socially responsible, most companies fail to wield their most powerful tool: lobbying. Yet corporations such as Mary Kay, Royal Dutch Shell, and General Motors are increasingly leveraging their deep pockets, government contacts, and persuasive powers for the cause of good. Not all kinds of socially responsible lobbying are created equal, however. This article explores which forms of lobbying are best for companies and for society.

The Role of the Food & Beverage Sector in Expanding Economic Opportunity

January 1, 2007

The food and beverage industry has a unique role in expanding economic opportunity because it is universal to human life and health. The industry operates at multiple levels of society where billions of people grow, transform, and sell food, particularly in developing countries where agriculture dominates all other economic sectors. Yet a vast share of these workers cannot both satisfy their immediate consumption needs and earn sufficient income from food markets to improve their lives. This report applies the results of primary and secondary research to a number of case studies to draw lessons on strategies for expanding economic opportunity in the food & beverage sector. Primary research consisted of telephone interviews and secondary research included a review of reports, studies, and articles from a range of sources for each case study. The result is a paper that provides insight into how pioneering large firms are breaking this dilemma and building economic opportunity around food beverage value chains.

Uncommon Partners: The Power of Foundation and Corporation Collaboration

March 1, 2006

This study is intended to provide a preliminary exploration of the rationale and potential for foundation-corporation collaborations, together with a framework for constructing them, and a few abbreviated case-studies that suggest their power. The objective is to highlight some of the issues that may arise, and stimulate further research that may lead to the formation of new and potent partnerships for social progress.

Acting Locally, Thinking Globally: International Grantmaking Trends for US foundations

December 1, 2003

This study analyses trends of international grantmaking of US foundations and found out that, while US foundations' funding overseas has increased since 1990, the entire increase is attributable to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Excluding their grants, international giving as a percentage of total grants of US foundations has actually declined. Also, international giving is concentrated: the top 25 foundations account for more than 64% of all international giving. The report analyses a number of barriers for greater international giving and proposes a strategy to promote greater engagement overseas.