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Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs: Enhancing the Performance of Your Enterprising Nonprofit

Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs: Enhancing the Performance of Your Enterprising Nonprofit

J. Gregory Dees, Jed Emerson, Peter Economy

ISBN: 978-0-471-26814-7

Jan 2004

360 pages



A complete set of tools for applying entrepreneurial strategies and techniques to your nonprofit

As a follow-up to their book Enterprising Nonprofits, the authors of Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs provide a full set of practical tools for putting the lessons of business entrepreneurship to work in your nonprofit. The book offers hands-on guidance that helps social sector leaders hone their entrepreneurial skills and carry out their social missions more effectively than ever before. This practical and easy-to-use book is filled with examples, exercises, checklists, and action steps that bring the concepts, frameworks, and tools to life. Detailed explanations of all the tools and techniques will help you personalize and apply them to your nonprofit organization-making it stronger, healthier, and better able to serve the needs of our communities.

Praise for Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs

"I search constantly for resources that can help provide insight and guidance to take Teach For America to a higher level; Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs does this and more. The book takes the best practices of for-profits and social enterprises and adapts them to the needs of entrepreneurial, mission-driven nonprofits. Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs is a tremendous contribution to social entrepreneurs and to the nonprofit sector-many thanks to the authors for identifying this need and filling it!"
-Wendy Kopp
Founder and President, Teach For America

All of the royalties from this book will be used by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to support continuing work on social entrepreneurship.



About the Authors.

Editor's Introduction.


Chapter 1: Developing a Strategic Service Vision (James L. Heskett).

Chapter 2: Developing an Entrepreneurial Competitive Strategy (Jerry Kitzi).

Chapter 3: Cooperative Strategy: Building Networks, Partnerships, and Alliances (Jerry Kitzi).

Chapter 4: Leading, Retailing, and Rewarding People Entrepreneurially (Peter Economy).

Chapter 5: Managing Your Board Entrepreneurially (Jerry Kitzi).

Chapter 6: Treating Your Donors as Investors (Kay Sprinkel Grace).

Chapter 7: Working with Community.

Chapter 8: Performance Information that Really Performs (Fay Twersky and Jill Blair).


Chapter 9: Developing Viable Earned Income Strategies (Beth Battle Anderson, J. Gregory Dees, and Jed Emerson).

Chapter 10: The Question of Scale: Finding an Appropriate Strategy for Building on Your Success (Melissa A. Taylor, J. Gregory Dees, and Jed Emerson).

Chapter 11: Managing Organizational Change (Betty Henderson Wingfield).

Chapter 12: Growing with an Entrepreneurial Mind-Set (Steve Roling).


  • An easily-accessible, hands-on toolbox for all-levels of employees in all kinds of socially oriented organizations.
  • Chapters contain deatiled action steps that show readers how to put the concepts to use immediately. Each chapter ends with a "concept check" and a list of further resources and references. Icons identify key concepts, buzzwords, tips, pearls of wisdom, action steps, etc.
  • Chapters written by some of the best and the brightest thinkers and practitioners in the field, including James Heskett, Jerry Kitzi, Kay Sprinkel Grace, Fay Twersky, Jill Blair, Beth Battle Anderson, Melissa A. Taylor, Betty Wingfield, and Steve Roling.