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Spring Editions

A year ago today, we piloted the DoGoodBetterBlog and soon after launched Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors of Who Change the World. The concepts in Do More Than Give were inspired by Mark Kramer’s SSIR article “Catalytic Philanthropy” and the “six practices” revealed in my previous book, Forces for Good.

In the five years since Forces for Good was published in 2007, the world has changed significantly. The U.S. and global economies have essentially ground to a halt. Government cutbacks, relatively flat philanthropic support, and constrained corporate budgets have challenged nonprofits and donors as never before. Meanwhile, demand for critical services in the U.S. has shot up—applications for food, affordable housing, and poverty assistance have ballooned since the onset of the recession.

So my Forces for Good coauthor and I were curious: How have these global trends affected the 12 high-impact nonprofits we originally studied to deduce the “six practices of high-impact nonprofits?” How have the organizations fared in this era when we all must do more with less?

The answers are revealed in a Revised and Updated Edition of Forces for Good, due to publish on May 7, 2012. In this new edition, we re-visit the 12 nonprofits originally featured in the book—from Teach for America to Habitat for Humanity to Environmental Defense Fund—and explore how they’ve each not only survived but thrived during these tumultuous times. We also introduce new research on how local and smaller nonprofits, operating on modest budgets, can still successfully employ the “six practices” to deepen impact in their local communities. So please check back here later this spring for more on this new content.

On a personal note, I am pleased to announce another “new edition” of a different sort: I am expecting to introduce a third addition to our family later this month, and will be offline on maternity leave for a while. In the meantime, I hope you will continue strive to “do good better,” and recommend the FSG Social Impact blog as an excellent source of ongoing inspiration and ideas.

For starters, check out my Do More Than Give coauthor Mark Kramer’s post from earlier this week, “The Power of the Name,” in which he explores how FSG aims to help foster a global Collective Impact movement. It speaks to the heart of how nonprofits must strive to build fields and spawn broader adoption of ideas rather than focus only on shoring up their own empires in order to achieve widescale systems change.

Leslie Crutchfield

Former Senior Advisor