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Billions of Drops in Millions of Buckets. Why Philanthropy Doesn't Advance Social Progress. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 2214972
  • Book
  • July 2009
  • 302 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

"Billions of Drops in Millions of Buckets provides a bracing and original look at philan-thropy that offers a much-needed corrective to conventional wisdom. Steve Goldberg combines a resolve to understand why so much philanthropy accomplishes so little enduring social change with a timely and serious proposal to reinvigorate nonprofit capital markets through the simplest of insights: getting more of the money to where it can do the most good. This book will change how forward-looking philanthropists, foundations, and policymakers think about the relationship between charitable giving and the transformative capacity of social entrepreneurs."
- Jerr Boschee, founder and Executive Director, The Institute for Social Entrepreneurs; Visiting Professor of the Practice in Social Enterprise, Carnegie Mellon University

"Goldberg's arguments are logical next steps in the rapidly evolving discussion of social capital markets. He offers ambitious proposals informed by the reality of current practices and focused on an achievable set of goals. He fully recognizes the potential for restructuring that is inherent in this time of financial hardship. Real change relies on big ideas, and Steve Goldberg offers us several."
- Lucy Bernholz, author of Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution

"When I first heard about 'evidence-based medicine,' I thought: 'you mean it isn't?' Read this book and that's how you'll feel about 'performance-based philanthropy.' Goldberg takes some of the best current management thinking and applies it to social enterprise, illuminating both the encouraging successes of social entrepreneurs and the barriers they face. Even better, he presents compelling ideas for making the social sector vastly more effective."
- Christopher Meyer, Chief Executive, Monitor Networks

"Goldberg calls for more 'performance-driven philanthropy,' where nonprofits are rewarded based on their results, in place of the current dysfunction. It is an important call and a valuable contribution to discussions about how to improve nonprofits in the U.S. and internationally."
- Martin Brookes, Chief Executive, New Philanthropy Capital

"Billions of Drops... is a must-read romp through emerging fields of social entrepre-neurship and nonprofit capital markets."
- George Overholser, founder and Managing Director, NFF Capital Partners

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
About the Author.

Prelude: “The Great Recession”.


A Word about Scope.

A Style Note.

A Case to Be Made.

Chapter 1 The Disheartening Problem of “Scale”.

“All Children”.

“One Day”.

Transformative Social Impact.

The Funding/Performance Disconnection.

Small Caps and Large Caps.

Mid-Caps and $100 Million Problems.

Making the Most of a New “Golden Age”.

Foreclosing on the American Dream.

Of Drops and Buckets.

A Potential Inflection Point.

Objectives of This Book.

A Virtual Nonprofit Stock Market.

Chapter 2 The American Underclass.

American Social Progress: The Early Years.

The American Dream Arrives.

The American Dream Recedes.

Consequences of Social Immobility.

More Complex Solutions.

Governmental Response Mechanisms.

The Challenge of Producing Transformative Social Impact.

Chapter 3 Fragmentation.

Financial versus Nonprofit Capital Markets.

Organic Growth Isn’t Enough.

Limits of Innovation.

Market Adoption.

Implications of Moore’s Model.

Why Does Transformative Impact Cost So Much?

Moving toward Third-Stage Funding.

The Not-So-Little Capital Market That Can’t.

Chapter 4 Intermediation.

“Better” Philanthropic Choices.

An Economic Approach to Reducing Fragmentation.

Extracting Information about Nonprofit Impact.

“Long-Tail” Economics.

Between the Short Head and the Long Tail.


“Nonprofit Finance Agents”.

Closed versus Open Intermediation.

Social Factor.

Chapter 5 Growth Capital.

Revenue versus Capital.

Investor Confidence.

Crossing the Funding Chasm.

Making the Nonprofit World Safe for Growth Capital.

Planning for Sustainable Growth.

Accounting for Growth.

Chapter 6 A Performance-Based Funding Market.

The Work of Markets.

The Illusion of Stock Prices.

Market Dynamics.

Financial Value versus Social Value.

Up versus Down; More versus Less.

Collective Intelligence.

Chapter 7 Prediction Markets.

An Illustration.

Behind the Curtain.

New Tools Proliferate.

Kinds of Markets.

Good Enough.

Rank Intelligence.

Chapter 8 The Impact Index.

Designing the IMPEX.

Determining Eligibility.

Ranking Nonprofit “Stocks”.


Climbing Off the Drawing Board.

Chapter 9 Crossing the Fundraising Chasm.

Performance Measurement.

Platform Leadership.

Information Retrieval.

We Know.



Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
Steven H. Goldberg
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