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Foundation Strategy for Social Impact: A System Change Perspective
1University of Southern California
1NPO Solutions, Inc.
Citation Information: Nonprofit Policy Forum. Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages –, ISSN (Online) 2154-3348, DOI: 10.2202/2154-3348.1008, November 2010
- Published Online:
As foundations work to leverage their philanthropic assets to achieve greater social impact, there is a keen interest in designing strategies that create transformative rather than incremental change. This paper is an effort to provide a conceptual overview that will enable foundations to better understand what system change means in the context of foundation strategy. It provides a succinct, non-technical definition of a system in an attempt to move from system as a metaphor to a more concrete framework that can guide foundation work. Particular attention is paid to the need to discern which strategic options are more likely to catalyze transformative change, the links between policy change and system change, and consideration of a wider choice set for creating system change.