Members of NESC’s Social Enterprise consulting group made presentations at two recent functions hosted by The Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management of the Baruch College School of Public Affairs.
On May 22, Senior Vice President Joe Townsend and NESC board member Gregg Young addressed a standing-room only group of about 90 at a seminar titled “Special Impact Investing: New Strategies for Financing Nonprofit Ventures,” which explored the small but rapidly developing field of Social Venture Philanthropy.
The panel was moderated Thomas S. Lyons, Ph.D., Lawrence N. Field Family Chair in Entrepreneurship, Baruch College, Zicklin School of Business. Panelists included Matthew Klein, Executive Director, Blue Ridge Foundation New York; John MacIntosh, Partner, Sea Change Capital Partners; Susan Constantino, President, Cerebral Palsy of New York State. Leaders of the organizations that provide financing for nonprofit social enterprise ventures described their approach to this business and how they identify and work with the nonprofits in which they invest.
Joe Townsend discussed the role that NESC can play in bringing together funders and the operators of social enterprise entities, and the importance of demonstrated scalability in attracting such funds. Board member Gregg Young, drawing upon his experience in private venture capital and “angel” investing, talked about the forces spurring activity in this area and about NESC’s efforts in the critical task of developing an infrastructure that facilitates these transactions. He also explored the need to come to agreement about how to define “success” in social enterprise activities.
At the March 20 “Nonprofit Consulting Day” sponsored by Baruch and Con Edison, NESC conducted its second annual Workshop on Social Enterprise. Participating for NESC were Senior Vice Presidents Joe Townsend and Anne Finn, and Coordinator of Consultants Sergio Sedita. The morning session, attended by 34 New York nonprofit organizations, focused on a presentation titled “Social Enterprise: Taking Advantage of Underutilized Assets and Developing Unrestricted Cash Flow.” In the afternoon the team addressed “Social Enterprise: Organizational Challenges.”
One attendee wrote, “Your workshop on social enterprise opened my mind to this and other profit making opportunities… I can’t wait to exercise this type of thinking more.”
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