Why ‘Doing Good’ is Not Good Enough. Essays on Social Impact Measurement Defended on Friday, 11 April 2014

We are facing a paradox of ‘doing good’. There is a clear role for philanthropic and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts to play in addressing the social problems that our world faces today. However, evidence seems to suggest that this ‘doing good’ is not effectively solving these social problems. ‘Doing good’ is thus often not good enough. The objectives of this doctoral thesis are to contribute to denuding this paradox of ‘doing good’, and to provide concrete suggestions on how this ‘doing good’ can be done better. A multilevel perspective is taken to identify three main causes for the paradox: 1) goal incongruence between the private sector, government, and the philanthropic sector, 2) a lack of results (impact measurement at the organizational level, and 3) information asymmetry in the market of ‘doing good’ between donors, investors and operating organizations such as nonprofits and social enterprises. On the basis of the insights provided within this thesis a strategic impact framework is developed. This REFLEct framework is comprised of five elements: Relevance, Ethics, Fit, Legitimacy and Effectiveness. With this framework, organizations striving to ‘do good’ can develop a strategy and manage their activities in a way to more effectively solve social problems, and hence achieve more positive social impact.

For further information, please visit www.impactmeasurement.nl.


Impact, Effectiveness, Evaluation, Philanthropy, Corporate Social Responsibility, Philanthropic Foundations, Impact Investing, Social Impact Measurement, Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, Nonprofit Organizations

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