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Social Entrepreneurs and the Social Enterprise

By December 14, 2011

Forbes Social Impact 30Better known for their lists of the richest or most famous people in the world, Forbes magazine recently assembled the Impact 30 – a list of some of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. For the first time in Forbes’ 94-year history, they have recognized a group of individuals who are using innovative business strategies to solve social issues.

Congratulations to all 30 of the social change leaders listed and thanks to Forbes for making their efforts visible to a new audience!

Many of the individuals on the Impact 30 list are leading organizations that use a combination of innovative ideas, products, and technology to break cycles of poverty and inequity around the world. Others are leading organizations that directly address social needs through their products or services. These later organizations have long been defined in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector as a “social enterprise.”

As you might know, has been talking a lot lately about a “social enterprise” message of a different sort. It is a social enterprise message that is fundamentally about how the most successful organizations have shifted their engagement models to meet their constituents where they are — in a social, immediate, and collaborative environment. While nonprofits have long focused on engagement (the “it” word for relationship-building) as a means to fund and create change, the “how” of how that engagement happens is dramatically changing.

Many of the organizations included in the Impact 30 have been fueled by this new environment and their ability to take best advantage of this transition.

And, I am proud to say that 20 of the 30 organizations on the list are using products and services to help power their effectiveness.

We know that the platform is a powerful and incredibly flexible tool, but I am constantly amazed by the diversity and scope of the change efforts being supported by our technology.

Read more about how 3 of the organizations listed in the Impact 30 are using Salesforce CRM:

Endeavor: Endeavors uses Salesforce to manage and monitor selection panels, choose entrepreneurs, match volunteers with projects, analyze project performance, and more. Their instance includes an integration with Quickbooks, Vertical Response and Google Apps. Read More >

New Leaders: New Leaders uses Salesforce for recruitment, admissions, fundraising, and principal data tracking. Their implementation includes integration with Google Apps, Vertical Response, and Connect for Office. Read more >

Vision Spring: Vision Spring uses Salesforce to manage their entrepreneurs, franchise partners, donors as well as products and product inventory. Their implementation includes a MS Outlook integration.Read more >