Social Finance: How to Understand, Inspire, and Persuade Funders
Good leaders are defined by great decisions. Building teams, creating culture, finding supporters, shaping learning environments, measuring impact – each requires leader to make meaningful choices. The field of behavioral insights, described in books such as Nudge, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, and“Rebel Talent” by Francesca Ginohas begun to uncover why we make the decisions we do – and has shown us that it’s possible to become better decision makers – and so better leaders.
This course develops the practical skills necessary to apply the principles of behavioral insights. First, we will develop an understanding of the motivations and incentives that make us great leaders, as well as the biases, fears, and loss aversion which keep us from performing at our capacity. Through exercises and discussions, we will each build an individual toolkit which empower us to make better decisions, build environments that spur collaboration, and inspire each team member to act with passion.
We will apply these skills to one of the most difficult challenges a social changemaker can face – identifying and persuading funders to support their mission. Through our newly developed perspective of behavioral insight, we will discuss potential groups of funders, their motivations and interests, and develop a common financial literacy so we can understand what matters most to traditional philanthropists, impact investors, granting agencies and others. With our new toolkit of nudges, framing, and choice architecture, we will consider how we most effectively persuade these different types of funders to support our mission of scaling impact through discussions and live exercises.
The lessons in this module can be applied in a variety of situations – incentivizing teams, creating partnerships, seeking funding, and taken together, will give you a new playbook for how to achieve social impact with your community.