Chapter One

Forces for Good

What makes great nonprofits great?

It’s a simple-sounding question, but, like a riddle, one with a not-so-simple answer. Our attempt at answering this question is the book you’re holding in your hands.

Forces for Good is about the six practices that high-impact nonprofits use to maximize social change. These practices can be applied by any organization seeking to make a difference in the world. Our findings are grounded in several years of research on twelve of the most successful nonprofits founded in recent U.S. history—groups that we selected and studied precisely because they have achieved significant levels of impact.

This book is not about America’s most well-managed nonprofits. It’s not about the best-marketed ...

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