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Aug 4, 2016

Cardinal Health Support Goes Beyond the Checkbook

When nonprofits conceive a new approach to a community need, they usually take these two steps:

1. form a collaboration with several nonprofits

2. assemble a fundraising plan

There is an intermediate step that is worth considering, and one which the Center for Social Enterprise Development is taking and other nonprofits may want to consider.

We are concerned that there is little information regarding the true impact of the social enterprise sector and how these enterprises are meeting the needs of the community.  This lack of reliable measures and systems to gather and report impact data limits the ability of investors to make data-driven investments that create true social change.  The project will develop a data management system that is efficient and replicable.

We have formed an exciting collaboration with Community Research Partners, Measurement Resources Company, and GroundWork group.  Anticipating the project to start in January, the next step would generally be to start fundraising.  But we aren’t.

Instead we are partnering with Cardinal Health’s management development program called LEAD to evaluate the community’s need and desire to address this problem and to assess the technical challenges and demands of such an undertaking.  Two teams of eight up-and-coming managers from Cardinal Health’s global operations will bring perspective, knowledge, and experience which we four project collaborators could never achieve on our` own.  When the teams finish their work in January, we will begin a project that has already been vetted for value and feasibility.  And, hopefully, with a much stronger case for funding than if we had used the conventional approach.

If you have tried similar approaches, I would love to know.  Email me at

In the meantime, stayed tuned to upcoming events in Central Ohio social enterprise on Facebook and come see emerging new social entrepreneurs at SEA Change Pitch Day August 19 and party while meeting currently operating social enterprises at the SEA Change Festival August 20.

Allen Proctor, President & CEO

Center for Social Enterprise Development