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Social Good Instigators is a podcast featuring social entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders. While social entrepreneurship is not a new concept (the term was first introduced in the early 1970’s) it has been receiving more attention of late. The goal of each interview is to share advice from social entrepreneurs for social entrepreneurs. Our hope is that listeners will learn ways to ensure their endeavor succeeds and thrives.

This podcast was originally launched in July 2015 as The Nonprofit Leader’s Network Podcast. There were 44 episodes broadcast as part of that initiative that covered topics ranging from board development to program development to fundraising. There have been over 33,800 downloads so far!

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

You might be wondering to yourself what I mean by social entrepreneurship. While there are multiple definitions available (with some of those conflicting), I’m a little partial to the one the European Commission uses:

A social enterprise is an operator in the social economy whose main objective is to have a social impact rather than make a profit for their owners or shareholders. It operates by providing goods and services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion and uses its profits primarily to achieve social objectives. It is managed in an open and responsible manner and, in particular, involves employees, consumers and stakeholders affected by its commercial activities.

Social enterprises can be for- or non-profit. I’m particularly interested in organizations that are meeting social service/employment needs and/or are funding their endeavors in unique ways.

Be a Guest on the Show!

Do you know a social entrepreneur who would have some good tips and wisdom to share? Please have them email and share what they’re up to. By using the subject line “I’d like to be a guest on the podcast” you’ll make sure your email gets read.

About Your Host: Kirsten Bullock

Kirsten is a Ph.D. student in Entrepreneurship at the University of Louisville (starting August 2017). She has 20+ years serving the nonprofit sector, first as a staff member and later as a consultant and entrepreneur. She’s launched (and sold) two brands including The Nonprofit Academy and the Nonprofit Leaders Network.

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Jul 9, 2015

In this first podcast of The Nonprofit Leaders Network, Kirsten is joined by Arto Woodley, former executive director of Frontline Outreach in Orlando Florida.


Greatest Success: There is no doubt that the greatest success is tied into the outcomes for the children that we worked with. These young people originated in the inner city of Orlando and honed their crafts as leaders and took what they’ve learned at a small Christ centered ministry in Orlando and took it around the world. To me, that’s success.

When to Let Go: Every person has a gift and a plan for their lives, but when they’re not producing fruit for your organization then it’s time to transition. You have to balance the personal commitment to people to the commitment to making the organization grow.

What to Look for in a Board Member: One of the biggest myths that exists is that board members only come to bring their expertise. Every board member has to be committed financially. There is no way you would be able to encourage others to commit financially if the executive and the key leaders such as the board are not 100% committed. Now that may be different at the various levels of peoples’ capacity to give, but there should be 100% giving.

First Steps in Recruiting the Right Board: Don’t only look at people’s ability to give or the name of the company that they work with. That’s a huge mistake, because many times you can get people who happen to have resources or they work for a large company or a foundation and they’re not committed to your mission. Make engagement as a volunteer part of your recruitment process for board Members. This makes sure that your nominating process identifies people whose passion is connected to the work that you do and not just going after the resources and their affiliation with a particular company.

Measuring Board Effectiveness: Rather than just look at board effectiveness, it really should be a focus on institutional effectiveness – looking at the effectiveness of the executives, the effectiveness of the board, from a strategic standpoint, and looking at are we accomplishing from a strategic goal standpoint versus what we said we’d do. Start with two committees. One that evaluates the executives on a consistent regular basis with another that looks at the effectiveness of the board and the board members. Are we accomplishing what we said we were going to accomplish? Is every board member giving on an annual basis? Are board members Have they accomplished their personal goals?

Keeping the Board Engaged and Michael Jordan Syndrome: In the early days when Michael Jordan played for Chicago (before his support team improved and Chicago won the championship) most of the team sat around and watched him score. He scored 63 points in the playoffs, but nobody else on the team really did anything. But they still lost.

What happens with nonprofit directors and CEOs is they have the Michael Jordan perspective that the board sits back and watches the executive director, “Oh, look at this person. She’s doing a great job. Look at all the money she’s raised. Look at the buildings she built, look at all the program outcomes. Wow, great job!” They’re watching but they’re not engaged in it.

CEOs have to be very careful they don’t get caught in that trap because then it becomes your work and not our work. The board sits back, waits for the CEO to do it. They’ll say: “Well why didn’t she get that done? I don’t know why, she’s gotten it done in the past.” That’s the trap, so you have to very, very astutely make sure everyone is engaged in the outcomes and that everyone is held accountable for those outcomes.

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