Financial Strategies for Social Innovation: Doing Well by Doing Good

Financial Strategies for Social Innovation:  Doing Well by Doing Good

How to develop exceptional enterprises for earned income and sustainable impact.

Are you looking for money for your project?  Good news:  by recognizing our gifts and using our relationships, we tap into financial resources all around us.  Innovative new enterprises bridge the social and the economic for long-term, sustainable impact.


I've had the experience in Social Innovation to help you put the money in your mission, and the mission in your money.

What are Financial Strategies for Social Innovation?

There is more to social change work than going after the same grants. Financial Strategies for Social Innovation build on our experience, our relationships, and our overlooked assets to generate earned income by doing good. 

Luther helps leaders to recognize the financial significance of our efforts, and to understand how and why we can draw patronage from potential customers and collaborators.  Using networked and asset-based methods, he helps develop creative enterprises that build on those values and relationships. 

The result is more than financial sustainability.  It's Social Innovation a re-imagination of ways we can work together for the common good.

Use Financial Strategies for Social Innovation to:

  • stop chasing funding, and start generating funds
  • get people excited about what you are doing
  • find new partners and supporters
  • create a path toward long-term sustainability

Strengths on your side: Financial Strategies for Social Innovation

Luther has been a pioneer in Social Innovation since the early 80's, and has adapted those methods to a wide variety of clients and circumstances since then:

    Young social entrepreneur. Luther developed and managed 3 social enterprises, organized a 110-unit$6M housing cooperative, and co-developed 250 additional units of affordable housing and commercial property before the age of 30.

    Creator of viral social enterprise. Luther created Asset Mapping, which has spread virally by grassroots participation to over 2.5 million users, and has helped others create their own social enterprises.

    Creator of model social enterprise management system. Luther conceived of Social Cost Accounting and developed this hybrid management tool with a community-based network of practitioners.  In other names, Social Cost Accounting has been replicated and adapted by leading funders and trainers in the field of Social Innovation.

    Developer of curriculum. Luther has created social enterprise and self-employment curricula for work with some of the nation's leading technical assistance networks.

    Education: Luther has a BA from Harvard College and an MBA from the University of Chicago (Booth) Graduate School of Business, with specializations in finance and in public and non-profit management.

Financial Strategies for Social Innovation: Luther in action

Inner City Asset Mapping leads to social innovation finance. Luther's Asset Mapping and training empowered leaders of an inner-city congregation to work with unlikely partners and develop creative newcommunity-serving enterprises.  They've emerged from red ink to raise$1.7 million for a social incubator.

Rural Asset Mapping leads to social innovation finance . A small rural organization hired Luther to facilitate Asset Mapping and consult on social innovation strategy.  The organization built a network with other rural organizations across three states and developed a distributed online shopping hub for locally produced products.

Networked business model solves collaboration issues. Several youth-serving organizations in an inner-city Latino neighborhood wanted to develop a youth center, but wereconcerned about competing with themselves and losing identity.  Luther facilitate=ds stakeholders to develop an innovative networked business model that builds on the identities of each organization to create greater opportunities and resources for all.

Funder wants self-sufficiency plan. A regional foundation wanted to support plans of a national non-profit to develop a regional office in their area, but wanted to avoid long-term financial dependency.  The foundation hired Luther to develop a social enterprise plan identifying innovative strategies and financial sources for long-term project self-sufficiency.

Who Uses Financial Strategies for Social Innovation?

National and regional organizations
who want to train and enable their constituents to generate alternative funding streams and develop innovative enterprises.

Public and non-profit organizations who want to generate earned income from their assets and expertise and strengthen their presence and impact in the community.

Funders and grantmakers who'd like to encourage self-sufficiency and market impact from their grantees.

Individual entrepreneurs and firms who would like to make a social difference.

How can I use Financial Strategies for Social Innovation?

Read the book: Check the Publications section for information on three books written by Luther which present stories and strategies from innovative social enterprises, and which describe Luther's Asset Mapping process, an ideal tool for building social enterprises in communities and networks.

Reach out to colleagues: There is a large and healthy Social Innovation movement supported by practitioner networks, supportive funders, and books and periodicals. Research these resources, and reach out to like-minded colleagues in our field.

Network. In months to come we'll be providing more ways to share and collaborate with other leaders in this field on this website.  Meanwhile, check the"Networking" section of this website and our social networking connections like Facebook and LinkedIn. [Networking]

Engage Luther K. Snow.

    Tap Luther to be a speaker and presenter on Social Innovation at your conference or gathering,.  Participants say Luther communicates the ideas and methods of Social Innovation with clarity and humor.  Luther will tailor stories, lessons, and style to your group, and participants will develop practical skills they can take home and use, right away!   [Speaking]

    Engage Luther to facilitate and lead a workshop or series of workshops for your group.  Luther's Asset Mapping process is ideal for drawing out the assets and relationships in groups that lead to Financial Strategies for Social Innovation. Your group will get past obstacles and take action, because they will want to!   [Facilitation]

    Bring in Luther to consult with your organization or firm.  Draw on Luther's experience to help you recognize cashflow streams and stakeholder affinities.  Build on Luther's groundbreaking models of development and management to ensure that your Social Innovation is sustainable over time.  [Consulting]