Markets for Good is an initiative to discover how the social sector can better use and share information to improve outcomes and change lives.
Markets for Good: The Video from Markets for Good on Vimeo.
Change doesn’t happen overnight. It happens bit by bit. It happens when we all work together; when we’re all dedicated to improving people’s lives and making a difference in our communities and around the world.
The hard work of dedicated people comes together in the social sector. Community members, volunteers, nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, and funders of all sizes work together to generate social value. But creating lasting impact is hard, and in an increasingly complex world, it’s only getting harder.
When a market is successful at generating value, it’s often because of dynamic feedback loops, balanced incentives, and the free flow of information which allows for better decision-making. Enabling and supporting this flow is a strong information infrastructure: it’s what allows a market to organize the available information—and produce the insight needed.
But the information infrastructure for the social sector is underdeveloped. People have knowledge about solutions for their communities, but it often goes untapped when feedback isn’t heard. Nonprofits and social businesses end up spending too much time searching for the information and money they need to do good work, and don’t have a standard way to report their progress to their funders. And funders struggle to find the best organizations to support, while not knowing if their dollars are making a strong impact.
These are challenges that need real solutions—which is why we’ve started Markets for Good. By upgrading the social sector’s information infrastructure, we can help people make better decisions and deeper connections through the sharing of information. Our vision is to create a dynamic system in which the information that is most critical is more accessible and useable.
By improving existing technology protocols, taxonomies, and knowledge platforms, data can be more easily captured and shared. By standardizing the way we report data, information can be exchanged seamlessly. But we know it will take more than a technical upgrade.
Real change requires a mindset shift. It requires listening to the people who receive services or volunteer their time. It requires nonprofit and social business leaders committing to collecting and sharing data. It requires openness and transparency, and funders investing with their hearts AND their heads—and it requires making the resources available to make it all happen.
But just imagine what can be achieved as a result. Envision a social sector powered by information, where we work smarter, putting resources to better use. Where individuals and communities have a stronger voice and where programs are more innovative and have even greater results. We’ve seen the success in other markets when information is more accessible and usable. The time is right to make this happen in the social sector.
We have billions of people, millions of organizations, and trillions of dollars dedicated to social good. It’s time for the work of good to work better than ever before.
Join us, as together we seek to build Markets for Good.