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New Book, Forces for Good, Explores What Makes Great Nonprofits Great

For Immediate Release:
October 01, 2007

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Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367

New Book, Forces for Good, Explores What Makes Great Nonprofits Great

Exploratorium Among America's Top Nonprofits

The Exploratorium has been selected as one of America's best nonprofits by a survey of nearly 3,000 nonprofit CEO's and 60 expert interviews conducted for the new book, Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, by long-time nonprofit consultants Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant. The authors analyzed reams of data to identify the most successful nonprofits and then studied these 12 organizations for several years to uncover their secrets to success. The book, to be published by Jossey-Bass on October 26th, will be available in the Exploratorium bookstore and online at www.exploratoriumstore.com.

What Crutchfield and McLeod Grant discovered in the course of their research surprised them, and flies in the face of conventional wisdom. The secret? Great nonprofits spend as much time working with institutions outside their four walls as they do managing their own internal operations. They use the power of leverage to become greater forces for good.

The authors observe that the six powerful practices of all of these high-impact nonprofits "provide a new roadmap for anyone seeking to change the world." Forces for Good reveals the practices:

-- Work with government and advocate for policy change.
-- Harness market forces and see business as a powerful partner.
-- Convert individual supporters into evangelists for the cause.
-- Build and nurture nonprofit networks, treating other groups as allies.
-- Adapt to the changing environment.
-- Share leadership, empowering others to be forces for good.

In addition to studying the Exploratorium, which the authors say, "has served as a model for interactive museums around the world and has catalyzed a worldwide hands-on science education movement," the authors analyzed the following high-impact nonprofits:

-- America's Second Harvest, which annually distributes over 2 billion pounds of emergency food to more than 25 million Americans.
-- The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which has aided massive policy gains for low-income families in areas ranging from the EITC to food stamps.
-- City Year, whose young leaders last year completed more than 1.4 million hours of service in mentoring, tutoring, and educating children in school
-- Environmental Defense, which virtually eliminated acid rain and created new models for addressing climate change.
-- Habitat for Humanity, which has housed over a million poor people.
-- The Heritage Foundation, considered by some to be America’s most influential think tank, which helped produce a conservative majority in Congress.
-- National Council of La Raza, which has restored safety net benefits to millions of immigrants and has shaped legislation to protect them.
-- Self-Help, which has saved families billons annually by fighting predatory lending, and has provided over $4.5 billion in financing to help borrowers build wealth through ownership of a home or business.Share Our Strength, which has raised over $200 million to fight hunger.
-- Teach For America, which has reached more than 2.5 million students, made teaching in public schools cool, and created a vanguard for education reform.
-- YouthBuild USA, which has produced over 15,000 units of low-income housing while helping low-income youth gain leadership and job skills.

Crutchfield and McLeod Grant point out, "At a time when the social sector has grown to more than $1 trillion, understanding what leads to impact is essential. Whether you're a nonprofit leader, philanthropist, business executive, board member, or volunteer this book will inspire you to be a stronger force for good."

Research for the book was sponsored by the Center for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, and by the Aspen Institute Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program. A number of additional foundations and individuals provided financial support to the project.

Leslie Crutchfield is a managing director of Ashoka: Innovators of the Public, a philanthropic advisor, and a research grantee of The Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program.

Heather McLeod Grant is an advisor to the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and to leading nonprofits and foundations

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The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions

About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.

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Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367