We love the idea of holiday buffets – you get to sample lots of good food and try new things. We aim for the same notion with Social TrendSpotter – we hope you sample good content and learn about new things to try. As you know, we play in many spaces and try to encourage cross-pollination between the social sector, for-profits, and government. These articles constitute a representative sample of our content buffet and we hope you enjoy them (without all the calories).


Make Every Day a Holiday By Giving the Gift of Service

“The holidays often inspire us to give back, whether through making a donation to your favorite charity or serving the homeless in your neighborhood soup kitchen. However, we forget that social sector organizations need assistance all year long – and what they need most is your talent.” – Suzanne Smith

Talent is the number one resource within the social sector, but it is often hard to achieve on limited budgets. In this piece, Suzanne argues that her fellow entrepreneurs should consider giving back through offering their talent – both as individuals and through their organizations. She profiles many innovative forums, including Catchafire, A Billion+Change, GiveCamp, and Entrepreneurs for North Texas. Feel free to forward this article to others as a reminder to give back all year long.


Will Consumers Purchase from Social Enterprise? New Survey Shows Promise

“The question is, what do we know about consumer interest in charities who produce their own products through social enterprise? Looking for answers, Flywheel: Social Enterprise Hub, located in Cincinnati, conducted a survey of 122 consumers who were subscribers of a local newspaper. Interestingly, 78% of Cincinnatians related that they had purchased from a social enterprise in the past and 59% were likely to purchase from a social enterprise in the future.” – Suzanne Smith

Our founder, Suzanne Smith, also is a co-founder of Flywheel, which is a great community experiment in Cincinnati, OH to accelerate social enterprises within nonprofit organizations. While capital investment in these enterprises is important, it is also paramount to look at the other side of the equation – consumer demand. She suggests three steps to drive this forward – raising awareness of social enterprise, focusing on quality and mission, and building a marketplace. For more insight, read our blog on social enterprise.


Cities on the Move

“Recently, we have seen a disturbing trend of cities filing for bankruptcy, including Detroit. However, there are encouraging trends as well. Cities, not always known for innovation, have begun hiring Chief Innovation Officers…Cities can play a role in promoting social innovation and can be a great playground for new ideas and collaborations.” – Suzanne Smith

All politics are local and it appears that cities are moving toward embracing social entrepreneurship. We covered this trend for the Social Impact Exchange and found five takeaways: (1) adopt the “entire problem” approach; (2) collect and analyze data; (3) look outside your backyard; (4) collaborate with others; and (5) recognize the opportunity in failure. Check out our blog on the Social Impact Exchange conference. If you love Broadway shows, it is a must-read.


12 Client Holiday Gifts That Won’t Break the Budget

“We love sending hot, fresh cookies to an office, especially when the team has a big meeting or party scheduled. We get an instant reaction from the team and they get to appreciate the bounty together. It never fails.” – Suzanne Smith

If you have been on the receiving end of these cookies as a client, you know what we mean. A hot cookie can change your whole outlook. But, the conversation over the cookies can help to build a strong culture. Read more from us about why a strong culture is important.

Feel free to follow us on TwitterLinked In, and Facebook to monitor our work. We would also love your feedback on any of the above. We want to continue to be relevant and stay connected with what matters to you in 2014.

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