Authored by industry experts, the Social Good Guides are a collection of subject specific small-business guides created for startup changemakers. The guides are an initiative of the Social Innovators Collective.

We believe in today’s changemakers across the globe. We know it takes passion, hard work and unrelenting optimism. However, without hard skills and a community of peers and veterans, the odds of success are stacked against you. In reality, many startups fail because the founders lack small-business skills – a challenge that is easily surmountable. We want to help nonprofit founders and social entrepreneurs achieve their potential with access to the tools and resources they need to succeed.

The Social Good Guides are our first contribution towards this effort. They are a series of small-business guides initially created to support social entrepreneurs and nonprofit founders who were struggling to keep their organizations afloat after their launch year. “If I had access to this information before I started, I would have saved so much time and money,” is something we heard over and over again. Given this, we made sure each guide started with the basic information relevant to each topic so that professionals from all fields interested in starting social impact organizations and projects would benefit from the content.

Each guide has been authored by a distinguished professional with sector expertise in the social impact space, the covers designed by seasoned graphic designers, and brought to life by a dedicated team of volunteers. The topics range from legal to branding to funding to operations. The goal of the guides is to centralize general knowledge and equip changemakers with information about the essential small-business skills founders need in order to achieve success during the startup phase of their venture building. The guides are not exhaustive or cause specific, but we believe that they offer a foundation of learning and a strong starting point for today’s startup changemaker to create lasting impact.

While the guides are focused on businesses being built in the United States, many of the resources will be relevant to an international audience. That said, there are numerous significant differences in areas like legal structures, accounting, business planning, funding and fundraising, etc. We strongly advise those of you building social impact ventures outside the US to seek advice and support from reputable professionals who have area expertise in the country where you plan to build your businesses.

The Social Good Guides were conceived of and produced by Shana Dressler, founder of the Social Innovators Collective. Since its conception, Shana has worked closely with Marc O’Brien, Design Strategist and Creative Facilitator, on the strategy and execution of the guides. Originally meeting at A Better World by Design in 2011, Shana and Marc have been through many iterations of this project. Learn more about the backstory here.

For announcements about new guides as well as future courses and workshops, sign up for the Social Good Guides eNewsletter.

The Social Innovators Collective offers short and long format educational programming for early stage social entrepreneurs, nonprofit founders and individuals working on social impact projects. Our mission is to nurture, shape, and train the next wave of changemakers so that they can demonstrate measurable social impact and achieve financial sustainability. For more information visit: Social Innovators Collective.


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All rights reserved. All guides have been created for private use only. No part of any guide may be reproduced, distributed, published, transmitted, photocopied or stored by third parties for download or for sale in any form or by any means, including electronic or mechanical methods, except with the written permission of the publisher, the Social Innovators Collective. Brief quotations embodied in reviews and articles, and certain other noncommercial uses, are permitted by copyright law. Please see our full Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy for more information.

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