Friday’s Thoughts: Defining the Social Sector

The social sector is no longer the purview of philanthropy and nonprofits. Social businesses, informal networks, crowdfunded prototypes, and social investments are all part of the mix.

We cannot define the social sector by the enterprise form (nonprofit), or type of revenue (philanthropy) – this is too limiting.

Nor can we define the sector by its outcomes. Although it is the first-gathering place of those seeking to use private resources for the benefit of others, the social economy relies on relationships with business and government. Should we ever get around to agreeing on outcomes we will still be faced by the hairy problem of attribution – better to focus on doing the work then claiming false credit.

Lucy Bernholz

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