How to Lead a Bottom-Up Revolution Against Poverty

The explosion of progress in Silicon Valley was the result of the design thinking revolution. Companies began to orient themselves around the customer, focusing on creating products that were meant to serve as solutions to the unique needs of those customers — an innovation that is not often seen in the nonprofit space.

In an article by Evan Feinberg in Forbes, he references a “review by Arnold Ventures of over 3,000 rigorously tested, evidence-based programs in the U.S. [which] found only 14 nonprofit programs that met the highest standard of success, what they label as top tier, and only 60 had strong evidence of a positive impact whatsoever — just 2%.”

He explains that the most effective nonprofits are the ones who are innovating based on a deep understanding of their customer and ways of measuring whether or not they’re actually making a difference for the people they serve. Feinberg believes that nonprofits thinking of the people they are trying to help as customers that they want to create value for, rather than inputs in an amorphous problem, could truly finally help break the cycle of poverty trapping millions.