Reflecting on Steve Ballmer’s Impact Summit Keynote

Social Solutions Blog

Reflecting on Steve Ballmer’s Impact Summit Keynote

On the closing day of Impact Summit, I had the privilege of introducing technologist, prolific philanthropist and Social Solutions partner, Steve Ballmer as our keynote speaker. Steve discussed Ballmer Group and how data, predictive analytics, and software will have a phenomenal impact on the social good community. If you haven’t had a chance to watch his keynote, you can visit our Facebook page to see the live stream.

Impact is Greater Than Numbers

Steve led with a challenge to nonprofits to adjust their outcome orientation and move away from measuring success purely by participation numbers alone. Rather than measuring success by stating that 50 kids signed up for a reading program, discuss the impact – 23 children from our program enrolled in AP English their freshman year of high school, and refer to the longitudinal and comparative outcomes derived from their participation.

Nonprofits who adjust to an outcomes-oriented mindset can tell better stories, reach broader donor audiences with tailored messaging, get more funding, and most importantly, they can work with maximum effectiveness to drive change and optimal outcomes for the participants in their programs.

We are finally in a place where we can measure lasting change. With data-driven software on our side, we can better serve our communities by measuring success, improving service delivery, and achieving results.

Start With Your Community

Steve focused on the need for and value of community-level cooperation among public and private stakeholders. Maximal impact can only be achieved through collaboration between nonprofits, community organizing partnerships and collaboratives and the public entities (including schools and cities and states) who also provide services. Historically, some of these organizations who are on the ground every day driving real change, are often under-equipped when it comes to technology to maximize their work and their efficiency.

Finding Middle Ground

NPOs are finding themselves in a “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” scenario today. There is a need and desire to embrace technology, but software solutions are either too big or too small to serve their needs appropriately.

For Social Solutions, serving NPOs is in our DNA – we were founded by case workers. Helping NPOs, like the 218,000+ community-based human service organizations Steve mentioned, has always been our core mission and core competence. Because we’re designed by nonprofits veterans for nonprofits, we are purpose-built and tailored for the job of enabling nonprofit organizations. As Steve said, Social Solutions is the “big kahuna of small software companies,” giving us the ability to continuously improve the tools our customers use every day. You might say our solution is just right.

Our Impact Summit audience was made up of change-makers, those on the ground every day serving their community. We believe your determination to modernize your NPO and bring better, more efficient, more impactful support to your community will change the world. It’s why we are working with Ballmer Group to improve our product every day. Thank you for your support.

Read a summary on our blog here.

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