Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Over 9 years ago, I attended the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) annual conference in New York City. The highlight for me was participating in a seminar on social enterprise presented by Melinda Tuan of the Roberts Economic Development Foundation, now known as REDF. After the conference, I spent some valuable time with Melinda learning more about REDF’s social enterprise work and its efforts as a venture philanthropist organization in the San Francisco area.

REDF has a three-fold mission. It seeks to create job opportunities in the San Francisco Bay area for individuals with significant barriers to employability by assisting a select number of social ventures. The organization also advances the methodology of measuring performance in social enterprise organizations. REDF leads the field in this area as I detailed in a past post on Social Return on Investment. And finally, REDF supports the growth of social enterprise by sharing what it has learned with other organizations throughout the country.

A few years after the CCDA conference, Melinda Tuan left REDF for the East Coast where she now works for Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors as a Senior Fellow. I’ve enjoyed periodically seeking out her advice.

When other organizations ask for help on starting faith ventures, I am quick to recommend the REDF web site. It is an extremely valuable one-stop information resource for nonprofits running social enterprise businesses. The web site provides numerous reports and downloadable management tools. I recently discovered REDF’s Thrift Store Management Dashboard, which is very valuable tool for a nonprofit seeking to increase the performance of its thrift store.

No comments:

Teen Challenge's BAM Thrift Store Profiled on Fox 13 Memphis

Check out Teen Challenge's BAM Thrift Store in Memphis, Tennessee, profiled recently on the local Fox station. Work is such an importa...