ON-Lion Letter
Civic leaders across the U.S. and throughout the world are discovering creative ways to overcome the obstacles that seal the doors of opportunity for too many.  These inspiring individuals believe that within our communities lie the entrepreneurial spirit, compassion, and resources to make progress in such critical areas as education, housing, and economic self-reliance.  Real progress requires that we take bold action and leverage our strengths for the greater good.

Stephen Goldsmith's new The Power of Social Innovation:  How Civic Entrepreneurs Ignite Community Networks for Good -- written with Gigi Georges and Tim Glynn Burke and published by Jossey-Bass -- offers public officials, social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and individual citizens the insights and skills to create healthier communities and promote innovative solutions to public and social problems.
 
Goldsmith is the former mayor of Indianapolis, was a special advisor to President George W. Bush on faith-based and non-profit initiatives, and chaired the Corporation for National and Community Service.  He is now the Daniel Paul Professor of Government and director of the Innovations in American Government Awards Program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of GovernmentThe Power of Social Innovation is based on his decades of experience, extensive ongoing research, and interviews with more than 100 top leaders from a wide variety of sectors.

In the book, Goldsmith shows that everyday citizens can themselves produce extraordinary social change.  It explores the levers and guiding principles used by champions of civic progress who drive new organizations, new interventions, or new policies to enhance social conditions.

Goldsmith positively cites The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation's work on school choice, writing that "it shows the deft use of a broad array of tools by an unusually policy-committed foundation interested in creating space for the innovation it favored.

"The Bradley Foundation's effort provides a road map for any funder, left or right, looking to drive social change," according to Goldsmith.  "It funded a broad range of tools available to foundations looking to drive change:  research, public official awareness, grassroots grants (in this case vouchers), capacity building at schools, parent organizing groups, and litigation support."
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