F(i)unding Your Way: A Managerial Compass for Social Organizations

Jessica Aschari-Lincoln, Barbara Scheck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social organizations are faced with an increasing diversification of funders, financial sources, and financing instruments and a growing complexity of funding relationships. They still prioritize social impact over financial returns, but funding considerations significantly influence the way these organizations operate. Existing models to understand the sector do not include this essential component, thus limiting insights and decision-making premises on how to reach as many beneficiaries as possible. Based on previous quantitative and qualitative research, this article conceptualizes the organizational, programmatic, impact, and financing strategies of social organizations and their interrelatedness in a new framework. This could be perceived as a managerial compass illustrating the multiple dependencies social organizations are confronted with. The compass aims at reducing complexity, serving as a tool for social organizations for more effective financial management. The article closes with a call for more analysis on how social organizations manage their multiple bottom line.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1396
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Nonprofit funding
  • Nonprofit management
  • Social enterprise
  • Social finance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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