Before last week, I’d never heard of the RISE framework for social change. Rebecca Riccio, Director of the Social Impact Lab at Northeastern University, developed the concept, named as an acronym derived from its four tenets: Relevance, Impact, Sustainability and Excellence. Riccio presented RISE at a recent all-day event at Fenway Park hosted by our client Learning by Giving Foundation, an organization founded by Doris Buffett to inspire and train the next generation of philanthropic leaders, and the Red Sox Foundation.
The RISE concept is meant to prompt the following questions:
RISE offers a way for nonprofit leaders to assess and build their organizational capacity. It also offers a way to guide donor decision-making to support high-performers. But this wonderfully simple and sophisticated framework could also be applied to the business world to help inform corporate social responsibility programs, including whom to partner with.
Throughout the event, called Philanthropy on the Field, the speakers were passionate, Doris Buffett beamed, and new relationships were formed over lunch. When the program ended, I left considering how the day itself could be evaluated using RISE. This we know:
(From left to right: Riccio and Crawford listen to Lewis speak passionately about how philanthropists should consider not just Return on Investment but “Return on Community,” or ROC.)
(Learning by Giving board chair Alex Rozek with his grandmother Doris Buffett at Philanthropy on the Field.)