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CSI Report

New: "CSI report", Issue Nr. 19 / July 2015

Topics in this issue include:

  • The EU project “TEPSIE” - about the fundamentals of social innovation- successfully completed in cooperation with the CSI: The CSI as a partner of the EU project TEPSIE (The Theoretical, Empirical and Policy Foundations for Building Social Innovation in Europe) recently made significant contributions to the field of science and politics and enhanced its position within the area of the field “Social Innovation”.
  • The study “ZiviZ” published new results: The recent publication of the ZiviZ Survey’s special analysis provides unprecedented insights about the origin and allocation of financing resources of the organised civil-society.
  • Study about the phenomenon of non-participation in Germany: The study “Germany – A Society of Movement?” published by Haß/ Hielscher/ Klink attributes the widespread non-participation of Germans affected by infrastructure projects in their close vicinity to the lack of information referring to participation-options.

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CSI News

"WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development": Discussion paper "Social return on investment"

The “WHO European Office for Investment for Health and Development” has published the discussion paper “Social return on investment”. The paper, co-authored by Dr. Volker Then, reviews the main features of the SROI-Approach (stakeholder engagement, the theory of change and accounting for social value). It finds that they are coherent with the key features of the Health 2020 policy framework and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It concludes that SROI represents an interesting opportunity to evaluate cross-sectoral investments aiming to promote health and development, in the WHO European Region and beyond.

Webinar: Exchange programme "Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs" on June 2nd 2017

"The exchange programme "Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs" helps provide aspiring European entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to start and/or successfully run a small business in Europe. New entrepreneurs gather and exchange knowledge and business ideas with an experienced entrepreneur, with whom they stay and collaborate for a period of 1 to 6 months. The stay is partly financed by the European Commission.
The CSI is one of the contact points, which individually advises the interested entrepreneurs, processes applications and organizes the exchange.

On June 2nd, a Webinar will take place for all interested parties.

G 20 Policy Brief „Civil Society Challenged: Towards an Enabling Policy Environment

Civil Society, philanthropic and nonprofit organizations face many regulatory and economic challenges. CSI´s academic director, Helmut K. Anheier recently published a Policy Brief for G20 policymakers, entitled “Civil Society Challenged: Towards an Enabling Policy Environment” and co-authored by Jack H. Knott of the University of Southern California and John Burns of The University of Hong Kong.
The brief proposes to initiate a process for the establishment of an independent high-level commission of eminent persons (i) to examine the changing policy environment for civil society organizations in many countries, including philanthropy (ii) to review the reasons behind the shrinking space civil society encounters in some parts of the world and its steady development in others, and (iii) to make concrete proposals for how G20 countries and civil society can relate in productive ways in national and international contexts.

You can download the Policy Brief here:


Event recommendation: “Gathering to Grow Part I – social entrepreneurs” on 19-20 January, Lisbon

“Gathering to Grow Part I” in Lisbon on 19-20 January is open to alumni of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme and to all social entrepreneurs with the courage and imagination to work across borders for positive change.

For more information please check out the event website.

The Polish Energy Future and Europe

System Innovation LabEurope's energy future requires us to master a substantial transformation towards sustainability. In Poland, energy issues are debated and negotiated in a complex of different interests. We discussed these issues from a European perspective with distinguished experts and observers of the Polish energy system in Warsaw. The event was a cooperation of the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation and the System Innovation Lab, initiated by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (WI) and the Centre for Social Investment (CSI) of Heidelberg University, funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt) and the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation.

Find a video recording here.

New book chapter: How can Russian civil society be supported in turbulent times?

Russian Civil SocietyIn the shadow of the Ukraine crisis and legislative decisions from Moscow that are increasingly framing Russia's public interest sector and civil society in 'social versus political' terms, considerable discussion has erupted in the West about the role and development potential of Russian civil society. In the eyes of many of those observing developments in this area it seems obvious that there is a need for the provision of support to initiatives and organizations close to the opposition movement. Other possible strategies do present themselves when one asks representatives of organizations that are directly engaged in charitable work or helping in other ways to ease social problems.

These strategies are presented by CSI researchers Konstantin Kehl, Benjamin Kummer and Volker Then in the new book "Civic Education and Democratisation in the Eastern Partnership Countries". Read their contribution (full-text) here.

EUFORI study on European Research Foundations online

With the participation of the CSI the results of the international EUFORI study have been published in July 2015. The project mapped out a comprehensive overview on the landscape of research-funding foundations in Europe, which were compiled in several country reports.
The aim of the study was, to quantify and asses the foundations’ financial support and policies for research and innovation in Europe. Furthermore, country specific strategies and practices were identified in order to better understand their impact on European trends in research and innovation as well as their potential for future developments in this sector.
The data collection on the characteristics and activities of research-funding foundations in each EU Member States provides a unique basis for comparative analysis and insights.

You can download the country reports of the study on the EUFORI Website under the following link: http://euforistudy.eu/

CSI and Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy launch the System Innovation Lab

System Innovation LabEuropeans energy future requires us to master a substantial transformation towards sustainability. Europeans across all sectors - public policy, corporate, civil society and individual citizens - need to work together towards a sustainable energy system in order to secure prosperous living conditions for themselves and future generations.

The System Innovation Lab offers an extraordinary opportunity for participants to exchange, co-create and reflect in an international setting. It combines scientific expertise, practical insights and innovative methods with Leadership and Advocacy Coaching. The Lab addresses 25 Young and Mid-career Professionals who work in staff positions across Europe preparing energy-related decision-making in politics, economy and civil society. The application for 2016 is now open. You can now learn more about details: www.sysinnolab.org

Volker Then at Impact Hub Moscow

Summer SchoolThe Executive Director of CSI, Volker Then, spoke in the series of Impact Talks of the Impact Hub Moscow on “Social Impact Measurement”. His introductory remarks sparked off a lively and methodologically thorough debate among the some 40 participants of the event. The evening was attended by start-up social entrepreneurs as well as representatives of Russian foundations, corporate CSR programmes as well as academic colleagues from Moscow research institutions. The good news is: The Russian social entrepreneurship scene is growing and the discussion took place where the music plays: historically, the premises of the Hub in an old factory housed a printer who printed all the music of Tschaikowsky!

Summer School – Social Entrepreneurship in the North Caucasus

Summer School In mid-July 2015 the Summer School “Social Entrepreneurship in the North Caucasus” was held as a joint initiative of the North-Caucasus Federal University (NCFU), the Centre for Social Investment (CSI), MitOst association, BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt and Stavropol Volunteer’s Movement. The summer school was supported by the Russian foundation “Our Future”. A central concern of “Our Future’s” work is the promotion of the concept Social Entrepreneurship within Russia.

The summer school convened teachers and students of NCFU as well as social entrepreneurs from the North Caucasus Region. The programme addressed issues from a research overview in Europe by Volker Then, Executive Director of CSI, to best practices in supporting social entrepreneurship from the foundation “Our Future”, included a workshop on pro bono resources and their use by social initiatives, and ended with a workshop on impact measurement by Ruediger Knust, advisory service team of CSI.

A longer article can also be found on the homepage of the NCFU.

Now available – Two Special Issues on “Hybridity” guest-edited by CSI

Professor Helmut K. Anheier and Gorgi Krlev have acted as responsible guest-editors for special issues on the theme of organisational “hybridity” in two leading international journals. The special issue in American Behavioral Scientist deals with the macro level of Welfare Regimes, Policy Reforms and Hybridity, whereas the special issue in International Studies of Management and Organization turns to the micro perspective of the Governance and Management of Hybrid Organizations. All contributions, along with Wolfgang Seibel’s and Johanna Mair et al.’s articles on hybridity in Organization Studies have emerged from the international research symposium on Governance and Leadership in Hybrid Organizations convened by CSI in December 2011 and financially supported by VolkswagenStiftung.

Strategic Philanthropy in Transatlantic Perspective

ORGANIZATIONS, FORMERLY KNOWN AS FOUNDATIONS An international workshop on strategic philanthropy at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS), Stanford, to which PACS and CSI jointly invited, is covered by the article "ORGANIZATIONS, FORMERLY KNOWN AS FOUNDATIONS" written by Bernhard Lorentz (Senior Fellow, PACS) and Wilhelm Krull (VolkswagenStiftung) in the German-language magazine Stiftung & Sponsoring.


Role of the Academic Director

The Academic Director of CSI, Prof. Helmut K. Anheier, will change his role in the current negotiations which involve steps of re-organization for the sustainability of the Center. He therefore serves as interim and will again play an academic leadership role at CSI after the revised statute of CSI will have been approved by the governing bodies of Heidelberg University.

EXPERT Trainings in spring 2015

You are looking for subject-specific competencies that are essential for managers and executives in today’s civil society? You strive to strengthen and develop your organization by in-depth knowledge of impact measurement? You would like to gain the latest insights about foundation strategies that are instantly applicable?

You will find the answers to these and more questions in our Executive Training EXPERT programs.
To measure the impact Social Investment & Impact is based on the concept of Social Return on Investment; an instrument that has been further developed by experienced CSI experts (date: April 23rd-25th). In Foundation Strategies for Impact we impart crucial basics for well- founded strategic decisions in the context of foundations (date: May 07th-09th).

  • For further information about the Executive Training EXPERT Programs please visit EXPERT Training | agenda.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact Tine Hassert in case of any queries.

2nd European Award for Social Entrepreneurship and Disability: Promoting Social Investment

European Award for Social Entrepreneurship and DisabilityFundación ONCE, in the framework of the European Network of Corporate Social Responsibility and Disability, cofinanced by the European Social Fund, is launching the second edition of the European Award for Social Entrepreneurship and Disability: Promoting Social Investment. This pioneering initiative in Europe aims to highlight projects of social entrepreneurship that target the field of disability.

The award proposes two possible profiles of participation:

  1. Social Entrepreneurs with projects in the field of disability.
  2. Entrepreneurs with disability who present an innovative project.

More information and conditions of entry

Final report from the National Advisory Board

European Award for Social Entrepreneurship and DisabilityThe German National Advisory Board , the task force on Social Impact Investment set up by the G8 states under British chairmanship to examine Impact-Oriented Investing, New Financial Sources for solving social challenges, has recently published its final report. CSI's managing director Dr. Volker Then has been a member of the National Advisory Board. The report looks into the status of these investments in Germany, investigates their future potential and puts the general set-up of private sponsorship development to solve social problems to the test. Please, do read this report. And also learn about the international perspective of the G8 Task Force.

Summer School: Social Investment & Social Innovation in the Northern Caucasus

Summer SchoolThe summer school has been a joint initiative between the North Caucasus Federal University in Stavropol, the CSI, MitOst association and the Stavropol Volunteer’s Movement. It has been supported by the BMW foundation Herbert Quandt and took place between 15th and 19th of July. Its objective was to strengthen the concepts of social investment and social innovation in the Northern Caucasus. The summer school addressed regional participants from the business sector, the public administration, the third sector and science and supported their collective efforts to work together to improve society. show

CSI - a leading provider of education programs for Nonprofits soon?

provider of education programs for NPs The Centre for Social Investment aims to become a leading provider of further education programs for executives in the Nonprofit Sector.
Many years of experience in numerous international research projects and findings from many personal discussions show the special demands in the area of social investment – especially at managerial level. To meet these requirements, CSI Heidelberg offers challenging educational programs in the field.

Adalbert Evers is going to be Senior Fellow

Adalbert EversThe CSI is very glad to start a cooperation with Prof. Dr. Adalbert Evers as Senior Fellow. Adalbert Evers is going to work also in the teaching division as well as in the research department. He will thereby strengthen CSI's competencies in questions around the research of civil society, social innovation and committment. As an internationally renowned colleague who is also experienced in European comparative research perspectives, Evers is going to make the European orientation of CSI even more visible.

Fostering cooperation, strengthening networks

Executive Training Since 2008, CSI Heidelberg offers demanding educational programs in the field of social investment. In these we impart those competencies that characterize managers and executives in today’s society. For the EXPERT-Trainings in fall/winter 2014, CSI found strong partners who provide fresh perspectives on well-known subjects. Together with our cooperating partners we dig deeper into the practice of the particular special topics – like impact measurement, social entrepreneurship, campaigning or social innovation.

New release: Philanthropy and Education. Strategies for Impact

Innoserv The book presents the results of the international research project 'Strategies for Impact in Education'. It addresses the question of how philanthropic actors can make a more effective, beneficial and responsible contribution to the field of public education. It develops an innovative model of effective education philanthropy and uncovers strategies to successfully tackle problems in this complex domain. The publication has been edited by Ekkehard Thümler, Nicole Bögelein, Annelie Beller and Helmut K. Anheier.

CSI provides expertise for science and civil society in North Caucasus

InnoservThe CSI contributed with an introduction to Impact Measurement to a conference in Stavropol, Russia. The aim of the conference had been to connect actors from civil society and science within the region. Participants had been representatives of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the vice rector of the North-Caucasus Federal University, members of Stavropol Volunteers Movement and the Robert Bosch Foundation.

Picture: Representatives of MitOst e.V., the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the CSI discuss options for cooperation with the vice rector of the University of Stavropol.

'Social Return on Investment' (SROI) is the tool for social impact measurement that has received most attention in recent years internationally.

SROICSI has undertaken a comprehensive effort to analyze and showcase what is happening in this emergent and dynamic field. A Meta-Analysis has been performed which systematically assesses SROI studies conducted and published between 2000 and early 2012.

The SROI Meta-Analysis focuses on three primary areas:

(1) Initiators, analysts & analyzed organizations
(2) Fields of application, target groups & indicators applied
(3) Quality assessment

Innoserv - Your Opinion is wanted!

Innoserv The goal of the project Innoserv is to ascertain the future challenges in providing social services and identify what innovations already do exist. A film crew travelled across Europe and produced, in conjunction with the Innoserv team, short videos which are now available online. You have the opportunity to watch the videos and can express your opinion on the presented solutions via a short questionnaire.

Social Innovation in Europe

Master At the conference “Social Innovation – Priority for a European Agenda“ in the European Parliament politicians, scientists and practitioners discussed about social innovation. The conference dealt with the support of social innovations by the EU during the next period (2014-2020), innovation management and examples of innovations from different European countries. Volker Then argued in his input that social enterprises are important drivers for social innovations. Acting as hybrid organisations they use resources from different sectors such as volunteer input, political support and social capital. However, to scale innovations especially new social enterprises need the support of large non-profit organisations and public policies.
Heinz K. Becker, MEP, hosted the conference.

New Executive Training Programs

Starting this spring, CSI Heidelberg offers new Executive Training programs.
The new format begins with two programs, which will take place twice a year. The international training "Social Investment and Impact" will be the first program we provide. The second training will be the "Kompetenzschmiede für Sozialunternehmer", targeting social entrepreneurs in different phases of their project, and held in German language. Both training programs will take place in Heidelberg with a duration of three days each.

The targeted audience for "Social Investment and Impact" training are also executives in the field of social impact assessment as well as decision makers planning on strengthening the implementation of the topic in their organization. The participants will find themselves in a moderated environment to discuss and develop their projects with experts and colleagues.

CSI secures long-term funding from ABN AMRO Private Banking

ABN AMRO Private Banking, the international wealth management division of ABN AMRO Bank, has announced it will fund research activities at Heidelberg University’s Centre for Social Investment (CSI). The CSI secured the bank’s funding against competition from other European academic research centres. This followed ABN AMRO Private Banking’s search for a long-term partnership with a university institute which focuses on research, teaching and advisory services in the field of nonprofit institutions. The partnership allows ABN AMRO Private Banking to extend and strengthen its commitment to the nonprofit sector across Europe and beyond, while enabling the CSI to advance its research on strategy and social value creation of European civil society institutions.
Representatives of the Dutch bank and the CSI team met in Heidelberg for a kick-off meeting in September. In addition to the funding agreement, the parties have agreed on advisory and communication services concerning current trends in the sector and the transfer of knowhow from research to practice. The services will be provided both to clients and staff of the bank in workshops and other communication formats.

Social Entrepreneurship – Chances for Social Innovation in Germany

Representatives of the seven involved universities and Stiftung Mercator presented the results of the biennial study by the Mercator Research Association “Innovative Social Acting. Social Entrepreneurship” at a parliamentary evening. It took place on 13th September in the Mercator Centre Berlin.

  • For more information on this event, please click here.
  • You may download the policy paper here (in German).

SKF publishes CSI Impact and Strategy Report

Master The Norwegian foundation ‘Sorlandets Kompetansefond’ (SKF) has published the CSI report ‘Creating Impact in Southern Norway. A Social Return on Investment Report’. Starting with a portfolio analysis of all past SKF projects, the CSI has developed a strategy model for the foundation, realised three exemplary impact studies (following the Social Return on Investment approach, SROI), and developed strategic recommendations for the future.

For more CSI events see 'colloqium'

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