Weekend Briefing No. 4

WEEKEND BRIEFING is a selection of insightful articles on social innovation . If you are interested in getting this delivered right to your inbox every weekend sign up for free here.

Solar power is now less expensive than the average cost of electricity in the U.S. The average cost of solar has fallen from 21 cents/ kWh in 2010 to only 11 cents by the end of 2013. That’s now less than the average price of electricity in the U.S., which is about 12 cents per kWh. Find out why here

Purpose can drive profit. According to a recent research paper when shareholder resolutions improving social or environmental performance are passed there is an immediate .92% increase of stock price and improvements in operating performance (e.g., return on assets, net profit margin) as well as labor productivity and sales growth. There seems to be empirical evidence that social and environmental responsibility improves employee satisfaction and boost productivity while helping companies cater to customers that are responsive to sustainable practices.

The number of U.S. nonprofits grew 7 percent to 1.58 million, an average of nearly 40 nonprofits per US zip code between 2007 and 2011. While the economic crisis forced mergers in the private sector, mergers in the nonprofit sector continue to lag. Find out why here.

Measure what matters, and for that matter, report it as well. Puma and Novo Nordisk the Danish pharmaceutical company are the first two major corporations to release an Environmental P&L statement. Bold moves by big players.

When being good is bad. Organizations that have the most impact tend to be the worst at raising money—and vice versa, according to a recent study. Dig into this and other stats about fundraising here.

David Foster Wallace on leadership. “A real leader is somebody who, because of his own particular power and charisma and example, is able to inspire people, with “inspire” being used here in a serious and non-cliché way. A real leader can somehow get us to do certain things that deep down we think are good and want to be able to do but usually can’t get ourselves to do on our own.” Read more and check out some cool art work inspired by the quote here.

Enjoy the weekend.