Leslie Crutchfield

Author and Executive Director, Georgetown University Global Social Enterprise Initiative at the McDonough School of Business

Internationally-renowned expert on philanthropy and nonprofits.

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Leslie Crutchfield is an author, social entrepreneur, and leading authority on scaling social impact, social innovation and entrepreneurship, nonprofit leadership, and high-impact philanthropy. She is Executive Director of Georgetown University’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at the McDonough School of Business. GSEI delivers world-class education, research and actionable solutions to cross-sector organizations seeking to create lasting social, economic and environmental impact. Leslie previously served as a Senior Research Fellow at GSEI while writing a new book about modern social movements, How Changes Happen: Why Some Social Movements Succeed While Others Don’t (forthcoming Wiley 2018).

Her award-winning book (co-author Heather McLeod Grant), Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits, was recognized by The Economist on its Best Books of Year list as “a serious piece of research.” She is also a senior advisor at FSG, the global social impact consulting firm.

Leslie’s current book is Do More Than Give: The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World. Coauthored with John V. Kania and Mark R. Kramer, this book demonstrates how donors can go beyond check writing to become proactive catalysts for change by rising to meet the challenges of our increasingly interdependent world.

In presentations based on Forces for Good, Do More Than Give, and FSG’s decade of experience advising corporations, foundations, nonprofits and governments, Leslie Crutchfield offers practical guidance on how to improve the effectiveness of your nonprofit or evaluate the nonprofits you are interested in funding. Leslie also conducts workshops and facilitates private training sessions for groups of nonprofit leaders, philanthropists and social sector thought leaders.

Leslie is a seasoned philanthropy advisor and nonprofit leader who has launched, led, funded, and advised top nonprofit and philanthropic groups. She was managing director and director at Ashoka, the global venture organization for social entrepreneurs, where she led the USA and Canada Venture and Global Academy programs. In the 1990s, she co-founded a national magazine for social entrepreneurs and leaders of growing nonprofits (circulation 50,000). She currently serves on the board of the SEED Foundation and Kiva. She volunteered with Crossroads Africa in the Gambia.

Both Newsweek and Self magazines have featured her as one of America's top leaders under 40. Leslie frequently lectures at domestic and international events; conducts workshops and trainings for cross-sector leaders; and teaches a Lynda.com course on nonprofit leadership. She is an active media contributor whose work has been published in Fortune, Forbes, Harvard Business Review.org, Fast Company, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Stanford Social Innovation Review, and she has appeared on programs such as ABC News, NPR and PBS.


  • Executive Director, Georgetown University’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI), McDonough School of Business
  • Senior Advisor, FSG Social Impact Consultants
  • Author, How Changes Happen
  • Co-author, Do More Than Give and Forces for Good
  • Former Managing director and director, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
  • Philanthropic advisor, leading foundations and high net worth individuals
  • Board member, SEED Foundation, KIVA, Little Kids Rock
  • Recent advisor, Duke University's Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship
  • BA in Government; MBA, Harvard University
  • Volunteer, Crossroads Africa


Do More Than Give

The Six Practices of Donors Who Change the World

Leslie R. Crutchfield, John V. Kania and Mark R. Kramer

How donors change the world through the six catalytic practices of high-impact philanthropy.

Do More Than Give provides a blueprint for individuals, philanthropists, and foundation leaders to increase their impact. Based on Forces for Good, this groundbreaking book demonstrates how the six practices of high-impact nonprofits apply to donors aiming to advance social causes. Rather than focus on the mechanics of effective grantmaking, reporting, or evaluation, this book instead proposes that donors can become proactive catalysts for change by rising to meet the challenges of our increasingly interdependent world. Key principles include: going beyond check writing/traditional volunteering; advocating for change; leveraging business; forging peer networks; empowering individuals; leading adaptively; and developing learning organizations.

Contains robust case studies depicting every type of philanthropy (corporate, community, operating, specialized, and large private and family foundations)

Includes easy to use "Key Takeaways" tailored for donors at the "beginner" and "experienced" levels of catalytic philanthropy

Authors are internationally-acclaimed philanthropic, nonprofit, and corporate social responsibility strategy experts who frequently speak and train on high-impact philanthropy

In good economic times or bad, this book provides guidance for givers to increase the impact of their charitable resources and go beyond check-writing to help solve problems and change the world.

Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 12, 2011)

Forces for Good

The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits

Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant

An innovative guide to how great nonprofits achieve extraordinary social impact. What makes great nonprofits great? Authors Crutchfield and McLeod Grant searched for the answer over several years, employing a rigorous research methodology which derived from books on for-profits like Built to Last. They studied 12 nonprofits that have achieved extraordinary levels of impact — from Habitat for Humanity to the Heritage Foundation — and distilled six counterintuitive practices that these organizations use to change the world. This book has lessons for all readers interested in creating significant social change, including nonprofit managers, donors and volunteers.

Jossey-Bass (October 19, 2007)


Leslie tailors each presentation to the needs of her audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest her range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Forces for Good

Practical help building stronger nonprofits for higher impact and greater social change.

What makes great nonprofits great? Not large budgets, snazzy marketing, or excellent management. The answer upends conventional wisdom: shift the focus from building an organization to building a movement. Be entrepreneurial, adaptive and externally oriented. Spend as much time working with institutions outside the boundaries of your organization as you do managing internal operations. Try to fix problems and reform whole systems.

Based on four years of research, surveys of 2,800 charity leaders and in-depth interviews of 60 leaders and experts, Forces for Good offers practical guidance on how nonprofits can become much stronger forces for social change, for both nonprofit leaders and funders looking at potential grantees.

The Take-aways:

  • For charity leaders:   improve your results
  • For association leaders:   compete differently
  • For philanthropists:  give more strategically
  • For corporate leaders:   partner better, do well by doing good
  • For everyone: work together to make a better world


A nonprofit foundation:
Dear Leslie — It was really wonderful meeting you. The events were a great success and really have provoked and moved people in ways that we will see for a long time to come. [We] are now reflecting on next steps and follow-up, it will be both challenging and exciting to do this. All of the thought and effort that you put into preparing on your own and with us have paid off. As I said to you before, and several people also commented on this, you are an excellent speaker, with a natural ability to engage others and to deliver a clear, inspiring and thought-provoking story.


— Charleston Gazette-Mail
— Forbes