Welcome to One Acre Fund Insights, a living library of white papers and reference resources on important topics in agriculture innovation, social enterprise, farm finance, agriculture policy, and impact measurement. This is a work in progress: content will be added on a rolling basis.

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Social Enterprise

Measuring to Improve vs. Improving Measurement

Originally published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, this article explores — and challenges — how social sector organizations have traditionally approached the paradigm of impact measurement. By Matthew Forti. 

What’s Your Exit, er, Commitment Strategy

Originally published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, this article delves into the conditions under which nonprofits will find commitment strategies—rather than exit strategies—may be the right answer for their direct service programs. By Matthew Forti. 

Measuring Social Return on Investment Before You Invest

Originally published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, this article explores how using a social return on investment framework can allow nonprofits to better estimate the future impact, cost, and scale of programs before they begin. By Matthew Forti and Jake Goldberg. 

Smallholder Farmers & Business: 15 Collaborations For Improved Productivity And Sustainability

Published in 2015 by Hystra Hybrid Strategies Consulting with support from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Danone Ecosystem Fund, responsAbility Investments AGand C&A Foundation, this report shows how pioneer companies and organizations have sustainably increased the income and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers around the world. By comparing the performance of 15 successful organizations worldwide, the study offers useful insights for how to create more wealth along the value chain, ensure cost-efficient operations, and sustainably share value with farmers.

Growing Prosperity: Developing Repeatable Models to Scale the Adoption of Agricultural Innovations

This excerpt of the 2014 report by Bain & Company and Acumen features a case study of One Acre Fund's model and outlines what is needed to spur the large-scale adoption of agricultural innovations among smallholder farmers.

Social Good = Scale x Impact (Who Knew?)

Originally published by the Stanford Social Innovation Review, this article explores why nonprofits and academics should focus on scale and impact when developing and evaluating direct service interventions. By Andrew Youn and Matt Forti.

Ending Hunger in Africa

Originally published in The Art and Science of Delivery, a report produced by McKinsey and Company in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Skoll World Forum, this article explains how solving the challenge of distribution bottlenecks is key to successfully disseminating life-changing interventions to smallholder farmers. By Andrew Youn.

To Serve the Poorest Clients, Earned Income Isn’t Enough

Originally published by the Harvard Business Review Blog, this articles discusses the tensions between pursuing high social impact while attempting to focus on a bottom line. This tension is exacerbated when impact investors push mission-driven organizations to focus too much on financial return. Impact investors should recognize that a mix of earned income and donations is the optimal capital structure for organizations serving the poorest individuals. By Matt Forti and Stephanie Hanson.

Driving Financial Sustainability

As a direct service organization, One Acre Fund sees the pursuit of financial sustainability as integral to achieving its mission of transformative social impact. This white paper explains our approach to pursuing financial sustainability.

Scale Innovations

Our scale innovations team is like an R&D lab for operational improvements to the way One Acre Fund reaches farmers. This white paper discusses the team's unique approach and reviews several scale innovations trials.

Professional Development of Field Staff

Field staff are crucial to One Acre Fund's future growth, and are the focus of extensive professional development efforts. This white paper delves into One Acre Fund's field staff development philosophy and strategy.