Case Studies

This listing contains abstracts and ordering information for case studies written and published by faculty at Stanford GSB.

Publicly available cases in this collection are distributed by Harvard Business Publishing and The Case Centre.

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Maureen McNichols, William Meehan III, Jaclyn Foroughi

Daniel Lurie headed down Highway 101 in June 2009 to investigate a potential grantee in East Palo Alto, California. As he drove, he reflected on the progress that the nonprofit organization he founded, Tipping Point...

William Meehan III, Georgia Koehane

Since its founding in 1980, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public had supported the work of over 3,000 of the world’s most visionary social entrepreneurs; men and women who, in Ashoka founder Bill Drayton’s words, are...

Lyn Denend, William Meehan III

Jane Chen (GSB 08) and Brian Trelstad (GSB 99) had known one another for years. Trelstad, the chief investment officer of the nonprofit global venture fund Acumen Fund, had been a mentor to Chen and...

Sara Leslie, William Meehan III

This case describes a situation faced by the president of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), Tom Kiernan. Kiernan must decide how to straddle its two roles as both an advocate for the National Park...

Nathan Blair, Lyn Denend, Stefanos Zenios

“Safety net” providers play an essential role in delivering health care to underserved populations in states such as California. As the prominence of the safety net increases, medtech innovators seeking to make a difference have...

Will Boenig, Lyn Denend, Ruby Majumdar, Daniel Riskin, Stefanos Zenios

In the current healthcare environment, there is a significant need for new medical technologies that promise to expand access to important diagnostics, treatments, and specialty services by reducing costs, without sacrificing quality relative to prevailing...

Leslie Sara Gaviser, William Meehan III

At the end of April, 2008, Louise Waters had been in her new role as CEO of Leadership Public Schools (LPS) for one month. Before presenting the FY 2009 budget to the board of directors...

Nathan Blair, Lyn Denend, Stefanos Zenios

As director of the California HealthCare Foundation’s (CHCF) Innovations for the Underserved program, Margaret Laws’ goal was “to reduce barriers to efficient, affordable healthcare services for the underserved.” The path to achieving this goal took...

Hau Lee, Erica Plambeck, Maria Shao

The Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, founded and led by prominent Chinese environmentalist Ma Jun, was a small non-profit organization with an outsized mission. The Beijing-based group aimed to be a catalyst in “greening”...

Annie Adams, Lyn Denend, Sarah Garrett, Whit Keuer, Garth Saloner

Dr. Kalpana Sankar, CEO of Hand in Hand, was exhausted after an all-day meeting of the organization’s executive team at its headquarters in Kanchipuram, India. As she prepared for a drive to Chennai, she dreaded...

Victoria Chang, Debra Meyerson

Green Dot was a charter management organization (CMO) based in Los Angeles, California (L.A.), a city that housed the second-largest school district in the country. The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) was known for...

David Hoyt, Hayagreeva Rao

In December 2004, Donald Berwick, MD, president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), challenged U.S. hospitals to reduce unnecessary deaths by 100,000 within the following 18 months. By the end of this...

Victoria Chang, William Meehan III

In the Fall of 2007, Jacob Harold, the Philanthropy Program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, California, was on his way to meet with Paul Brest, the Foundation’s president. Harold...

Victoria Chang, Walter Powell

The case study discusses San Jose, California-based nonprofit HOPE Services’ merger with Santa Cruz-based Skills Center. Thanks to the merger with Skills Center, two additional acquisitions, and the development of new business ventures—HOPE had increased...

Dick Allen, Bethany Coates

In May 2008, Mary Jones, CEO of the Richardson County Community Association (RCCA), shut the door to her office in disbelief. She had just been informed by one of her direct reports that Rick Jamison,...

James Phills, Lyn Denend

In mid-2006, faced a daunting set of business challenges. Founded in 1999 as an online “closeout” retailer, the $800 million company had more than 15 million unique visitors a month, 10 million life-to-date customers,...

Kim Jonker, William Meehan III

The Rural Defense Institute (RDI) was established in the early 1970s to alleviate poverty by securing land rights for the world’s rural poor. The organization had achieved impressive results through research, reform design, policy advocacy,...

Kim Jonker, William Meehan III

In 2000, the Rural Development Institute (RDI) decided to enter India. This case describes the modifications that RDI made to its model to address the unique aspects of the situation in India, and the initial...

Victoria Chang, William Meehan III

Case study is a supplement to the A case, to be read in class after students have read the A case and discussed the A case. The B case is an update and discusses what...