Interstitial Organizations as Conversational Bridges

Organizational life today is beset by demands for accountability: from health care and banking to humanitarian aid and higher education, there is a clamor to demonstrate and document effectiveness. This progressive rationalization has seen scientific practices of evaluation and managerial concepts of efficiency move into voluntary and charitable domains. The hesitant embrace of performance metrics in the U.S. nonprofit sector is an example of this recombination of practices.

Our maps reflect the presence of civic ideals, managerial concepts, and scientific assessments among 369 organizations actively involved in efforts at measuring social impact.

Organizations in the interstice are the center of the debate over social impact, recombining concepts and building new frameworks. These maps show that organizations at this interface are the engine driving the merging of the formerly separate domains of science, management and civil society. With a reach extending into far corners of different worlds, interstitial organizations enroll participants in a debate on nonprofit performance that while presently heterodox is also compulsory.