Developed in 2010 by a group of universities led by Stanford University's Haas Center for Public Service, the six Pathways of Social Impact describe a range of possibilities by which we can make a  contribution to the common good. The pathways intersect and overlap, demonstrating the interdependent nature inherent in working toward the common good. No one path is superior to another and people move in and out of these pathways over time. 

Direct Service


Working to address the immediate needs of individuals or a community, often involving contact with the people or places being served.





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Community Engaged Learning & Research


Connecting coursework and academic research to community identified concerns to enrich knowledge and inform action on social issues.





Social Entrepreneurship & Corporate Social Responsibility


Using ethical private sector approaches to create or expand market-oriented responses to social problems.





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Policy & Governance


Participating in political processes, policymaking, and public governance.





Community Organizing & Activism


Involving, educating, and mobilizing individual or collective action to influence or persuade others.





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Donating or using private funds or charitable contributions from individuals or institutions to contribute to the public good.