Purpose - This chapter acknowledges the difficulties in the empirical study of social ventures-broadly defined as market-driven ventures that produce social change-that arise from the vast differences among social venture firms in terms of missions, goals, identities, strategies, and structures. In an effort to improve research in this area and advance the field of social entrepreneurship, the authors advocate approaching social ventures from a configurational perspective. Design/methodology-This chapter begins with a discussion of what social ventures are and why organizational configurations-sets of firms that are similar across key characteristics-may be an appropriate perspective to utilize. Then, two methods-cluster analysis and set-theoretic analysis-are discussed in detail as ways to approach the study of social venture configurations. Details include descriptions of the techniques, instructions for use, examples, and limitations for each. Implications-This chapter identifies research opportunities using configurations approaches in social venture research. Substantial possibilities for multilevel and temporally based research are discussed in depth. Originality/value-A configurational approach can address the incongruence and non-findings in current social venture research and offers new opportunities for future research.