Posts Tagged ‘Mario Morino’

Request free copies of “Leap of Reason” for your board and funders

Rarely do I have the opportunity to tell my readers they can request free print copies of books we feature. This is one of those opportunities. I asked Leap of Reason author, Mario Morino, about his advice for making the case for overhead support in our CausePlanet interview. His answer will give you glimpse of what the rest of the book delivers.

CausePlanet: What advice do you have for nonprofit leaders who want to make a case for overhead support so they can engage in more meaningful information gathering to drive relevant outcomes?

Mario Morino: Great question. I don’t want to sound self-serving, but I would encourage them to write to us at info@leapofreason.org for free print copies of Leap of Reason they can distribute to their boards and key funders. Here are some relevant passages from the book they might want to bookmark and highlight for their key stakeholders:

Page 2: “The cold reality is that in our present era of unsustainable debts and deficits, our nation simply will not be able to justify huge subsidies for social-sector activities and entities without more assurance that they’re on track to realize results. Public funders—and eventually private funders as well—will migrate away from organizations with stirring stories alone, toward well-managed organizations that can also demonstrate meaningful, lasting impact.”

Page 41: “The magnitude of the combined hit—greatly reduced funding and increased need—will require organizations to literally reinvent themselves. Incremental responses will be insufficient. I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Carol Twigg, President and CEO of the National Center for Academic Transformation, who concludes, ‘We will have to produce significantly better outcomes at a declining per-unit cost of producing these outcomes, while demand for our services will be increasing.’”

Page 42: “We need to be much clearer about our aspirations, more intentional in defining our approaches, more rigorous in gauging our progress, more willing to admit mistakes, more capable of quickly adapting and improving—all with an unrelenting focus and passion for improving lives. It’s no longer good enough to make the case that we’re addressing real needs. We need to prove that we’re making a real difference.

Email info@leapofreason.org for your free copies of Leap of Reason or learn more by visiting our summary library.

See also:

Level Best

Nonprofit Sustainability

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Look at “what and why” instead of “how”

Leap of Reason is a bold and wise look at a persistent problem in the nonprofit sector by one of our leading philanthropists. Managing to outcomes requires nonprofit leaders to take a candid look at what and why they measure instead of how. No one is left out of the equation in Morino’s analysis. Whether you represent government, business, or nonprofit, you’ll find Morino’s insights deeply provocative. While it’s impossible to predict how dismantled our economy will be in the coming years, we can ensure nonprofits are more durable than ever by making our outcomes indispensible through purposeful and enlightening measurement.

In our CausePlanet interview, I asked Mario Morino about the set of conditions organizations must possess before they can successfully manage to outcomes. Here’s what he had to say:

CausePlanet: You explain the real challenge in managing to outcomes is that organizations need a set of prerequisites: an engaged board, leadership with conviction, clarity of purpose and a supportive performance culture. These conditions appear to be best tackled at the top. Have you seen boards and CEOs successfully self-diagnose their level of engagement or conviction?

Mario Morino: I agree with your premise. The top of the organization must value high performance and lead the way on the changes required to get there. That’s not to say you can’t get an initial spark from elsewhere in the organization. I’ve seen that happen a number of times. But if the top leadership doesn’t help to kindle that spark, leading by its own example, then the fire for performance will die out quickly.

And yes, I have seen boards and CEOs self-diagnose their challenges and make the leap of reason! I’ve seen it up close quite a few times. For example, I saw this at the Lawrence School in Northeast Ohio, where I serve on the board and as an advisor, and some know me as “the parent from hell.” Lou Salza, a brilliant, passionate new headmaster and a highly committed board chair, Susan Karas, led a fundamental rethink and reinvention. I describe Lou’s role in Lawrence’s transformation in my recent speech, “Relentless: Investing in Leaders Who Stop at Nothing in Pursuit of Greater Social Impact” What I should have also pointed out was the important role Susan played and what happens when you have this kind of passionate, focused leadership leading the charge.

I’ve also seen rethinking and reinvention in organizations that did not have an infusion of new leadership, such as:

Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers
Friendship Public Charter School
Maya Angelou Public Charter School
Roca
Saint Luke’s Foundation
Share Our Strength
Year Up
Youth Villages
The SEED School and others.

Watch for more highlights of our interview with author and philanthropist, Mario Morino, next week.

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