The Evaluation Center hosted Mario Morino and Margot Rogers on September 7 and 8 for discussions about the Performance Imperative: A Framework for Social Sector Excellence and their commitment to fostering high-performing nonprofit organizations. They engaged with MSW and MPH students during a luncheon and informal Q and A session.
Morino told students that during his career in philanthropy he observed, “We don’t manage to outcomes, thus greatly diminishing our collective impact.” This inspired him and his colleagues to write a book—Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity.
He emphasized that the book was released at exactly the right moment during the early 2000s. Nonprofits were faced with greatly reduced funding and, at the same time, an increased demand for services. They needed to re-invent themselves. Nonprofits realized that society wasn’t able to justify using resources without assurance that organizations were on-track to produce results.
Morino and Rogers advocated for identifying and measuring outcomes to improve the performance of nonprofit organizations. “It’s no longer good enough to make the case that we’re addressing real needs,” Morino told students. “We need to prove that we’re making a real difference.”
On the second day of their visit, Morino and Rogers met with Brown School leadership and provided guidance on using the Performance Imperative Framework.
Morino is a nationally-recognized entrepreneur, funder, technologist, and business leader. He is the author of Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity and the founder of the Performance Imperative. Rogers is a Senior Advisor in Education Practice at the Parthenon Group and a Leap of Reason Ambassador.
Nancy Mueller, Evaluation Center Director, is one of two St. Louis area Leap of Reason Ambassadors along with Julie Russell from United Way of Greater St. Louis.