We have a term for foundation professionals who previously ran nonprofits: WINS leaders. WINS stands for “Walked In Nonprofit Shoes.” We believe WINS leaders have a big and important role to play in helping peer funders understand how they can better set their grantees up for success. As a case in point, please take a…

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It’s rare that a single piece of writing can profoundly alter your mindset. It happened to us in 2013 when the Harvard surgeon Atul Gawande’s New Yorker article “Slow Ideas,” gave us a novel way of thinking about the unsexy cause we had been struggling to advance for decades: encouraging grantmakers to dispense with conventional…

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Joe Biden is no Jack Kennedy or Ronald Reagan, so we were genuinely surprised that we felt so inspired by his Inaugural Address. At several moments, Biden set aside lofty oratory and stopped trying to emulate the muscular delivery of previous Presidents. In those quieter moments, we felt the true empathy and compassion Biden brings…

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An increasing number of healthcare leaders are intent on getting out ahead of the policy changes and figuring out how they can deliver better care, to more people, at lower cost.

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For several months, we’ve included at the bottom of these updates a too-brief reference to a conference we and our friends at PerformWell have been working hard to develop and launch. We’re now ready to roll out all the details. “After the Leap: Building a Performance Culture” will not be just another “same old, same…

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The Atlantic Monthly‘s annual July/August “Ideas Issue,” which hit newsstands this week, features an article that could help the nascent performance movement go mainstream.

Can Government Play Moneyball?” was written by the high-powered bipartisan duo of Peter Orszag (former budget director under Obama) and John Bridgeland (former director of the Domestic Policy Council under G.W. Bush). It’s a provocative article that is sparking debate—and even some anger—about how little the federal government pays attention to performance and results when it allocates precious taxpayer dollars.

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No, that subject line isn’t a typo. It means “good luck” in Serbian. Why is a guy who often mangles his native tongue trying Serbian? Read on, my friends. Serbia has come a long way in the 14 years since the end of the Kosovo War. Although ethnic tensions still run high, last month Serbia…

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This month, I want to introduce you to Alex Sheen, an inspiring young man who serendipitously popped up on our radar a little over a week ago. A friend reached out hoping the Leap team could offer Alex some advice on the nonprofit he has just formed. Alex, 27, lost his dad last September. “He…

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As I noted in Leap of Reason, data systems are not the decisive factor in whether organizations make the leap to high performance. But when you have a leader who is relentless in pursuing impact and has a sense for how data can support that pursuit, you’ve got a very powerful combination. Exhibit One: Michael…

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If you’re an old coot like me, you’ll undoubtedly remember the great advertising tagline “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” I feel exactly that way about New York Times columnist David Brooks. I don’t always agree with him. He’s a conservative; I’m a progressive. But I’m always impressed with his wisdom. It’s clear that Brooks…

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