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Are You Ready?


quote1 Make it a matter of pride to take this leap. ... do it for yourself. It doesn't cost money to be good at what you do. quote1

Do you have the courage to take the leap to high performance? If so, here are some resources that can serve as a springboard for thought, conversation, and planning.


Read Leap of Reason. Share copies with your board, staff, and other stakeholders.

Jumpstart a board or staff discussion with short videos. The “Relentless” five-minute highlight video is a call to action in support of courageous nonprofit leadership. The Booknotes video, produced in conjunction with McKinsey & Company, provides a concise overview of what “managing to outcomes” looks like. If you’re a donor, visit GiveSmart to view hundreds of videos featuring philanthropists who are working to achieve meaningful, measurable results.

Use Working Hard—and Working Well by David E.K. Hunter as a road map for your journey to high performance.

Determine where you (and your organization) are in your journey to high performance. Some resources that might help you with this introspection include:

  • Ideas for Action—a framework and guiding questions from Leap of Reason. Leaders have used this discussion guide as a way to take a hard look in the mirror and ensure they aren't unintentionally shortchanging those they serve.
  • OCAT (Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool)—The original tool, which McKinsey & Company developed and launched with Venture Philanthropy Partners ten years ago, has been used by thousands of organizations to assess and improve their performance. It’s been accessed online approximately 3,000 times monthly and translated into 11 languages.
  • OCAT 2.0—You can sign up to use the revised online tool for free in preparation for your next board meeting or strategic planning retreat. You’ll get a set of automated, confidential reports that will highlight your organization’s view of its own capacity and help tee up great conversations about areas of strength and weakness.
  • Impact Rising—You can find a number of additional resources for assessing performance from this new site, supported by three highly respected Bay Area funders.