Mario Morino is chairman of the Morino Institute and co-founder of Venture Philanthropy Partners. His career spans more than 50 years as entrepreneur, technologist, and civic and business leader. He also has a long history of civic engagement and philanthropy in the National Capital Region and Northeast Ohio. He is the primary author of the book Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity (2011), which is informing efforts in more than 60 countries to increase the impact of nonprofits, foundations, and public-sector entities and public-sector entities, and is a member of the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community that advances the theme that “performance matters.”
In the early 1970s, Mario co-founded and helped build the Legent Corporation, a software and services firm that became a market leader and one of the industry’s 10 largest firms by the early 1990s. He retired from the private sector in 1992. Since then, he has sought to “level the playing field” for children of low-income families, focusing almost exclusively on economic, social, and educational issues.
Mario has benefited from a 34-year relationship with General Atlantic LLC, one of the leading global growth equity firms providing capital for companies in markets with high growth potential, typically driven by globalization, industry consolidation, technology, demographics, liberalized markets, and other transformative factors. After serving as a Special Advisor and a member of its Executive Advisory Board, he continues as an investor in the firm.
In his philanthropic work, Mario founded the Morino Institute in 1994 to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, advance a more effective philanthropy, close social divides, and understand the relationship and impact of the Internet on our society. In the 1990s, his efforts focused on the application of the Internet in communities and, in particular, opening up new technology-enabled learning opportunities and centers for children and youth of low-income families. Concurrently, he played a leadership role helping the National Capital Region understand and advance its position as a world center in information technology and telecommunications.
In 2000, Mario co-founded Venture Philanthropy Partners as a philanthropic investment organization that concentrates investments of money, expertise, and contacts to improve the lives and boost the opportunities of children of low-income families in the National Capital Region. He has been one of the leaders in adapting the relevant principles of venture and growth equity investment firms and applying them for investing in the nonprofit sector to build stronger, high-impact, lasting nonprofit institutions. He also helped bring together and continues to advance a growing community of high net worth families in and around the nation’s capital.
In 2013, he joined with others to bring together leaders to create The Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community, which is a private community of nonprofit thought leaders, leader practitioners, progressive funders, policy makers and instigators aiming to trigger a mindshift within a vital core of the social sector to accept that mission and performance are inextricably linked.
In addition to his role with the Morino Institute, he is the founding chair and serves as a member of the board of directors of Venture Philanthropy Partners, member of the board of directors of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and the advisory board of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Institute, an honorary trustee of The Brookings Institution, an Emeritus Trustee of Case Western Reserve University, and on the board of the Lawrence School. Mario informally advises scores of organizations and individuals across a range of areas.
An active public speaker and writer, Mario has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He received a B.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University and lives in greater Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife, Dana. They are parents of three young adults.