What People Are Saying
Read what readers are telling us about the book and the ways they are using it. Also check out book reviews.
"Our journey was transformed by … Leap of Reason… Mr. Morino's words proved inspirational to us--so much so that we adopted many concepts from his book for our reinvention."
--Denise Zeman, "Foundation Uses Tough Times as Opportunity to Refocus," Crain's Cleveland, 12/3/12
"This book pushes us in the nonprofit field not to confuse good intentions with real results. In a book that is remarkably free of jargon, he asks that our discipline be as strong as our convictions and we define where are we going and how we're going to get there—because that's how we change the world. Every nonprofit leader will benefit from reading this book."
—David S. Kass, President, Council For A Strong America
"I expected to be enlightened; I didn’t expect to [find] a book that so reinforced our … work that it became almost required reading for our Ready by 21 team in Atlanta."
--Brad Bryant, ED, Georgia Foundation for Public Education
"Mario is not … commenting on the game from the skybox. He is a coach, teaching core skills to nonprofit managers, for the benefit of the community served. The skills he teaches are skills he has mastered and lived."
--Phil Cubeta, GiftHub blog, 9/21/12
"I can say that without a doubt this book is the most useful, practical, down to the real-deal publication of this kind that I have come across in my decades of not-for-profit work."
– Michael Bailin, former president, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
“This book is the blueprint for leading a high-performing
nonprofit. The chapter on culture is one of the best I’ve read."
– Pat Lawler, CEO of Youth Villages
"If you hadn’t guessed already, I love this book. It says things that really need to be said if charities are to fulfill their promise and help tackle the problems society faces. It says them clearly, and with passion, conviction and insight based on deep experience.”
—Tris Lumley, Head of Development, New Philanthropy Capital, Alliance Magazine, Leap of Reason - Managing to outcomes in an era of scarcity, 9/1/11
“In these times of increasing demands on government and severe budget constraints, Leap of Reason offers a succinct and compelling model for how organizations at all levels of government can be more outcomes-focused and manage effectively and efficiently for greater results. This is a book that makes sense and will make a difference.”
—Max Stier, President and CEO, Partnership for Public Service
Leap of Reason "is the best thing on management I’ve read all summer... It helped me sharpen some of what we’re trying to achieve at my own organization, the Drucker Institute.”
– Rick Wartzman, Executive Director of the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University, Bloomberg Businessweek, Outspoken About Outcomes for Nonprofits, 8/26/11
“This monograph is a must-read for nonprofit leaders. It will help you stay singularly focused on your core mission and help you be effective at making a difference in people’s lives.”
—Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO, Harlem Children’s Zone
"When Mario Morino talks, nonprofit leaders listen…. No more excuses. That's the pointed message Morino threw out to his City Club audience. I'm hoping their enthusiastic applause means they're ready to start walking the walk.”
—Margaret Bernstein, "Nonprofits can transform society but first they must transform themselves,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/27/12
"Passionate and provocative, this work should prove deeply relevant for any leader—government, business, or nonprofit—whose organization provides service to others. Mario’s [insights put] him at the head of a wave of thinking that is beginning to transform the social sector."
—David Gergen, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Senior Political Analyst, CNN
"After Morino’s keynote, a large contingent of nonprofit executives at the Assembly meeting committed themselves to the kind of bold ‘reinvention' that he said is so urgent. The question now is, what are you as a corporate leader going to do to help?”
—Rick Wartzman, “Three Things That Business Leaders Should Do to Help the Nonprofit Sector—Before It’s Too Late,” Forbes.com, 6/19/12
“Little did we know that the book would be both so readable and refreshing in making the case for managing for mission results…. I personally devoured the book.... It’s becoming our ‘Bible.’”
—Judy Vredenburgh, President and CEO, Girls Inc
"Fans rave about the book as if it's a spine-tingling bestseller.”
—Margaret Bernstein, "Mario Morino's book, 'Leap of Reason,' has nonprofits examining how they operate,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1/30/12
“Mario Morino wrote a little book that has had a big impact…. The book is … a bracing call to arms.”
—Yvonne Zipp, The Christian Science Monitor Weekly, 5/14/12
“I’ve not only read the book, I’m using it in my fall class on social entrepreneurship. It’s terrific. Well organized, well argued, entirely accessible to experts, givers, and start-ups.”
—Dr. Paul Light, Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service, New York University
“I thought your talk was one of the most important ones I’ve heard in a long time. I agree that the human services sector is facing unprecedented challenges, but I had based that primarily on the cuts in public funding that are surely coming our way and secondarily on a slow and uncertain economic recovery. The new and unsettling message in your remarks was that technology is so cheap and effective that it is creating a nation that is simultaneously highly productive and harboring a large class of permanently unemployed people. This kind of entrenched income inequality is fundamentally antithetical to everything we prize in our society.”
– Carol Emig, President, Child Trends
“Spending cuts will cause a crisis in the social sector that ‘will have an impact on almost every non-profit [organisation] in America, whether or not it receives government funds,’ writes Mario Morino, a veteran philanthropist, in ‘Leap of Reason’, one of three new books that address the same thorny question of how to not merely give, but to give well…. The books draw examples from the many years the authors have spent promoting better philanthropy, and are all worth reading.”
—The Economist, Giving for Results, 5/12/11
"The beauty of Leap of Reason is its clarity.... The book has hit a home run in the nonprofit community."
—Nonprofit Knowledge Matters newsletter, Help Your Nonprofit Take the Leap (of Reason), National Council of Nonprofits, 2/9/12
"Any list of effective venture philanthropists should include Mario Morino.... [His] short book struck a chord because it wrestles honestly with the need that any responsible giver faces to measure impact and the difficulty of doing that right.”
—Matthew Bishop, US Business Editor and New York Bureau Chief, The Economist, Philanthrocapitalism blog, Books of the Year, 12/28/11
“Mario Morino's book, Leap of Reason, is the clearest articulation of how and why we should be thinking hard about data, information and learning in order to do what we do. I think we're beginning to reinvent the core elements of philanthropy and the nonprofit sector.... Leap of Reason is much more pragmatic than the abstract, long term reinvention that I'm watching occur. ”
—Lucy Bernholz, Managing Director, Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors, Philanthropy 2173 blog, Information—"the single best basis for improvement," 7/26/11
"Morino’s book offers practical advice on one of the most difficult challenges facing donors and nonprofit leaders – measuring success.... Leap of Reason is a concise guide to help donors get and stay focused on the results they seek.”
—Tom Tierney, Chairman and Co-founder, Bridgespan Group, Philanthropy Roundtable website, "Five Books That Should be in Every Donor's Library", 10/11
"[Morino] is among the best I know at imagining what can be, but without that comprising his ability to see things as they are. His new book, LEAP OF REASON, is a powerful summation of much of what he’s learned.”
—Bill Shore, Founder and CEO, Share Our Strength, Bearing Witness blog, “Mario Morino on the fiscal crisis facing nonprofits and the need to rethink and reinvent,” 3/3/12
“The book is a must read for anyone who cares about impact…. Indeed, Leap of Reason should be the first assignment in the foundation-grantees book club.”
—Phil Buchanan, President, Center for Effective Philanthropy, Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Why Foundations Need to Make a Leap of Reason, 7/13/11
“As Mario Morino of Venture Philanthropy Partners argues in his important new book, Leap of Reason, ‘Every ounce of our effort on assessing social outcomes should be with one end in mind: helping nonprofits deliver greater benefits to those they serve.’”
—Phil Buchanan, President, Center for Effective Philanthropy, Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Avoiding a False Choice (Why We Need Both Passion and Assessment), 7/21/11
"I read it in one night and thought, 'Oh my gosh, this is it.... All our program managers and vice presidents, we're all reading the book."
—Margaret Mitchell, President and CEO, YWCA Greater Cleveland
"Our Leadership team read Leap of Reason together, chapter by chapter, in our monthly team meetings. Our leaders are incorporating the principles they learned in the new action plans they are writing. I’m very excited to see the impact this will have on the men, women, and children we serve!"
--Rich Trickel, CEO, The City Mission, Cleveland, OH
"I have been actively working in the non-profit world for the last 4 years after a 26 year career in industry, primarily at the executive level. As I read your book, I found myself nodding and grinning…. So much of what you advocate is what I have experienced in industry working with or creating high-performance organizations."
—Dennis L. Harvey, Vice President of Operations/Board of Directors, DuPage Habitat for Humanity
“As I read this book, I kept wanting to shout out, ‘Amen!’ Finally someone argues so clearly why understanding if a social solution is working is not a luxury or a ‘nice to have’ but rather an absolute necessity for our new reality.”
—Nell Edgington, President, Social Velocity, Social Velocity blog, A Call to Arms for the Nonprofit Sector, 6/28/11
“A successful entrepreneur and an entrepreneurial philanthropist, Mario delivers an emphatic message in this valuable monograph: A highly disciplined managerial approach is absolutely essential if nonprofits are to produce the demonstrable and sustainable impact that all desire.”
—Steve Denning, Chairman, General Atlantic, LLC
"The release of Leap of Reason could not have come at a better time for Saint Luke’s Foundation. We have used your book to inform a complete re-design of our approach to grantmaking and outcomes/learning."
—Denise San Antonio Zeman, President and CEO, Saint Luke’s Foundation
"Have you ever read a book that so clearly, concisely, and compellingly distilled an issue, you just felt the need to share it? Recently, I encountered such a book ... Leap of Reason...”
—Joyce Lee-Ibarra, Founder & Owner, JLI Consulting
“I have included Leap of Reason on the syllabus for my graduate course on nonprofit management, because it provides critical information about performance management in a straightforward, thoughtful, and compelling way. I recommend to other professors that they include the book in their courses. Best of all, it's available to students for free online.”
—Alan J. Abramson, Director, Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy, George Mason University
"In this environment of shrinking dollars and increasing complexity, Leap of Reason, provides an excellent road map to help social sector executives focus on the highest and best use of their precious resources. Without the disciplined approach Morino outlines, it will be almost impossible for nonprofits to make meaningful progress and, frankly, tell their story effectively.”
—Kim Wright-Violich, former president, Schwab Charitable
“My team and I have been using Leap of Reason as a guide for our evaluation work with schools and districts around the nation. Your book provides clarity that is critical to measuring outcomes effectively and improving teaching and learning."
—Tracy Gray, Ph.D., Managing Director, American Institutes for Research
“Leap of Reason is an important guide for the social sector. It’s a quick read but it gets us thinking in profound ways about how to collect and use information to gain the results we seek.”
—Jane Wales, Founding President, Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute
"I just want to share how much I enjoyed your outstanding book. At the Jewish Federation, we have moved over the past 3 years much more into defining goals and measuring outcomes, but it is not easy. You provided new insights about why this is critical and ways to attack it.”
—Daniel Blain, Senior Vice President, Jewish Federation of Cleveland
"What I have come to love about Mario Morino on metrics is the passion with which he drives power down the line to the nonprofit leaders … and to the communities served."
--Phil Cubeta, "Big Data as a Social Justice Issue," Gift Hub blog, 1/9/13
“An excellent combination of sage advice and 'how to implement' tactics, Leap of Reason, while written for nonprofit leaders, is fully applicable to the for-profit world. In particular, the chapters on culture, change, and reason should be required reading for all serious executives."
—James Condon, COO/CFO, Geostellar, Inc
“I believe this message is as important for local governments as it is for nonprofits.”
—Vola Lawson, former Alexandria Virginia City Manager
"The book is an important leap forward in helping nonprofits effect meaningful, measurable, and sustainable change. Its messages on managing for impact apply similarly to the running of our federal, state, and municipal agencies."
—Lee Fisher, President and CEO, CEOs for Cities
"I started reading it out of a sense of obligation and quickly became engaged by your straightforward prose. I read it in one sitting. Not many nonprofit books have that power--at least, over me!”
—Barry Silverberg, President and CEO, Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations
"Leap of Reason should be sent to every county executive in the country.... Every elected official that deals with nonprofits should read it."
—Tim Hagan, former County Commissioner, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
"Just finished Mario Morino's Leap of Reason. Now have a guide for how Playworks is creating our measurements for impact. Thanks Mario!"
—Elizabeth Cushing, President and COO, Playworks
"Leap of Reason is a terrific resource for nonprofit managers and board members, as well as social entrepreneurs, foundation leaders and informed individual donors.... As a consultant who often works on strategic plans and development roadmaps, I particularly value the savvy framework section and will undoubtedly use some of the key questions and models there in my work.”
—Tom Watson, President and Founder, CauseWired, CauseWired blog, Mario Morino's Leap of Reason -- Challenge and Reward, 11/15
"This short book is a great starting point for understanding the importance of nonprofits managing to outcomes. It also has a great list of resources to take you further down the road....”
—Ken Berger, President and CEO, Charity Navigator, Charity Navigator blog, A Great Addition to Your Summer Reading List, 8/4/11
Leap of Reason is “full of valuable insights about a sector that is increasingly important. [The book] is a must read for all involved in the non-profit organisations."
—Long Range Planning, 2/12
“Leap of Reason is unusual among books about measuring results for nonprofits in that it is brief and practical…. Mr. Morino recognizes that measuring results is only a means to an end and urges readers never to confuse measurement with mission.”
—Sean Stannard-Stockton, Wealth Advisor, Ensemble Capital Management, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Is Underperformance Philanthropy's "Natural State?", 6/26/11
"Mario Morino ... has eloquently and forcefully argued for the need of nonprofits and its philanthropic community to embrace a management to outcomes framework.... In our limited but growing experience, it is exhilarating when our partners ... need not assume but can actually see how our individual and collective efforts are making a real measurable difference.”
—Neil E. Carlson, Calvin College; Edwin Hernandez, and Chana Edmond-Verley, DeVos Family Foundations; Gustavo Rotondaro and Eleibny Feliz-Santana, Grand Valley State University; and Susan Heynig, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Developing a Master Data Sharing Agreement, The Foundation Review, 12/11
“What leadership books are at the top of your summer reading list? Here are my five… 5. Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity by Mario Morino. Given that federal agencies can often have difficulty measuring their outcomes, Morino’s book offers a simple approach for helping federal managers identify critical measures and learn from results.”
—Tom Fox, Vice President for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service, The Washington Post's "Federal Coach" blog, Summer reading suggestions for federal leaders, 6/22/2011
“Mario Morino’s Leap of Reason [is] a book which is not only destined to be viewed in the long term as a seminal contribution to the field, but which has, within only a few short weeks, made its way across much of the nonprofit sector… In this book, Mario collected his thoughts and put it all down on paper in an irrefutable argument for results-based thinking, management, and practice in the nonprofit space…Leap of Reason is a book that every nonprofit leader should read."
—Dr. Robert Penna, International Coordinator, Charity Navigator, The Outcomes Observer blog, June Update, 6/28/11
"If you’re a Non-Profit Leader who is passionate about the change that you’ve set out to accomplish ... this is a quick and easy MUST READ.... [Leap of Reason] will inspire you as well as leave you with some functional tools to start doing what you do, even better!”
—Christopher Brereton, Magnanimous Magazine, 1/31/12
"Leap of Reason ... is a wakeup call for those who have been resistant to measurement."
—Alliance for Children and Families Magazine, More than Spreadsheets and Software, 12/22/11
"Leap of Reason could legitimately serve as a text book in the training of those who would be and/or are current execs. It should be considered as a tool for helping execs prepare their Board Chairs for leading.”
—Michael Burns, Partner, BWB Solutions, Nonprofit Board Crisis blog, Nonprofit Book Review: Leap of Reason, 1/3/12
“Every now and then, something towers above the noise with uncommon wisdom…. The justifiably renowned From Good to Great is such a read…. Now comes along Leap of Reason…. The publishers and writers are quite serious about getting this excellent resource in the hands of as many nonprofits as possible.”
—Michael McWilliams, Founder and Executive Director, Rapporteur consultancy, Rapporteur Log, Books: Leap of Reason, 6/23/11
"It can be hard to define what success means to you.... In his wise and highly readable new book Leap of Reason, Mario Morino explores practical ways to measure results."
—Susan Wolf Ditkoff, Partner, Bridgespan Group, Bridgespan's "Give Smart" blog, When a Pulitzer’s Not the Goal: How the Sandler Foundation Defines Success for ProPublica, 8/11/2011
“Mario Morino makes a strong case for why nonprofits need to be clearer about their goals and more rigorous in gauging their progress.”
—Tim McCarthy, Chief Mission Officer, The Business of Good Foundation, Book: Leap of Reason, 8/1/11
“The weekend is reserved for reading every word of Morino’s manifesto, but here’s one bit that jumped out in yesterday’s quick flip-through: Isaac Castillo urges nonprofits to ensure they’re providing the best services to the recipients.”
—Brigid Slipka, National Museum of African Art at Smithsonian Institution, First Do No Harm Means Admitting When Harm is Done, 5/20/11
“Philanthropist Mario Morino, along with a host of prominent nonprofit leaders, puts forth the convincing argument that the difficult challenges created by mounting budgetary pressures at all levels of government compel the social sector to become clearer in their goals, more deliberate in defining methodology, more willing to admit mistakes and more adaptable all while keeping an unrelenting focus on improving lives.”
—Claudia Herrold, Vice President, Communications & Public Policy, Ohio Grantmakers Forum, Good Reads in Philanthropy, 8/1/11
"Reading the book has truly brought me much happiness.... My rating: Five out of five.... It is fantastic, and I agree with Geoffrey Canada — A must-read for nonprofit leaders."
—Emily Rotella, Manager, Data and Operations, Alumni Affairs, Teach for America, Measuring Social Impact, Review Revisited: Finishing Leap of Reason, 9/18/11
"Morino’s book succeeds because it effectively engages the reader, causing one to ponder application of managing to outcomes to one’s own work in the nonprofit world—be it running an organization, grantmaking or consulting with nonprofits."
—Robert Jaquay, Associate Director, George Gund Foundation, OGF Connection: News and Knowledge for Ohio Funders, GOOD READS: Morino urges clarity first, 9/11
"Isaac Castillo’s essay has been immensely helpful in my work with philanthropists in emphasizing the importance of measurement. The example is perfect for communicating why philanthropists must know at minimum that they are doing no harm (which is sometimes more compelling than knowing they are making a difference…) And how will they know that if they don’t measure!”
—Melinda Tuan, independent consultant, 5/30/2012