News

Two Reviews (Associations Now and Bob Morris)

A pair of writers who closely monitor new books on organizational leadership have posted notices about Engine of Impactthat highlight its value for nonprofit executives.

Kristin Clarke, books editor for Associations Now, covers Engine of Impact in the lead item of her column on new titles related to association management. She notes that the book outlines “steps to running a well-oiled nonprofit” and calls it “[a] CEO conversation starter and [a] thoughtful addition to the business literature.” (Last fall, Associations Now published an article on nonprofit board orientation that cited the book prominently.)

At Blogging on Business, Bob Morris cites his own experience in nonprofit organizations and praises Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker for “provid[ing] an abundance of valuable information, insights, and counsel.” He concludes his review by analyzing the best audience for the book:

Who will derive the greatest benefit from the material? In my opinion, three groups: senior-level executives in all organizations in the nonprofit sector, senior-level executives in organizations in the for-profit sector who are responsible for increasing the impact of initiatives in the social sector; and decision-makers in capital sources that include VCs and banks as well as corporate and private foundations. For anyone in these groups, Engine of Impact is a must read.

Read the review by Clarke here and the review by Morris here.

April 2, 2018, in Book Reviews, News

Ongoing Book Coverage

Since its official release in November 2017, Engine of Impact has garnered attention from a broad array of media outlets. Posts on the News page of this site have highlighted numerous articles, reviews, and interviews that explore the book, its authors, and the authors’ ideas about the present state and future potential of the nonprofit sector. In addition, the book has been featured in several other print and online outlets. Here’s a roundup of such coverage.

  • BizEd, a magazine published by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), featured a review of Engine of Impact in its November-December 2017 issue.
  • The NonProfit Times published an item about the Stanford Survey on Leadership and Management in the Nonprofit Sector, a survey conducted by Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker as part of their research for Engine of Impact.
  • The Offord Group, a Canadian philanthropy consulting firm, included a review of Engine of Impact in the 2017 edition of Offord Magazine.
  • For the Associations Now website, business author Mark Athitakis drew on material from Engine of Impact to write a piece titled “The Cultural Challenge of Board Orientation.”
  • An article posted on the Financial Advisor website quoted Meehan and Jonker as part of a discussion of how young donors should approach charitable giving.
  • Metro, a daily newspaper with distribution in several US cities, featured Engine of Impact—as well as quotations from an interview with Meehan and Jonker—in a piece that explores challenges faced by the nonprofit sector.
  • For the Nonprofit Leadership Podcast, host Rob Harter spoke with Meehan and Jonker in an interview that ranged widely across themes from Engine of Impact.
  • At Forbes.com, management journalist Roger Trapp posted a review Engine of Impact that provides a thorough look at Meehan and Jonker’s “engine of impact” model.
December 28, 2017, in Articles, Book Reviews, News

A Review by Matthew Bishop

This year has yielded a bumper crop of books on philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. So it’s notable that Matthew Bishop, a highly regarded author in his own right and a soon-to-be managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation, found room for Engine of Impact on his year-end book roundup. Bishop, co-author (with Michael Green) of Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World, features a wide range of titles related to social sector innovation on his “Philanthrocapitalism Books of the Year” list. He notes that Engine of Impact provides “a blue-print for thoughtful and effective leadership in the sector” and highlights the value that Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker deliver in identifying “the key factors that have enabled the greatest non-profits to succeed.”

You can read Bishop’s book list here.

December 22, 2017, in Book Reviews, News

A Review at PhilanTopic (Foundation Center)

Kyoko Uchida, features editor of Philanthropy News Digest (PND), a service provided by Foundation Center, has posted a thoughtful and comprehensive review of Engine of Impact at PhilanTopic, the PND blog.Uchida provides an extensive tour of key points from the book on topics such as mission, strategy, and board governance. She homes in on the central role that impact evaluation plays in Meehan and Jonker’s model of strategic leadership:

Meehan and Jonker believe that only nonprofits that can demonstrate, through quantifiable measurement, their impact and capacity to maximize it, should—and will—thrive in the Impact Era. What’s more, their sense of urgency is palpable throughout the book. While none of the concepts they present are revolutionary, they have been reinvigorated and realigned for this moment. Which makes Engine of Impact an energizing, if sobering, read for nonprofit leaders, board members, and funders alike.

 The full review is available here.

November 29, 2017, in Book Reviews, News

A Review by Beth Kanter

Thanks to Mario Marino and Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community, the nonprofit sector thought leader Beth Kanter received a copy of Engine of Impact. And she decided to review it on her blog. Kanter, author of widely read social sector books such as The Networked Nonprofit and Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact Without Burnout, calls the book “a great read, packed with insights as well as high level frameworks and practical applications” and suggests that it “should be on the holiday reading list” for nonprofit executives, board members, and donors.

Kanter draws attention to the special matrix that Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker present in Chapter 8 of their book. “I love frameworks, but sometimes they are dry and boring. Not in this book,” Kanter writs. “The authors have created a ‘Readiness to Scale Matrix’ which includes five categories, presented with engaging visual metaphors to make it memorable.” (That matrix also provides a framework for Meehan and Jonker’s Engine of Impact Diagnostic.)

Read the entire post on Beth’s Blog.

November 16, 2017, in Book Reviews, News

A Review by Lucy Bernholz

A good book review tells you whether a book is worth reading. A great book review illuminates why a book was (or was not) worth writing in the first place. Lucy Bernholz, a senior research scholar at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and author of the annual Blueprint series on “Philanthropy and the Social Economy,” has posted a piece on Engine of Impact at her Philanthropy 2173 blog that clearly falls into the latter category.

In the review, Bernholz notes that Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker move beyond an all-too-common approach to describing the role of the nonprofit sector:

The idea that the social sector can both improve itself and, in so doing, improve and challenge, cajole and nudge other types of enterprises to greater action sets this book apart. Meehan and Jonker aren’t providing the nonprofit sector with “lessons learned from commerce” because business knows best, but quite the opposite. There are plenty of lessons for nonprofits from business, but the social sector’s opportunity (obligation?) is to act in such a way that businesses can follow. . . . [T]hey (nonprofits) are the engine of a society that can collectively address its greatest challenges.

Viewed in this light, Bernholz observes, the nonprofit sector is an “engine of impact” unto itself.

November 15, 2017, in Book Reviews, News

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