Stanford University recently hosted a terrific Engine of Impact event, featuring inspiring lessons from the high-impact nonprofit, Last Mile Health. On November 27th, Engine of Impact co-author and King Philanthropies President and CEO Kim Jonker and Last Mile Health cofounder and CEO Raj Panjabi took part in an exciting discussion on “Achieving Impact in the Social Sector”, co-hosted by the Stanford Center for Global Poverty Development and the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and moderated by Laura Hattendorf of the Mulago Foundation.
To an audience comprised of students, faculty, Stanford alumni, and social sector leaders, Panjabi shared his personal lessons of leadership and learnings so far at Last Mile Health. Lauding the importance of themes of “focus, focus, focus” in Engine of Impact’s Chapter 1, “The Primacy of Mission”, Panjabi stressed the importance of focus in a nonprofit’s activities (versus breadth and diversification). Panjabi shared that the early years of Last Mile Health looked very different from what the organization is today. Initially, Last Mile Health’s interventions were broad, including agriculture, sewing & more! But by honing in on a single concept – professionalizing community health workers – Last Mile Health has achieved massive impact. It was featured as an exemplary organization in Engine of Impact, cited for its current clear and focused mission. Last Mile Health was also featured in Engine of Impact for its impressive ability to scale.
On November 15th, Kim Jonker, President and CEO of King Philanthropies, and Tim Hanstad, CEO of the Chandler Foundation and cofounder of Landesa, led a discussion at the ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Organizations) Annual Conference in Austin, TX. Kim shared insights and themes from Engine of Impact, with Landesa as a case example of an organization that has mastered so many of the essentials of strategic leadership. Audience members were keen to ask Hanstad, who just stepped down after 32 years at the helm of Landesa, about the challenges posed and lessons he’d learned co-founding a small organization that went on to have incredible impact at scale. “Strategy is all about what you say no to,” said Hanstad. He shared that his team’s commitment to Landesa’s focused mission led the Landesa team to turn down enormous sums of grant money that would have led the organization astray.
Next month, Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker will speak at the legendary 92nd Street Y (known as 92Y)—the organization that launched the #GivingTuesday movement. The event will occur on Thursday, June 28, at 7 p.m. at the 92Y facility in New York City. Tickets for the event are on sale now.
Drawing on their work in Engine of Impact, Meehan and Jonker will deliver actionable guidance that nonprofit executives, board members, staff members, and donors can use to jumpstart their own performance and to achieve extraordinary results for their organization.
Kathy Spahn, CEO of the award winning nonprofit Helen Keller International, will interview the authors, and Maya DiRado—a four-time Olympic medalist in swimming—will introduce Meehan, Jonker, and Spahn. In her remarks, DiRado will describe how Engine of Impact has inspired and equipped her to increase her own impact in the social sector.
Learn more about the event here.
Last week, Kim Jonker moderated a panel at the 2018 Global Philanthropy Forum (GPF) conference in Redwood City, Calif. The panel, “Building an Ecosystem: When Generosity Meets Strategy,” focused on the growth of philanthropy in Africa. In introducing and leading the session, Jonker drew both on her work at King Philanthropies, which sponsors ambitious programs in Africa, and on her and Bill Meehan’s work for Engine of Impact, which explores (among other topics) the nexus of generosity and strategy.
A post at the GPF website summarizes the session:
Strategy is a planned set of actions that enable you to achieve your goals. However, many organizations in the social sector have strategies that lack focus and spread their resources too thin. Kim Starkey Jonker, president and CEO of King Philanthropies, sat down with Valerie Dabady, manager of the Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Department at the African Development Bank and Dikembe Mutombo, chairman and president of the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, to discuss how philanthropists can effectively identify or build organizations with strong, targeted strategies. A former NBA player, Mutombo emphasized the importance of collaboration as a central part of strategy. “Anything you want to do in life, you have to understand you need to work as a team,” he said. Building on this, Dabady pointed out that knowing who to work with, and making the right partnerships for your organization is critical.
A complete video recording of the session appears below.
Many nonprofit organizations today, whether they know it or not, are losing their way because they lack a sound strategy. For any nonprofit, a strategy is nothing more—and nothing less—than a clear and rigorously planned set of actions that are designed to achieve a social mission. Strategic thinking in the social sector must draw on concepts from the business sector, but it must also adapt those concepts. By honing their strategy in this way, nonprofit leaders can enable their organization to increase its impact significantly.
On Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 2 p.m. EST to 3 p.m. EST, Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker will present an SSIR Live! webinar that explores key ideas and tools that will enable nonprofit leaders to pursue their work more strategically. The price to register for the webinar is $59.
For more information, or to register for the webinar, click here.
Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker are scheduling events related to Engine of Impact in several US cities. We will update the information below as event details become available.
The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia University hosts a book talk with Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker. The event is free. For more information, and to register for the event, click here.
Politics and Prose Bookstore presents Bill Meehan. The event is free; no reservation is required. For more information, click here.
The Social Enterprise Conference, co-hosted by Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, includes an interview with Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker. In addition, Jonker will appear at a panel session. For more information, and to purchase tickets for the conference, click here.
The Barr Foundation, the Boston Foundation, and the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP) host a free public event with Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker. Yolanda Coentro, president and CEO of INP, will lead a discussion with the authors. For more information, and to register for the event, click here.
The 4th Annual HBS-GSB Board Summit, titled “Building High-Impact Non-Profit Boards” and jointly hosted by Harvard Business School Community Partners and Stanford Graduate School of Business, features a keynote presentation that includes a fireside chat with Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker. For more information, and to purchase tickets, click here.
The 92nd Street Y hosts Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker for a presentation, followed by a Q&A session. Details about the event will be available at the 92nd Street Y website.
Seeing is believing: We can now share video recordings of two events held at Stanford University to mark the launch of Engine of Impact.
On Oct. 28, Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker appeared at a session during Alumni Weekend at Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB). Jonathan Levin, dean of GSB, Spoke with Meehan and Jonker about a wide range of book-related topics, and afterward GSB alumni posted questions to the authors.
On Nov. 9, the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society hosted an event in honor of Engine of Impact at the David and Joan Traitel Building, site of the new conference center of the Hoover Institution at Stanford. John Hennessy, former president of the university, interviewed Meehan and Jonker, and a lively audience Q&A session followed.
In conjunction with the official publication of Engine of Impact on Nov. 14, Bill Meehan and Kim traveled to New York City for a series of interviews and events. One event, hosted by the New York chapter of the Stanford Alumni Association, took place on Nov. 16 at Upper East Side home of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas. Zia Khan, vice president of initiatives and strategy at the Rockefeller Foundation, moderated the event. After Khan’s interview with Meehan and Jonker, the authors answered audience questions and then signed copies of the book.
Here, courtesy of the event organizers, are photos from the event.
John Hennessy, former president of Stanford University, will moderate a discussion with Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker on Thursday, Nov. 9, at an event hosted on the Stanford campus by the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS). The event will start with a reception at 5:00 p.m., and a Q&A session led by Hennessy will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, founder and chair of PACS and author of Giving 2.0, will offer a special introduction to lead off the discussion.
Copies of Engine of Impact will be available for purchase, and Meehan and Jonker will sign books following the Q&A session.
The authors of Engine of Impact have close connections to PACS. Meehan is a founding member of the PACS advisory board, and Jonker was a visiting practitioner at the center.
If you wish to attend the event, click here to register for it. Registered attendees will receive information on the exact location for the event beforehand.
On Saturday, Oct. 28, Bill Meehan and Kim Jonker launched their efforts to promote Engine of Impact in a special event at Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB)—the institution where much of the thinking and research in the book originated. Jon Levin, dean of GSB, joined Meehan and Jonker for a wide-ranging discussion of themes and lessons from the new book. The event, held at Cemex Auditorium on the Stanford University campus, was part of the festivities for Alumni Weekend at GSB.
Meehan and Jonker, speaking to a nearly full auditorium, talked at length about the steps that GSB alumni can take in their role as business leaders and nonprofit board members to boost the impact of organizations in the social sector. In a striking moment during the interview, Dean Levin asked attendees to raise their hand if they currently serve on a nonprofit board. The overwhelming majority of GSB alumni at the event—as many as three-fourths of them—raised their hands. Attendees expressed curiosity about serving in that role more effectively, and Meehan urged them to use that curiosity as an asset. “Keep asking dumb questions until you figure out what the smart questions are,” he said.
Photograph by Robert E. King
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