WINGS CEO Among an Elite Group of Leaders at National Symposium

In early October our CEO, Bridget Laird was honored to attend a symposium entitled Tough Times, Creative Measures: What Will it Take to Help the Social Sector Embrace an Outcomes Culture. She was one of twenty leaders in an elite group invited from government, nonprofits, philanthropy and business to engage in a serious conversation in search of opportunities and challenges in promoting outcome measurement and management in the nonprofit sector. As an organization that prides itself on backing up our claims with proven figures, and always striving to better our practices, we were more than anxious to get on board, and thrilled to have our CEO take part in the discussion and promotion of such important issues.

The symposium, hosted by the Urban Institute, featured Venture Philanthropy Partners Chairman Mario Morino, author of Leap of Reason: Managing to Outcomes in an Era of Scarcity- a book that WINGS was featured in as an exemplary nonprofit! The symposium was also anchored by sector leaders Michael Bailin, former President of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and William Dietel, the former President of the Rockefeller Fund.

This meeting of minds provided an opportunity to discuss the possibilities of the current economic crisis in stimulating an outcomes culture. Our country is now in the midst of a profound structural shift that will result in both greatly reduced funding and increased need for social services. This shift will require nonprofit organizations to rethink, redesign, and reinvent the why, what, and how of their work. Nonprofits will need to be much clearer about their aspirations, more intentional in defining their approaches, more rigorous in gauging their progress, more willing to admit mistakes, more capable of quickly adapting and improving—all with an unrelenting focus and passion for improving lives. The discipline of managing to outcomes is the key to meeting this critical challenge.

As a result of the forum, the group generated an impressive initial list of initiatives that offer tangible ways to start addressing the challenges and opportunities in each of the following categories: Human Capital, Financial Capital, Advocacy, Tools/Systems, and Standards.

As a nationally recognized non-profit dedicated to the kids whose lives we work to better, as well as outcomes and performance management, we are very excited to take part in this exciting movement!

“The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!”

— Marvin Phillips

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