An Open Letter to Mario Marino
Working Hard and Working Well

Mario Marino Responds

A response via email to a prior post. Posted here with permission.


For what it is worth and feel free to share, one of my mistakes was not differentiating or framing to which nonprofits the challenge of management, focus, scale, etc., is most appropriate.  Without knowing better, when I used the word nonprofits I meant those who had reached some scale, e.g., $3 - $100 million in annual budget and were seeking to grow or improve for greater impact.  By not making that distinction the paint brush we used wrongly colored the million plus of nonprofits that are tiny to small in size, that run on belief and vapors, and represent the very essence of spirit to help others.  The need for results is real, but it should be focused on the percentage of nonprofits that deliver the bulk of the services, e.g., I’ve been told that in human services less than 20% of the firms deliver over 80% of the services.  Again, when we use “universal, broad sweeping” truths we almost always end up doing harm and we (like me 10 years) need to be clearer and more precise in what we share.