Community Definitions

For Ambassadors

A Primer of Terms Used in the Community

  • Ambassador Insights – Publicly available articles curated from online discussions of the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community.
  • Ambassador Profile – All ambassadors are listed on our website and individual profiles contain name, affiliation, geographical location, biography, and contact information such as website and/or LinkedIn profile.
  • Ambassador Status – Active ambassador engagement drives the Leap Ambassadors Community. Yet over the course of an ambassador’s time in the community, there may be ebbs and flows in individual engagement. In recognition of this reality, an ambassador may cycle in and out of full participation by moving to “affiliate,” “inactive,” or “alum” status.
  • Campaigns – The Leap Ambassadors support team manages campaigns—an ongoing series of email and social media communications—to convey a specific message to inform and influence a defined target audience (consistent, of course, and aligned with the community’s message of high performance.)  Examples include the Funding Performance campaign, Performance Imperative/Performance Practice campaign for organizational improvement, and the Small, But Mighty campaign for how smaller nonprofits can use the Performance Imperative.
  • Collaborative Development  The capacity of the community to benefit from the contributions and insights from scores of ambassadors through facilitated exchanges, rigorous discussion, peer review, and editorial oversight over a period of time (generally weeks to months) to develop a range of community products. The most notable examples of collaborative development are the Performance Imperative and Performance Practice, but the process has also yielded Ambassador Insights and other works.
  • Community Hashtags  Hashtags used in social media messaging to share news for and about ambassadors and other stakeholders: #PerformanceMatters, #FundingPerformance, and #HighPerformance. Nonprofit leaders also use the hashtag #NPstrong to highlight their organization’s work.
  • Constituent, Participant, Beneficiary – How we use these terms in the community:
    • Constituent: This term refers to anyone who is the focus of nonprofit services, products, or advocacy—not just people who are enrolled in direct-service programs. For example, it could refer to an arts patron, a rancher who has a direct stake in an environmental initiative being planned by an environmental nonprofit, a student attending high school, or a woman seeking a long-acting reversible contraceptive—all of whom have valuable perspectives that can help a nonprofit learn and improve.
    • Participant: This term is narrower than constituent. We use it to refer to anyone who is enrolled in a direct-service program (e.g., a middle school student who participates in an afterschool mentoring program).
    • Beneficiary: We decided to stop using this term altogether. A Leap Ambassador whose organization focuses on improving our sector’s use of constituent feedback told us that he feels strongly that beneficiary has a tinge of noblesse oblige—that is, using this term feels slightly condescending and distancing. While that view is not widely held, we feel that the terms constituent and participant work well and allow us to steer clear of any negative connotations.
  • Direct Email – Emails sent individually to ambassadors to provide updates, announcements, key actions, issues, and progress. The Leap Ambassadors support team uses the direct email channel to reduce the volume of email within the community. 
  • Ground Rules and Email Courtesies – These simple rules of the road outline expected community behaviors, primarily in the Online Forum exchange but in other ambassador interactions as well. No onerous rules—simply guidelines based on common sense, courtesy, and respect.
  • Funding Performance Profiles – Ongoing series of stories shining a spotlight on funders who implement best practices and principles of high performance within their organizations and/or with their grantees. These profiles anchor the Funding Performance campaign.
  • Funding Performance Campaign – This ongoing outreach campaign promotes and encourages funders willing to support their grantees’ learning and improvement—and open to learning and improving themselves. The campaign is anchored by the Funding Performance Profiles and amplified through a public outreach email distribution list and social media channels.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Provisions – Series of steps to formally recognize the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community (“the Community”) and protect the intellectual property (IP) ownership of its community-generated content designed to: 1) facilitate and enable collaborative exchange and development within the community; and 2) encourage broad-based reproduction, distribution, and (relatively unconstrained) use and creation of derivative works of community-generated content.
  • Kickstarter – Information and examples of how specific types of organizations can use the Performance Imperative to set in motion the journey to high performance.
  • Leap Update – A monthly newsletter by the Morino Institute that shares insights, tools, and learning opportunities for those who are working to raise their level of performance. Leap Update is also the primary channel through which Leap Ambassadors Community announcements are made to the field.
  • Micro-community – Online communities allow a subset of ambassadors with a shared interest to collaborate on a specific topic or project and then share their results or findings with the full community. Leap Ambassadors have access to and participate to the degree they choose in the community’s online forum, where dialogue centers on the overarching topic of high performance.
  • Online Forum – The forum is the online community including all active ambassadors. Learning, collaboration, and collective knowledge are cornerstones of community discussion. It is the primary means by which ambassadors can send and receive emails to and from the full community.
  • Performance Imperative – A framework for social-sector excellence, providing a common definition of “high performance,” and the seven organizational disciplines necessary to achieve it.
  • Performance Practice (formerly PIOSA) – Supports self-assessment, reflection, dialogue, and organizational improvement. The overarching goal is to help nonprofits and their funders drive organizational performance improvement—so you can do more to deliver meaningful, measurable, and financially sustainable results for the people or causes you serve.
  • Performance in Action (PiA) – A growing collection of stories sharing the experiences and achievements of organizations on the path to high performance—different in size, location, mission, and maturity, but with a shared commitment to getting better at getting better.
  • Printed Materials – Hard copies of Leap of Reason, the Performance Imperative (PI) and other miscellaneous items, including the PI poster (aka mandala) available in several sizes, are available upon request for use in meetings, retreats, etc. To encourage their broadest use, they are provided as complimentary (including cost of shipment).
  • Primary Products – Core products based on the Performance Imperative (PI) and also including the Performance Practice (formerly PIOSA), and Small, But Mighty: The Performance Imperative for Small Nonprofits.
  • Products – Ambassadors contribute their collective knowledge and experience to collaboratively develop publicly available products (e.g., The Performance Imperative), including primary products, curated community discussions on important topics, and kickstarters to provide context or introductions to strategic products.
  • Regional Gatherings – In-person gatherings of ambassadors in their home regions or that piggyback on conferences or meetings that multiple ambassadors may attend. The purpose is to connect with one another and continue to build relationships while discussing strategies and examples of high performance.

The Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community is a private community of experts and leaders who believe that mission and performance are inextricably linked. Our resources are collaboratively developed and offered to the field to support organizations on their journeys to high performance.

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