The Performance Practice

The Performance Practice

Put the Performance Imperative into action: Learn. Improve. Repeat.

The Performance Practice helps organizations delve deeper into the Performance Imperative and apply it for ongoing reflection, learning, and continuous improvement.

The Performance Practice helps organizations discover and act on ways to improve with:

  • A series of concrete behaviors and specific practices that allow an extensive, in-depth look into the organization and a broad lens to identify areas for improvement.
  • A modular structure that provides different paths into organizational improvement with proof points organized and presented for each of the framework’s seven organizational disciplines. Leaders can select one module (or several at a time) and work through each discipline in their own way and at their own pace.
  • Three different entry points: Nonprofit leaders can spark reflection among multiple stakeholders, learn from each other, and develop shared understanding of “hidden” organizational strengths and systemic limitations. Consultants can zero in on needs in one or more of the organizational disciplines. Funders can better understand and support their grantees in the disciplines of greatest need.


Watch this introductory video with your board, staff, and other stakeholders to jumpstart your journey to high performance

How Nonprofits Benefit from the Performance Practice

The Performance Practice’s modular design and comprehensive proof points help you facilitate organizational self-assessment, spark individual and collective reflection, and then identify where best to focus your efforts to improve management, performance, and results.

By engaging in a collaborative organizational learning process, you can advance your efforts to:

  • Strengthen your leadership team
  • Increase board engagement
  • Advance talent development
  • Improve financial sustainability
  • Build a better case for funder support
  • Produce better and more reliable outcomes
  • Be a better organization for those you serve

Benefit from the Brainpower of 60+ Experts

Access—in one place—the collective expertise of 60+ nonprofit practitioners, researchers, funders, and consultants who represent a diversity of experiences, locations, ages, and races.

Uncover “Hidden” Strengths and Opportunities

Spark reflection among multiple stakeholders, learn from each other, and develop shared understanding of challenges, positions, and plans across the organization. In the process, “hidden” organizational strengths and systemic limitations will often surface.

Pinpoint and focus your improvement efforts on the areas of greatest opportunity.

Disrupt Complacency

By stepping back to reflect, your organization has the opportunity to look inward, acknowledge problems, and take action to solve them. Honest conversations about the most difficult and important questions will nurture the culture of learning that characterizes healthy, high-performing organizations.

Disrupt complacency—expect curiosity, questioning, and continuous improvement.

Engage in an Improvement Initiative on Your Own Terms

The Performance Practice doesn’t require you to follow a rigid process, nor do you have to do everything at once. Start with what you need most, and phase your Performance Practice use to align with your needs, availability, and workload. Focus squarely on discovering a pathway to high performance that works for your organization.

It’s not about checking boxes; it’s about doing what you need to meet your mission.

Learn and Improve, No Matter Your Budget

To advance its mission, the Leap Ambassadors Community makes the Performance Practice available with no charge. Many organizations use the Performance Practice successfully on their own, while others choose to hire a consultant to facilitate the process.

Whether you have a large budget, a small one, or no budget at all, you can find ways to get better at getting better.

The most common use of the Performance Practice is that an individual organization (e.g., single nonprofit or government agency) does one or more learning sessions at a time (e.g., How well are we doing in internal monitoring and external evaluation for continuous improvement and mission effectiveness?).

While primarily designed for use by a nonprofit organization, the Performance Practice process also enables consultants to offer facilitation services for learning sessions and funders to better understand grantee needs.

Explore how your organization can apply the Performance Practice

Related Performance Practice Videos

Watch nonprofit leaders talk about how they’ve used the Performance Practice and what they’ve learned from it.

Have questions or encounter roadblocks on the continuous improvement journey? Reach out at performancepractice@leapambassadors.org.


Use our slides to show your stakeholders how the Performance Imperative and the Performance Practice can help your organization on its continuous improvement journey.

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Consultants, advisors, and others involved in organizational and talent development can use the Performance Imperative and the Performance Practice to better advise and support their nonprofit, public agency, and funder clients.

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The Performance Imperative and the Performance Practice can support funders’ strategy for developing trusted funder-grantee relationships, fostering ongoing dialogue, and ensuring better results.

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