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Book Talk: Engine of Impact

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Engine of Impact: The Essentials of Strategic Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector
with William F. Meehan III and Kim Starkey Jonker

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
6:00–8:30 p.m.
Remarks and Q&A from 6–7 p.m.
Reception and book signing from 7:00–8:30 p.m.

Columbia Business School
1125 Amsterdam Ave
Warren Hall, Room 208
New York, NY 10025

We are entering a new era—an era of impact. The largest intergenerational transfer of wealth in history will soon be under way, bringing with it the potential for huge increases in philanthropic funding. Engine of Impact shows how nonprofits can apply the principles of strategic leadership to attract greater financial support and leverage that funding to maximum effect.

William F. Meehan III and Kim Starkey Jonker identify seven essential components of strategic leadership that set high-achieving organizations apart from the rest of the nonprofit sector. Together, these components form an “engine of impact”—a system that organizations must build, tune, and fuel if they hope to make a real difference in the world.

Drawing on decades of teaching, advising, grantmaking, and research, Meehan and Jonker provide an actionable guide that executives, staff, board members, and donors can use to jumpstart their own performance and to achieve extraordinary results for their organization. Along with setting forth best practices using real-world examples, the authors outline common management challenges faced by nonprofits, showing how these challenges differ from those faced by for-profit businesses in important and often-overlooked ways.

By offering crucial insights on the fundamentals of nonprofit management, this book will help leaders equip their organizations to fire on all cylinders and unleash the full potential of the nonprofit sector.


William F. Meehan III 
William F. Meehan III

William F. Meehan III is the Lafayette Partners Lecturer in Strategic Management at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a Director Emeritus of McKinsey & Company. He is a sought-after writer, speaker, teacher and advisor on strategy, leadership, governance, and per­formance measurement for non-profit organizations and philanthropists. He is co-author, with Kim Starkey Jonker, of a forthcoming book from Stanford University Press on those topics.

At Stanford, he also is a founding member of the Advisory Council of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, a faculty member of the Public Management Program and the Center for Social Innovation, and a member of the Arts Advisory Council. He developed and teaches a pioneering course in frontier markets private equity and helped launch and shape the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED). He is a regular contributor to the Stanford Social Innovation Review. In addition, he is an active mentor to students, nonprofit leaders and others. He has advised the University’s Board of Trustees and several other areas of the University.

He serves on the Board of GiveDirectly, and the North American Council of Ashoka. A committed supporter of the arts and advisor to arts organizations, he is also a long-serving board member of the San Francisco Symphony and a member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Endowment Board. He is a Special Advisor to King Philanthropies, Equal Opportunity Schools, the San Francisco Opera, and, formerly, Embrace.

He is former Chair of the United Way of the Bay Area, Chairman Emeritus of Guidestar, a former member of the board of Fordham Prep, the National Academy of Sciences’ Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy (STEP), and the California Roundtable.

Meehan retired from McKinsey & Company in December 2008 after a career of over 30 years. His focus at McKinsey was working with chief executives in technology, private equity, and other industries on topics of top management strategy, organization, and leadership. During his tenure, he mentored more than a dozen new CEOs and helped them shape their agendas. In addition to his service to clients, he held many leadership roles within the Firm. As a member of the Shareholders’ Council (McKinsey’s board), he was Chair of the Client Committee and of the McKinsey Investment Office, which oversees more than $8 billion in investments. He was also Vice-Chair of the Directors Review Committee; founder and leader of the Private Equity Practice; Chair of the West Coast Practice; and Managing Director of the San Francisco Office.

Meehan is a Director for Big Switch and a former Director of Juniper Networks and Westward Leaning.

Kim Starkey Jonker 
Kim Starkey Jonker

Kim is President and CEO of King Philanthropies. In that role, Kim oversees the organization’s ambitious initiatives to alleviate global poverty by identifying, supporting, and partnering with high performing social sector leaders and organizations. Working closely with its founders, Robert and Dorothy King, Kim leads all aspects of King Philanthropies’ strategy, operations and grantmaking.

She is co-author, with William F. Meehan III, of Engine of Impact: Essentials of Strategic Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector (Stanford University Press, November 2017). Kim is also a Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB), where she teaches “Social Ventures Practicum”. In this course, students develop ideas and plans for establishing new ventures with a social mission (structured either as a for-profit or nonprofit organization).

Kim brings more than 25 years of experience as a leader in both the business and social sectors. She has served as an advisor to a wide range of philanthropists, foundations, and nonprofit organizations on topics such as strategy, impact evaluation, board governance, and organizational effectiveness. Kim was executive director of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership for a decade, selecting and recognizing extraordinary leaders and organizations in the nonprofit sector. She also served as a visiting practitioner at the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS). Kim is a frequent contributor to the Stanford Social Innovation Review, including co-authoring, with William F. Meehan III, “Fundamentals, Not Fads”, the popular SSIR series on the fundamentals of nonprofit management. Previously, Kim was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in its San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. She also served as a Farber Fellow at REDF (the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund), which promotes job creation by investing in social enterprises.

A Harry S. Truman Scholar, Kim holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a master’s degree in economics for development from the University of Oxford, and a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics.

“No one knows the not-for-profit sector and its most effective leaders better than Meehan and Jonker. Their book is a master class on what it takes to drive meaningful impact. In tackling the fundamental questions—strategy and focus, discipline and accountability—the authors get to the heart of what every mission-focused leader needs to understand. Engine of Impact is a book to read and re-read—the definitive guide for all who aspire to lead high-performing and high-achieving organizations.”

– Sally Osberg, president and CEO
of Skoll Foundation and co-author of Getting Beyond Better

“Engine of Impact is an essential handbook for every aspiring social sector leader and philanthropist… Creating social impact is an art and a science, requiring investments of heart and mind. Meehan and Jonker’s outstanding analysis combines the intense rigor of business strategy with the critical soft skills of courage and creativity to equip us with the toolkit necessary for transformative social change.”

– Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, founder of; author of Giving 2.0; and founder and chair of Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society

Refreshments and hors d'oeuvres with RSVP.



January 23rd, 2018 from  6:00 PM to  8:30 PM
Warren Hall
1125 Amsterdam Ave
Room 208
New York, NY 10027
United States
Phone: (212) 854-1649