Barbara Dalio vividly remembers the meeting when she realized she had to pivot the Connecticut Opportunity Project (CTOP) to generate positive outcomes. David Hunter, an experienced consultant on philanthropic and nonprofit performance, told her that there was no way her giving through CTOP at the time was having a lasting impact on the young people whose lives she wanted to help change. If she wanted to improve their life prospects, he explained, she needed to change her strategy and provide a whole other level of support. Hearing it was painful. And she knew he was right.

Early in her philanthropic journey, she'd visit schools, talk to teachers, understand what their needs were—and fund one project after another, from the school library that needed more books to the community-based mental health center. But she began to learn that saying no to some projects allowed her to focus her efforts in ways that enabled her to have a greater impact.

Everything felt important. I'd hear about great programs and think, why wouldn't I do that?"

Read the full profile about Dalio Education's Connecticut Opportunity Project at the Leap of Reason Ambassadors Community.