A NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT BOOK FOR EMERGING LEADERS


By James D’Ambrosio

In an effort to expand my learning, I’m currently reading an excellent book on nonprofit management. I’ve been impressed to the point that I’ll share a review — and what you can expect to learn — before I’m finished. The book is designed for emerging nonprofit leaders — those stepping into new roles and taking on new responsibilities for the first time who could benefit from the wisdom and experience of those who have been there.

“NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT 101: A COMPLETE AND PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR LEADERS AND PROFESSIONALS.” (Jossey-Bass, 2011)

Edited by Darian Rodriguez Heyman, executive director of Craigslist Foundation (2004-08) and a managing partner at Code Green Agency, an environmental consultancy providing support to nonprofits, businesses and government agencies, this 643-page, 33-chapter tome focuses on seven major nonprofit management disciplines: 1) strategy and leadership; 2) operations; 3) law and finance; 4) technology; 5) fund-raising; 6) marketing; and 7) board and volunteer management.

WHAT MAKES IT VALUABLE: 50 LEADING EXPERTS

It’s value lies in bringing together “Essential resources, tools, and hard-earned wisdom from 50 leading experts.” So not only are you getting advice from people who have “been there and done that,” you’re also getting diverse perspectives — a key component to comprehensive learning. This is important; managing a nonprofit is complex and filled with key decisions and judgments that often aren’t clear-cut. The more ideas and experiences you’re exposed to can broaden your perspective and lead to better decision-making. 

FOCUS OF BOOK: A REFERENCE GUIDE FOR PROFESSIONALS 

The editor succinctly encapsulates what the book is about: It is not a textbook, written by and for academics. This book is not a how-to or a do-it-yourself manual designed to help you start a new organization…This book is a reference guide for professionals taking on new responsibilities, even though they aren’t completely prepared. This book will make the orientation process quicker and less painful, allowing you to benefit from the experience of those who came before you.”

CHAPTER STRUCTURE

Each chapter follows a consistent structure, promoting easy learning.  Sections include, in this order: a) Introduction; b) Critical Skills and Competencies; c) Short Case Study; d) Do’s and Dont’s; e) Conclusion; and f)Resource Review, providing resources for further learning — Web sites, support organizations, books, blogs, newsletters, reports and FAQ’s.

In addition, a foreword is provided by Ami Dar, founder and executive director of Idealist.org/Action Without Borders, a web site attracting 70,000 daily visitors and information from 100,000 organizations worldwide. Dar, an Ashoka Fellow serving on the boards of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and Allforgood.org, outlines 10 key lessons he’s learned over the past 15 years.  

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BOOK

Nonprofit Management 101, a paperback, is currently on sale from Amazon for $23.07 ; a Kindle edition is available for $19.22. Check it out here: http://amzn.to/ziVf9H.

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QUESTION TO READERS: What do you think of this book? Are you inclined to purchase it? If so, why?

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