Nonprofit Management for the 21st Century

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

How long?

  • 2 days
  • in person

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

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Who should attend

Mid-level and upper-level leaders and those aspiring to leadership positions in all areas of the nonprofit sector. It is helpful but not necessary if participants have either served on or staffed a board of directors. No other specialized background is expected. A laptop is not necessary but may be helpful for note-taking.

About the course

Get a strong foundation in the legal and managerial responsibilities of nonprofit organizations.

Course objectives

Nonprofit organizations in the United States are unique: they are private, selfgoverning and independent, but their favored tax status means that stakeholders and regulators impose additional public accountability and performance expectations on them. It should come as no surprise, then, that one of the biggest challenges facing the nonprofit sector today is the quality of its management and board. Fortunately, while the stakes are higher, the tools, resources and knowledge about effective nonprofit management have also multiplied.

This seminar will provide participants with a strong foundation in the legal and managerial responsibilities of nonprofit organizations. Following four themes of Governance, Accountability, Collaboration, and Ethical Leadership, this two-day course will address:

  • How to identify and address hidden forms of organizational dysfunction
  • Roles and responsibilities of boards of directors, including new research on high-performing
  • boards
  • Public expectations regarding accountability and ethical leadership
  • Trends in the nonprofit regulatory environment and expectations of watchdog organizations
  • Fundamental principles of successful collaborative activity
  • Effective leadership and motivation of volunteers and staff.

The course material is delivered in a variety of brief lectures, class discussion, small group exercises, and analysis of cases, documents, the internet, your experiences, and the best published research to demonstrate effective nonprofit management in action.

Schedule

Nonprofit Management for the 21st Century is offered once a year in-person and online.

In-person Schedule

The in-person class is two days in length.

  • Day 1: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Day 2: 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Online Schedule

The online course is four weeks in length.

Each week you'll have a course module to complete. Each module consists of:

  • readings (available in PDF format)
  • viewing a pre-recorded narrated presentation
  • completing a 10-question quiz where you must score a 7 or higher
  • engaging in forum discussions with others
  • and submitting assignments.

AGENDA

Day 1 – GOVERNANCE

  • Group introductions, course objectives
  • Please read this item in advance of class: Anatomy of a Dysfunctional Organization (Chapter 3 in Jackson and Fogarty’s Sarbanes Oxley and Nonprofit Management, Wiley 2006). Please come prepared to answer these questions (small group discussion):
    • How would you describe your organizational culture?
    • What forms of organizational dysfunction have you observed in the nonprofit sector?
    • What role could a Board of Directors play in resolving them?
  • Board roles and responsibilities (see Principles for Good Governance)
    • Please read in advance Miller-Millesen’s article “Understanding Nonprofit Boards”
  • Research on high-performing boards: What really matters?
    • Urban Institute’s The State of Nonprofit Governance 2014
    • Ostrower’s Nonprofit Governance in the United States 2007 (copyrighted; obtain on your own)
    • Gazley and Bowers 2013; Gazley and Kissman 2015; two governance studies in member-serving organizations (to be presented in class, with handout)
  • Small group discussion and application of course material to your organization
  • Reconvene, additional Q&A on governance

ACCOUNTABILITY

  • Ethical frameworks for the nonprofit sector (“Ethics” powerpoint)
    • In advance, please download and bring with you one copy of the “values” statement from your organization’s mission statement (if you have one), and a sample of other organizational policies that address ethics. These might include organizational codes of conduct, conflict of interest policies, etc.
  • An Introduction to Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice
    • Please review in advance Principles for Good Governance.
  • The wonderful (and sometimes wacky) world of watchdog organizations: What do they want and can we give it to them?
    • Video: Dan Pallotta’s view of nonprofit accountability
    • What is “overhead” anyway??
    • How good are the charity rating systems, what do they want from us, and are there better ways of evaluating organizational effectiveness and efficiency?
    • Please read in advance: Wall Street Journal article “Charity Rankings Giveth Less”; and the compilation of stories on the Overhead Debate. This package includes an article from Stanford Social Innovation Review on the “Nonprofit Starvation Cycle”. Please be sure to read the online reader comments.
  • Brief lecture on outcomes and impacts, followed by group discussion on performance measurement at your organization

Day 2 – COLLABORATION

  • Regroup, open discussion
  • Playing well together: Mergers, collaborations, networks, partnerships and other interorganizational relationships
    • Collaboration and Contracting Handout
  • Small group/full group discussion – what makes collaboration work in your field?
  • Getting in bed and avoiding the fleas – Contracts, public-private partnerships and grants Please read this news story in advance: Open Access vs. Donors’ Influence? The Millennium Park case (Kleiman, Christian Science Monitor 9-29-2004)
  • Implementing a collaborative culture at your organization / Small group discussion
    • Avoiding Siloed Departments, NP Times Discussion question: Are there any “siloed” activities in your organization? What causes them? What are the consequences? What solutions might there be?

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP

Come prepared to discuss employee and volunteer management in your organization. Where are the recruitment challenges you face (Skills? Diversity? Experience?)? Are there retention challenges? How much do you know about why people want to work (paid and unpaid) for your organization? I’ll introduce you to the research that will help you understand what really attracts people to NPO employment and volunteerism.

  • An introduction to employee motivation and retention: Mission or Money?
    • Job Embeddedness Model
  • Small group/whole class discussion: What motivates employees in your organization?
    • The leadership/motivation matrix, or what works when nothing else does?
  • Who volunteers? Intro to the “Volunteer S-Curve”
  • Research in volunteer recruitment and retention and its applications for practitioners
    • Penner model of volunteer behavior
  • Small group/whole class discussion: improving volunteer recruitment and retention in your organization.
  • The law on nonprofit employee compensation: Why a “rebuttable presumption” may be hard to say but is actually a good thing
    • Labor and tax law with respect to senior staff compensation.
    • Helpful strategies for designing equitable and defensible compensation systems.
    • New research and future trends in nonprofit employment and volunteerism
  • Q&A, troubleshooting on employee and volunteer engagement at your organization
  • Wrap-up, course evaluations, course completion certificates, and fond farewells

ONLINE COURSE AGENDA

WEEK 1: NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP BY THE GOVERNING BOARD

  • Readings
  • Narrated Presentation
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: NAACP
  • Assignment: Drucker on Nonprofits
  • Assignment: Discussing Your Work

WEEK 2: ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

  • Readings
  • Narrated Presentation
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: Baptist Foundation of Arizona
  • Assignment: Values Based Leadership
  • Assignment: Discussing Your Work

WEEK 3: SUCCESSFUL NONPROFIT COLLABORATION

  • Readings
  • Narrated Presentation
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: Cancer Vaccine Collaborative
  • Assignment: Collaboration in Action
  • Assignment: Discussing Your Work

WEEK 4: MANAGING FOR NONPROFIT EFFECTIVENESS

  • Readings
  • Narrated Presentation
  • Quiz
  • Assignment: CANDO Case Study
  • Assignment: Effectiveness Criteria
  • Assignment: Discussing Your Work
  • Assignment: Course Evaluation

Videos and materials

Nonprofit Management for the 21st Century at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

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Disclaimer

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Full disclaimer.

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