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Harvard Kennedy School

Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations

May 28—31
4 days
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
USD 4750
USD 1187 per day

How it works


Performance measurement is essential for determining an organization's effectiveness. For nonprofits, however, the ideal metrics are not always easy to identify. Indeed, to improve the effectiveness of a nonprofit organization—especially during difficult economic times—senior executives and board members must first assess current performance.

Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations explores the impact of measurement on resource allocation, organizational learning, internal processes and internal and external accountability. This executive education program can help improve nonprofit effectiveness. How? By showing you how to use performance measurement to enhance your organization's ability to deliver on its mission amid the challenges of today's business environment.

Enhance Your Organization's Performance

Through classroom exercises, group discussions and individual coursework, you'll examine the rationale behind nonprofit performance management and conceptualize a new performance measurement and management system for your organization. The program will improve your ability to:

  • Align your organization's mission, strategy and internal performance.
  • Strategically apply organizational performance management.
  • Assess and respond to external demands for accountability.
  • Institute and sustain organizational performance measurement systems.

Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations was developed by The Social Enterprise Initiative at Harvard Business School, Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education and The Hauser Institute for Civil Society.


Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations helps nonprofit executives like you think conceptually about organizational performance measurement systems. Through a combination of faculty presentations, case studies and group discussions, you'll examine the rationale behind performance measurement and gain valuable insight into its critical aspects.

Core curriculum topics include:

  • Challenges and Obstacles to Managing Organizational Performance: Building a performance-based culture; understanding organizational "accountability flow;" implementing a performance management strategy
  • Strategic Uses of Organizational Performance Management: Recognizing value and satisfying expectations; increasing productivity; fostering creativity and innovation; improving individual behavior
  • Assessing and Responding to Demands for Accountability: Balancing external and internal accountability; dealing with the forces that shape the nonprofit environment
  • Aligning Mission and Organizational Performance Management: Linking mission, performance and impact; recognizing what is being measured and what is being delivered
  • Approaches for Organizational Performance Measurement: Deciding what to measure; choosing the right approach for the job; understanding implementation challenges
  • Organizational Performance Management Systems: Implementing and sustaining a performance management system; building capacity; assessing communication issues

Who should attend

Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations is designed for nonprofit executives who are committed to implementing effective performance measurement and management systems. This leadership training program is suited for individuals as well as teams.

Recommended applicants include:

  • Chief executive officers
  • Presidents
  • Executive directors
  • Chief financial officers
  • Chief operating officers
  • Board chairs
  • Deputy directors


Herman B. ("Dutch") Leonard is Eliot I. Snider and Family Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the George F. Baker, Jr. Professor of Public Sector Management at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition, he serves as co-chair of the ...
Julie Boatright Wilson is the Harry Kahn Senior Lecturer in Social Policy. She is the Faculty co-Chair of two Harvard Kennedy School executive programs: Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations (joint with Harvard Business School) and Leading Successful Social P...


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