This chapter provides an overview of the nonprofit organization in the United States, the main characteristics of nonprofit organizations, and the reality of the nonprofit sector today. It describes the differences between a nonprofit and a for-profit corporation. Nonprofit organizations have existed for many centuries, especially through religious groups or religious-based activities. The nongovernmental sector is growing throughout the world. Increasingly, these organizations are playing key roles in the economic and social contexts of their countries. Unlike private-sector organizations concerned primarily with making a profit, nonprofit organizations are focused on carrying out a specific public-service mission. Successful nonprofit organizations require substantial capability in key areas of management: developing strong boards of directors, recruiting and motivating talented staff and volunteers, creating plans to focus resources on relevant goals and innovative programs, winning the support of diverse stakeholders, raising funds, and wisely managing fiscal and human resources.
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This chapter discusses the term “service delivery” and describes a service delivery system in the context of a nonprofit organization. Servitization is the process whereby an organization develops creative and innovative ways to create a product-service system that integrates value-based products and service offerings. The chapter discusses the roles of client-centeredness, decision making, scheduling, priority setting, effective and efficient flow of services or activities, quality assurance, and continuing quality improvement, and how these factors contribute in their own context to influence positively or negatively the financial sustainability of a nonprofit organization. A customer-centric service design is a service delivery system that focuses on providing the best quality service possible to customers or clients or the service target, based on a service concept, a service decision path, service sustainability, and service quality. The chapter explains the relationship between service delivery and financial sustainability.
This chapter defines the concept of social marketing and provides some of the common areas for the use of social marketing by nonprofit organizations. The term “social marketing” has been used for several decades to refer to a systematic process of using marketing strategy to influence current behaviors of a target population into a desired behavior in order to positively change a social or community issue. The chapter describes the contents of a social marketing plan. A social marketing plan is a document that justifies the needs for a social marketing campaign, as well as the process of implementation by outlining a SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunity, threat) analysis, a description of the target population, the goals and objectives, an impact statement, the marketing mix strategies, an implementation plan, an evaluation plan, and a budget. The chapter establishes the relationship between social marketing and financial sustainability.
This chapter defines the term “grant” and examines potential funding sources for nonprofit organizations. A grant is a monetary fund disbursed by an institutional or organizational donor to a recipient, which does not have to be paid back. The chapter discusses the overall grant-seeking process and describes the items of a generic grant proposal or application. A grant proposal is a written document or application submitted in response to a call for proposals issued by a grant-maker agency or as a result of opportunities for funding or an invitation received by an applicant. A generic grant proposal includes: cover letter, cover page, table of content, abstract, problem or needs statement, goals and objectives, project description, timeline, organizational capability, evaluation, references, budget, and appendices. The chapter focuses on how grant seeking can serve as a strategy to generate revenues that may ultimately contribute to financial sustainability of a nonprofit organization (NPO).
This chapter defines the term “budget” and explains the importance of the budget for a nonprofit organization. It describes the different types of budgets and provides the most common budget approaches. The most common types of budgets are an operating budget, a cash budget, and a capital budget. The chapter also describes the process of developing a budget in a nonprofit organization and presents the relationship between the budget and financial sustainability in nonprofit organizations. Budget techniques are central to the successful operation of all organizations. A budget enables organizations to allocate scarce resources, control operations, and manage performance. A budget is the translation of an organization’s plans and priorities. The chapter helps the readers to learn the basic concepts and practices of budgeting in nonprofit organizations. It also explains the essential role played by budget approaches and techniques in the successful and sustainable operations of a nonprofit organization.
This chapter explains the purpose and benefits of information systems for nonprofit organizations. Information technology refers to the means of access to information and related services that combine various support and devices, such as telephone, computer, software, and the Internet. Information technology includes all computer-based information systems and related technology used by organizations in the operation of their programs, activities, or services. The chapter discusses the dimensions of information systems and also discusses the most common types of information systems in organizations. Some organizations develop and maintain: executive information systems, management information systems (MIS), and transaction processing systems. Effective information system must meet at least five criteria such as accuracy, completeness, consistency, relevance, and timeliness. The chapter presents the relationship between information technology and the financial sustainability of nonprofit organizations.
This chapter discusses the life cycles of organizations and focuses on the life cycle of nonprofit organizations. Daft. R. L. argues that life cycle of an organization includes four stages: entrepreneurial, collectivity, formalization, and elaboration. Stevens. S. K. argues that nonprofit organizations evolve from vitality to regeneration, through seven stages, encompassing idea, start-up, growth, maturity, decline, turnaround, and terminal. The chapter identifies factors affecting organizational transformation process of nonprofit organizations and discusses the elements of an organizational transformation initiative. The organizational transformation of a nonprofit organization includes factors that are antecedent to the process and other elements that are part of the process. Organizational transformation is the consequence of other factors or elements, which must be taken into consideration in future plans of action. These factors include, but are not limited to, life cycles, internal environment, and external environment. The chapter explains the relationship between organizational transformation and financial sustainability.
This chapter defines the concept of leadership and describes the most common leadership theories. Most scholars agree that leadership is a key component of organizational effectiveness. The very range of definitions of leadership and the absence of consensual agreement between the definitions make the concept of leadership an issue in itself. The chapter examines leadership from various perspectives with an emphasis on the influence of particular leadership styles on the financial sustainability of a nonprofit organization. It integrates theory-based and practice-based approaches, and thus provides tools to better understand and influence the leader-follower dynamic in the nonprofit setting. Early leadership theories include: Great man theory, traits theories, behavioral theories, contingency theories, and attribution and charismatic theories. The chapter explains the relationship between leadership and community relations and discusses the role of leadership in strategic planning. It also explains the relationship between leadership and financial sustainability of nonprofit organizations.
This chapter defines the terms community relations, outreach, and partnership in relationship to nonprofit organizations. Community relations combine an organization policy and process used to develop and implement community outreach and awareness about programs and activities in order to promote the organizational vision and mission in a community-oriented manner. As a policy, community-relations programs and activities are intentional. The chapter also defines the terms advocacy and public relations. Public relations involve the communication of intentional messages to the public in order to influence the opinion or perception of an organization by the public at large. Public relations are a key communication practice for organizations, including nonprofit organizations. The chapter describes the different facets of community relations and discusses community outreach, partnership, advocacy, and public relations as facets of community relations. It explains the relationship between community relations and financial sustainability.
This chapter describes a financial sustainability plan and explains the importance of a financial sustainability plan for nonprofit organizations. It discusses the elements of a financial sustainability plan. A financial sustainability plan should include an executive summary, financial sustainability analysis, financial ratios analysis, strategic goals and objectives, action plan, benchmark and outcomes, continuing quality improvement strategies, and budget. Many nonprofit organizations are faced with a constant challenge to match financial sustainability with their vision and mission statements. Some of the challenge may have to do with how much money they can successfully raise. This aspect can be manipulated by greater fund-raising efficiency and effectiveness. The chapter suggests approaches and best practices in developing a financial sustainability plan for a nonprofit organization. It includes a step-by-step process to use to develop a financial sustainability plan.