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Managing Nonprofits

abstract Central concepts: Nonprofit management, large organizations, strategic challenges, change management

Question: What are the central management challenges for the NPO managers and presidents of tomorrow?
keywords Nonprofit-Management
type fundamental research project
status completed
start of project 2003
end of project 2007
additional informations What is the benefit for practitioners?
The outcome of this project is a book with the working title: Managing Nonprofits.

The statements of the various practitioners are systematically presented in this book. The authors have mainly focused on the statements of the experts and kept their own previous theoretical knowledge to a minimum.

In the end, the practitioner receives a theme map of the central topics for an NPO manager. He can orient himself on this map:

What can I do today itself?
What have I not considered before?
How good am I compared to other successful NPO managers?
What could I learn from others?
topics What is it about?
Many nonprofit organizations are paying increased attention to the procurement of their resources and to the question of how to explain the effectiveness of their performance to the critical public (sponsors, political parties, media etc.). Many of them therefore verify the effectiveness and efficiency of their management. This leads them to investigate how and where they could improve their management.

The persons in charge are still hesitant to take an interest in the management of other NPOs - even though this topic is increasing gaining in importance in their day-to-day work. This hesitancy has a reason: it is repeatedly questioned whether the management practices of NPOs of various fields (social services, international aid, cultural organizations, education etc.) are in any way comparable.

In profit organizations, this question, although acute initially, is no longer posed in this form. In profit organizations, this question, although acute initially, is no longer posed in this form. But what about nonprofit organizations? As yet there are only a few comprehensive approaches that deal specifically with NPO management challenges, and which do not simply club together profit enterprises and NPOs.

The project Managing Nonprofits fills this gap and identifies shared management challenges of NPOs. For this,
a systematic exchange of knowledge between managers of NPOs from different fields was conducted:

public health systems, culture, social services, association structures, foundations, international aid, education, independent experts, interview transcripts of Peter F. Drucker with various managers of American NPOs.
methods Which method is used?
The project is based on 32 in-depth interviews with experts from different NPO fields and from the cultural contexts of Switzerland, Germany, USA and Canada.

The methodical concept was composed of different approaches (triangulation). This was done to address the complexity of the subject matter.

First of all, narrative interviews with selected managers from all well-known NPO fields were conducted.
The interviews were evaluated with regard to three questions (coding procedures): Which challenges are recognized by the experts? What are the strategic topics of the experts?
The results of the interpretations were raised for discussion among the interviewed experts in three one-day workshops. The three questions were delved into in greater depth during these workshops.
Parallel to these activities, two interviews with independent experts were conducted: a Harvard professor and a well-known management consultant from Canada.
Moreover, transcripts of interviews that Peter F. Drucker had conducted with 23 different managers from the service sector of the US economy were evaluated with regard to the above three questions. We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Peter F. Drucker and Masathoshi Ito Graduate School of Management for the confidence reposed in our work.
contact Urs Jaeger