4th Edition

Understanding Nonprofit Organizations Governance, Leadership, and Management

Edited By Lisa A. Dicke, J. Steven Ott Copyright 2023
    414 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    414 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    There are no easy solutions to the complexities faced by nonprofit leaders and managers. This textbook addresses the governance, leadership, and management functions of the thousands of organizations in the nonprofit sector that provide an enormous range of services. This thoroughly revised fourth edition of Understanding Nonprofit Organizations does not simply recount and summarize seminal literature; it presents 22 of the most important and informative articles, chapters, and essays written about the workings of nonprofit organizations, alongside 18 case studies that illustrate the complex governing, leading, and managing issues raised in the chapters.

    The introductions that open each of the sections explore important issues and concepts, provide context, and explain what students should be looking for as they read each of the chapters. Each section introduction has been extensively rewritten or updated to address recent movements and changes in the nonprofit field, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of nonprofit organizations’ functions and ability to raise funds, increasing social and political divides within countries and communities, the gains and problems that have arisen with dramatic expansion of social media, and the need for justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in our organizations and our society.

    Understanding Nonprofit Organizations provides a cohesive set of relevant readings for a course on nonprofit organizations and management, and instructors and students will appreciate the original case studies that parallel the major themes presented. The book is also designed for individuals who are hoping or planning to move into paid or voluntary leadership and management positions in nonprofit organizations—as well as for those already involved with nonprofits seeking to improve their skills and understanding of their chosen field.

    Foreword by David O. Renz 

    Part I: Governance of Nonprofit Organizations   

    1. Board of Directors 
    2. Stephen R. Block (1998) 

    3. Ethno-racial Diversity on Nonprofit Boards: A Critical Mass Perspective 
    4. Christopher Fredette and Ruth Sessler Bernstein (2019) 

      CASE STUDY 1: Welcome to the Board of Directors 

      C. Kenneth Meyer and Alison Lemke 

      CASE STUDY 2: Leadership and Growth Challenges in Nonprofit Organizations 

      Julie Ann O’Connell, Benjamin S. Bingle, and C. Kenneth Meyer 

    Part II: The Legal Framework (Jared C. Bennett) 

    3. Nonprofit Organizations Law Generally 

      Bruce R. Hopkins (2013) 

    4. Non-Governmental Organizations: Anticorruption Compliance Challenges and Risks   

    Elena Helmer and Stuart H. Deming (2011) 

    CASE STUDY 3: Daughter Dearest: Nonprofit Nepotism 

    Benjamin S. Bingle and C. Kenneth Meyer 

    CASE STUDY 4: Conflicting Values 

    Carol Sipfle and C. Kenneth Meyer 

    Part III: Strategic Leadership 

    5. Executive Director 

    Block, Stephen R. (1990) 

    6. Critical Standpoint: Leaders of Color Advancing Racial Equality in Predominately White Organizations 

      Brad. R. Fulton, Michelle Oyakawa,, and Richard L Wood (2019) 

      CASE STUDY 5: Organizational Stability in the Midst of Turnover and Leadership Change   

      Julie Ann O’Connell, Benjamin S. Bingle, and C. Kenneth Meyer 

      CASE STUDY 6: Best Laid Plans: Challenges in Strategic Planning 

      Betsy Hull, Benjamin S. Bingle, and C. Kenneth Meyer 

    Part IV: Innovation, Capacity, and Collaborations 

    7. A Manager’s Guide to Choosing and Using Collaborative Networks 

      H. Brinton Milward and Keith G. Provan (2006) 

    8. Effective Leadership in Network Collaboration: Lessons Learned from Continuum of Care Homeless Programs 

      Hee Soun Jang, Jesús N. Valero, and Kyujin Jung (2016) 

    9. How Does a Board of Directors Influence within- and Cross-sector Nonprofit Collaboration? 

      Jennifer Ihm and Michelle Shumate (2018) 

      CASE STUDY 7: Fostering Growth Through Capacity Building  

      Valencia Prentice and Mohamad Bamanie 

      CASE STUDY 8: Show Me the Money 

      C. Kenneth Meyer and Stacy Gibbs 

    Part V: Fund Development: Generating Revenues 

    10. Capacity-Building: Strategies for Successful Fundraising 

      Michele T. Cole (2016) 

    11. Analyzing the Dynamics of Funding: Reliability and Autonomy 

      Jon Pratt (2004) 

      CASE STUDY 9: Ethical Considerations in Fundraising 

      Carol Sipfle and C. Kenneth Meyer 

      CASE STUDY 10: The Selling of America  

      Garry L. Frank and C. Kenneth Meyer 

    Part VI: Philanthropy and Advocacy 

    12. Philanthropic Social Ventures: A Framework and Profile of the Emerging Field 

      Holona LeAnne Ochs (2012) 

    13. Political Advocacy by Nonprofit Organizations: A Strategic Management Explanation 

      Kelly Leoux and Holly T. Goerdel (2009) 

      CASE STUDY 11: Southwest County Foodbank: Nonprofit Board Advocacy 

      Julie Ann O’Connell, Benjamin S. Bingle, and C. Kenneth Meyer 

      CASE STUDY 12: Volunteer and Donor Recruitment on Social Media 

      Julie Ann O’Connell, Benjamin S. Bingle, and C. Kenneth Meyer 

    Part VII: Budgets, Financial Reports, and Management Control 

    14. Types of Nonprofit Income: Financial and Cash Flow Management Considerations 

      Murray Dropkin and Allyson Hayden (2001) 

    15. Resiliency Tactics During Financial Crisis: The Nonprofit Resiliency Framework 

      Elizabeth A. M. Searing, Kimberly K. Wiley, and Sarah L. Young (2021) 

      CASE STUDY 13: Throwing the First E-Stone 

      C. Kenneth Meyer 

      CASE STUDY 14: When the Funding Stops 

      Don Munkers and C. Kenneth Meyer 

    Part VIII: Managing Volunteers and Staff 

    16. Exploring the Dynamics of Volunteer and Staff Interactions: From Satisfaction to Conflict

      Heather Rimes, Rebecca Nesbit, Robert K. Christensen, and Jeffrey L. Brudney (2017) 

    17. Volunteers as Boundary Workers: Negotiating Tensions Between Volunteerism and Professionalism in Nonprofit Organizations 

      Kirstie McAllum (2018) 

      CASE STUDY 15: Changing of the Guard: Leadership Change in Nonprofit Organizations 

      Betsy Hull, Benjamin S. Bingle, and C. Kenneth Meyer 

      CASE STUDY 16: Turning the Tide: Transitioning from Volunteers to Paid Staff 

      Julie Ann O’Connell, Benjamin S. Bingle, and C. Kenneth Meyer 

    Part IX: Accountability and Evaluation 

    18. Accountability Online: Understanding the Web-Based Accountability Practices of Nonprofit Organizations 

      Gregory D. Saxton and Chao Guo (2011) 

    19. Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World 

    Beth Kanter and Katie Delahaye Paine (2012) 

    CASE STUDY 17: Technology and Transparency at the Museum 

    Amanda R. Insalaco, Benjamin S. Bingle, and C. Kenneth Meyer 

    CASE STUDY 18: Measure Twice, Cut Once: Performance Evaluation in Nonprofit Organizations   

    Benjamin S. Bingle and C. Kenneth Meyer 


    Lisa A. Dicke is Professor of Public Administration at the University of North Texas, USA.

    J. Steven Ott is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Affairs at the University of Utah, USA.

    "This is the book that I have been looking for in my teaching that incorporates the most comprehensive and up-to-date management aspects and policy issues surrounding the nonprofit scholarly and practitioner community. By addressing current events/trends/movements affecting the field, such as the impacts of the global pandemic, social media, societal/political division; and enhanced societal awareness (social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion), this book will play its pioneering role to lead the discourse and critical thinking much needed at this critical juncture in this field. I commend the book editors’ remarkable job bringing distinguished articles and chapters that critically review, practically resolve, and insightfully comprehend complex issues/challenges facing nonprofits. Nonprofit practices and research evidently evolve and advance thanks to such efforts contributed by dedicated editors and chapter authors of this seminal book."

    Bok Gyo Jeong, Department of Public Administration, Kean University

    "Understanding Nonprofit Organizations edited by Drs. J. Steven Ott and Lisa Dicke is a wonderful textbook for my nonprofit management class. This book covers all critical aspects of governance and operations of nonprofit organizations and supplements the conceptual discussions with case studies, which is perfect for students learning about nonprofit management. The introductions to each section of the book by the editors summarize and highlight the section’s significance and implications for practice. This book is a great one-stop resource as it compiles literature surrounding the most salient nonprofit management topics that students need to know about. I have been using this book in my graduate class for a long time and will continue using it as it is updated with more relevant nonprofit management topics."

    Karabi C. Bezboruah, Associate Professor and Director of PhD programs at The University of Texas at Arlington

    "Understanding Nonprofit Organizations provides an effective overview of critical, contemporary challenges facing today’s nonprofit managers and complements that with interesting case studies to highlight these real-world issues. This book helps students and nonprofit managers create more successful, equitable nonprofit organizations. It is a must-read for anyone interested in nonprofit organizations." 

    Rebecca Nesbit, University of Georgia

    "These chapters are written by leading scholars and professionals, people who know their topics very well, and they are organized and presented in a way that brings important clarity to the management of this new generation of nonprofit organizations. We are fortunate to have this valuable resource to inform our work in these exciting and promising times."

    David O. Renz, from the Preface to Understanding Nonprofit Organizations, 4th Edition

    "Understanding Nonprofit Organizations sets itself apart from other textbooks in seeking to provide the best of both worlds – a consideration of the complexity and challenges of the nonprofit sector from a practical, applied standpoint, and a firm root in the academic literature on the topic."

    Christopher L. Atkinson, Assistant Professor, Department of Administration and Law - Public Administration Program, University of West Florida