How to Keep Your Nonprofit Vibrant & Vital — The Future of Nonprofits

It doesn’t come better than The Future of Nonprofits, by David Neff and Randal Moss, a nonprofit management guide rooted in a fresh and relevant context.

Organizational management theories are vital but, very frankly, most of them focused on nonprofit organizations mimic the very same thing. And, after you’ve read or heard that time and time again, it just doesn’t help move your organization forward.

Now, with The Future of Nonprofits, we have a refreshing and valuable framework for organizational management that incorporates clear, practical guidance for getting your nonprofit there now. Here’s what Neff and Moss recommend:

  1. If accepting that environmental change (in the issue arenas in which we work, in politics and legislation, in our target audiences and other organizations in our field) is real and ongoing, then nonprofit success is all about nimbly adapting to educated guesses on possible changes (multiple possibilities, not one) on an ongoing basis.
  2. This radically-different framework is a fertile foundation for innovation, as you and your colleagues will always be figuring a broad range of approaches to your programs and services, processes and stakeholder experiences. Innovation stems from the inspiration to find creative ways to adapt.
  3. Neff and Moss see nonprofit organizations that are actively experimenting with social media tools as pointed to success. Their ability to go beyond the current way of doing things is a prerequisite for organizational success.
  4. Effective communications (conversations, not broadcasts — built around listening, reading, participation and learning) are the key to sourcing the ideas and concepts at the heart of possible futures.

You’ll have to read the book to learn how to put this approach to work for your organization. I guarantee you it’ll open your mind to new and more effective ways of managing, and communicating for, your organization.

P.S. Learn how to strengthen your nonprofit’s marketing impact, a core ingredient in organizational impact, with the Guide to Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom.

Nancy Schwartz on July 7, 2011 in Strategy | 3 comments
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  • Randal Moss

    Thank you so muchfor the flattering review. We crafted the text to be a compelling set of case studies, and advice so that readers would be able to understand our points in theory and see how they truly play out in reality. We hope your readers will get excited about innovation as a process to build up new and valuable communication strategies at their organizations wherever they are. Thank you again!!

  • This book review is extremely clear and concise! I’m interested in gaining real-world experience from working in a non-profit organization one day, and this book helps me to grasp the vital concepts needed in a functional and sustainable organization.

    I believe the most important thing we come away from this is that, innovation DOES stem from the inspiration to find creative ways to adapt! Innovation is truly the driving force in a successful organization, which is seen in nonprofits that especially use social media tactics.

    I feel that the 4th recommendation is an important one: effective communications. Conversation is the key factor here, not broadcasting your ideas and concepts, but instead really interacting with a more responsive & attentive approach.

    Great review Nancy and thanks for reviewing such an important and concept driven book! :-)

  • I want to echo what Randy said: The case studies really reflect what can happen when innovation is formalized, and put into action at the workplace. So many people think that “innovation” is this abstract thing, a creative idea or a room full of creative individuals … but there’s a specific process to get there. Dave and Randy show you exactly what that process is in The Future of Nonprofits!

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