Today's Nonprofit Leaders Need Modern, Comprehensive Expertise

cover of  Leading and Managing Nonprofit Organizations by Richard L. Edwards and Paul A. Kurzman

The nonprofit sector is a big part of the nation’s economy. The IRS recognizes approximately 1.3 million charitable organizations.

Richard L. Edwards, professor and chancellor emeritus of Rutgers University–New Brunswick; and Paul A. Kurzman, professor and chair of World of Work Field of Practice at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, CUNY, answer questions about their upcoming NASW Press book “Leading and Managing Nonprofit Organizations.”

What inspired this text?

The government increasingly is looking to private nonprofit agencies and institutions to manage major service delivery systems through professional service contracts. However, recipients are expected to understand and to implement rigorous best practice interventions, and to then demonstrate practice impact via the systematic measurement and presentation of evidence-based outcomes. To be competitive, leaders, middle managers and board members need to possess a modern and comprehensive expertise.

What audience may benefit from the book?

The prospective audience will be faculty who teach, and students who are studying, nonprofit management in MSW, MPA, MBA programs along with the rapidly growing number of public, nonprofit and proprietary programs here and abroad. We also expect the text to be of interest to current organizational leaders, middle managers, philanthropic foundation officers, and members of the board of directors of nonprofits who oversee the performance of the organization, to which they have a fiduciary duty.

What are some key takeaways?

The book is organized around a competing values framework and a metatheoretical model of management and organizational effectiveness. This paradigm integrates four contrasting sets of management skills: boundary spanning, human relations, coordinating, and directing. Each one embeds two roles managers must perform in order to be successful in that specific sphere of activity.

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