Summary of How to Manage an Effective Nonprofit Organization

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Author Michael A. Sand, a consultant to nonprofit organizations for more than 25 years, has condensed his experience and knowledge of not-for-profit agencies into an information-packed book. He thoroughly covers the ABCs of managing a community service agency - from forming and operating a governing board to writing better grant proposals to hiring and supervising a productive staff. This handy reference is straightforward and easy to follow. It tackles many of the problems nonprofit organizations face everyday. Each chapter is accessibly divided into an outline format with headlines and bullet points, making the information easy to find and digest. The author includes sound, basic management material that might apply to most small businesses, as well as nonprofits, but unfortunately does not include case studies, anecdotes or real life examples to support his suggested strategies. Still, if ever offered a start-up or refresher course called Nonprofit Agency Management 101, this book would be required reading.

About the Author

Michael A. Sand has been leading workshops for nonprofit managers for more than a quarter of a century. He heads Sand Associates, a U.S. management consulting firm. Sand also formed a Grant Writing and Grant Management Group, which assists nonprofits with grants.



Begin with the Board

A board of directors that functions smoothly is essential to any well-run nonprofit agency. As a leader or manager of a nonprofit organization, make sure that your agency’s bylaws clearly state the required size of the board, the lengths of the members’ terms, and the process for electing board members and officers. The size of your board depends on the size and requirements of your organization; there is no magic number. You need enough members to meet the agency’s fundraising needs and carry out the work of the functioning committees.

Recruiting good board members is a constant challenge for executive directors and incumbent board members. Often, the answer is to establish a Board Development Committee to help attract and retain excellent board members. Working within the agency’s service area, this committee should consider interested people who have relevant expertise, despite their ages or incomes. Potential board candidates should understand that the agency expects members to attend meetings, contribute to fundraising, and participate in events and activities. Give new members an opportunity to choose the committees they would like to join...

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