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Intro to NPO management

"Nonprofits" come in every size, shade and flavor.

There is no such thing as "nonprofit management" if the phrase is taken to mean there's a one-size-fits-all management discipline that can or has to be applied in nonprofit settings. It just doesn't work that way.

Also, there is no great divide between managing a nonprofit and managing a for-profit of similar size and scope. Lots of what for-profit managers do sounds very familiar to nonprofit managers, and vice versa; in some jobs, the work is virtually identical.

In the same way, there are some features of nonprofit management that will vary greatly depending on the communities in which the organization works and some that are pretty much basic elements of any situation in which humans work together.

That said, nonprofit managers still need to manage. And nonprofit managers need to be able to recognize the very real differences in management dynamics that do exist in some parts of the work.

This collection of resources for nonprofit managers runs from soup to nuts and is a continuously evolving project. Please use the Contact link at the top of the page to let us know if you know of something useful that we haven't pointed to, if you find something wrong, or if a link doesn't work.

At Idealist.org

  • Your Own Idealist Listing – any nonprofit organization anywhere in the world can create an Idealist listing for itself to announce programs, volunteer opportunities, publications, etc. There is no charge. With a listing, you can also announce job openings (U.S. organizations pay a small fee for this service). This page gets you started creating a listing (you have to log in to your personal account first).
  • Resource Centers – In addition to this collection of information for and about nonprofit organizations, there are four other resource centers at Idealist.org:
    Volunteering
    Global Volunteering
    Nonprofit Careers
    Grad School

Elsewhere: NPO Management

  • At the Free Management Library there's a free 12-unit "eMBA" for anyone interested in nonprofit management. Read the Introduction to the process.
  • The Nonprofit Good Practice Guide is a comprehensive online resource directory and capacity building tool created by Grand Valley State University in Michigan. Find it here.

Elsewhere: Management in general