Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Managing the Non Profit Corporation

A couple months ago I had a facebook conversation with one of my mentors, Jeff Kern. He was the CEO of Great Commission Ministries for many years, and he’s an extremely organizationally savvy guy. During the conversation, I asked him if there were any books he would recommend for learning how to work/manage a non-profit organization that consisted mainly of volunteers.

Immediately, he recommended Peter Drucker’s Managing the Nonprofit Organization and I was really thankful. I was thankful because I had heard of Drucker (he was an organizational/business guru), and I had just ordered the book from Amazon two days before so I was glad I didn’t pick a lemon.

So I started reading the book, and there is so much great stuff in it’s pages. Not only does it share great principles and practices, but each section includes interviews with individuals who have led some massive nonprofits like the American Heart Association and the Boy Scouts of America.

I really enjoy the book because it doesn’t just keep principles in the world of the theoretical. It gives very tangible examples of how organizations have grown and thrived in an environment where the bottom line isn’t products being sold, but rather lives being changed.

As I read the pages of this book, I could hear echoes of this book in virtually every other book I’ve read in the last ten years on the subject of leadership. This book is great, and it is among a handful I would recommend to anyone working in the world of non-profits. It’s not edgy and hip, but it is very principled, sensible, and helpful for folks trying to make a tangible difference in this world through their endeavors.

Just thought I’d share this brief review and recommendation for anyone out there who might be interested.

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