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Summary of The 21st Century Nonprofit

In this provocative and pragmatic book, Paul B. Firstenberg, applies his extensive for-profit and nonprofit experience to the challenges of managing tax-exempt organizations today. The 21st Century Nonprofit provides a road map for organizations seeking to enhance their performance both in program design and execution and in achieving financial health. Firstenberg insists that nonprofits cannot simply rely on their altruistic intentions and past records of achievement. He suggests that nonprofits must establish specific aims and then account for how well they achieve them and that accountability is the key to credibility for nonprofits.

The 21st Century Nonprofit encourages executives to transform their organizations into more vital social and cultural forces by implementing the most successful managerial policies recently adopted by U.S. businesses. The book demonstrates that restructuring that focuses on organizational processes the systems by which work is accomplished can be applied to a nonprofit's advantage. Firstenberg encourages nonprofit organizations to develop a "marketing approach" to increase the effectiveness of their fundraising programs and to diversify their income base by exploiting the possibilities for earned income. He discusses mergers and conversion to for-profit enterprises, options likely to receive more attention in the future. He focuses on human resources, illustrating how nonprofit organizations can create environments that encourage individuals to maximize their commitment and further their own career goals. Convinced that strong and innovative leaders provide the most effective impetus for instituting the management structures he advocates, Firstenberg closes with insightful profiles of leaders of the Ford Foundation, Princeton University, and Children's Television Workshop.

The 21st Century Nonprofit

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