Reviewed: Nonprofit Management 101 Shares the Secrets of Top Experts

Imagine if there was a guide book to help nonprofit newbies learn the ropes, or a place for seasoned staffers to learn new resources for expanding their expertise. Imagine a world in which 50 of the sector’s leading experts got together to share what they know with the rest of us.

Darian Rodriguez Heyman has made that world a reality by bringing together leaders from all over the nonprofit field to create Nonprofit Management 101. The 600-page book is written as a how-to manual and resource guide, with 33 chapters each by an authority on a particular aspect of nonprofit management.

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And who better to edit this mammoth resource than Darian Rodriguez Heyman, former Executive Director of the Craigslist Foundation and creator of Nonprofit Boot Camp. His extensive work to educate, inspire, and connect emerging nonprofit leaders makes Darian an expert in his own right in many of the topics covered in the book.

Instead of writing it all himself, however, Darian invited experts in the field like Paul Hawken, Lynne Twist, Ami Dar, Kay Sprinkel Grace, Beth Kanter, Greg Baldwin and 45 others to share their secrets for nonprofit management. Beyond the sheer amount of information in the book, this is the most impressive aspect of Nonprofit Management 101, in my mind. 50 experts is always better than one, after all.

By editing a collection from such an esteemed group, Darian provides us all with a resource of much greater value than he would have by writing his own version. It’s perhaps the first time the nonprofit sector has had a management guide of this magnitude that can come close to providing a “standardized” set of best practices. So as we all work towards achieving thriving organizations and fulfilled missions, we can perhaps use the contents of Nonprofit Management 101 to work together and help each other.

With that in mind, here are some of the chapters that really make this book an indispensable resource for me:

  • Chapter 4: Taking Charge of Your Nonprofit Sector Career
    It’s important to focus not just on your nonprofit or cause work, but on your own career and professional development needs. In this chapter Kimberly Hendler of iMentor and Shelly Cryer, nonprofit Communications Consultant, provide practical advice for how to decide what you want and where you want to go, and how to use the power of your network to get there.
  • Chapter 8: Making Human Resources Work for You: Best Practices in Nonprofit Human Capital Management
    Recruiting and managing stellar staff is critical to the success of any nonprofit, and James Weinberg and Cassie Scarano of Commongood Careers provide a plethora of best practices for developing the people around you that you can integrate into your work.
  • Chapter 13: Nonprofit Financial Management
    Nonprofit finance is generally an area we’d all like to overlook, however David Greco of the Nonprofit Finance Fund reminds us in this chapter that nonprofits are businesses, too, and no business can survive if its financial situation is unstable. He provides a comprehensive overview of how to understand and monitor your organization’s finances.
  • Chapter 14: The Technology Foundation: Hardware and Software
    Holly Ross of The Nonprofit Technology Network knows better than most that technology can be nerve-wracking, so she stresses in this chapter how important it is to build a technology system based on your organization’s mission. She guides us through the decisions nonprofit leaders must make to provide their organization with a strong technology foundation.
  • Chapter 21: Online Fundraising
    Whether or not you’ve personally seen evidence of the growth of online fundraising, Katya Andresen and Rebecca Ruby Higman of Network for Good do a great job in this chapter of explaining why it matters for everyone and the pieces you need to be successful, such as your website, quality messaging and email campaign tools.
  • Chapter 28: Painless and Effective Event Planning
    Often overlooked skill, but it’s something that almost every nonprofit does in some context. And it’s especially close to our hearts because volunteers are a critical piece of successful event production. Marika Holmgren of Organic Events provides an excellent guide for making sure your event is fun, productive, profitable, and doesn’t give you and your staff massive headaches.
  • Chapter 31: Getting Your Board to Fundraise
    We like to think of board members as the ultimate volunteers. In this chapter Bob Zimmerman of Zimmerman Lehman illuminates the importance and best practices of creating a culture of philanthropy among your board members so they become not only major supporters themselves, but stellar fundraisers for your organization.

Tell Us Your Secrets

One final chapter we should probably mention is Chapter 32: Volunteer Recruitment, written by our very own President, Greg Baldwin. Now, we may have been working in the field of volunteer recruitment for the past 13 years or so, but we know that the real experts in this field are all of you – the nonprofit volunteer coordinators and managers that recruit volunteers for your organizations all the time.

We think it’s important for you to share your secrets, too. So we’re holding a contest to see who has the best volunteer recruitment secret.

From now until July 1st, share your #1 volunteer recruitment secret with our community on Facebook. The two secrets with the most “likes” will win a free copy of Nonprofit Management 101.

Share your volunteer recruitment secret on Facebook now.

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