Resilience and the Management of Nonprofit Organizations


Resilience and the Management of Nonprofit Organizations

A New Paradigm

9781035323722 Edward Elgar Publishing
Dennis R. Young, Emeritus Professor, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University and Emeritus Professor, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University and Elizabeth A.M. Searing, Assistant Professor of Public and Nonprofit Management, School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, US
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 03532 372 2 Extent: 192 pp
This timely book examines the serious threats that pandemics, economic recessions, terrorist attacks and other potentially catastrophic events pose to nonprofit organizations. Reliant on donors, regulators, government funders and dedicated staff and volunteers, these organizations are often vulnerable and unprepared to navigate such crises. The book offers a new management paradigm to build healthier and more effective nonprofit organizations for the future.

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This timely book examines how nonprofits can prepare for and respond to serious threats, such as pandemics, economic recessions, terrorist attacks and other potentially catastrophic events. Reliant on donors, regulators, government funders and dedicated staff and volunteers, nonprofits are often vulnerable and unprepared to navigate such crises.

Making a frank assessment of the risks these organizations face and how to enable them to become more resilient, Dennis Young and Elizabeth Searing develop multifaceted strategies involving balance sheets, cost and income structures, human resources, networks, technology, entrepreneurship, and information systems. Practical recommendations based on research are offered to managers for assessing risk and developing resilience strategies appropriate to their own organizations. The innovative use of templates for executive briefings, dashboards, and stress tests are included in a new management paradigm for building healthier and more effective nonprofit organizations for the future.

The insights and tools on how to develop and manage resilient organizations makes this an excellent resource for nonprofit managers and trustees, foundations and government funders. Researchers, teachers, and students will also gain a greater understanding of how current research drives the resiliency paradigm and how to move research on nonprofit resilience forward.
Critical Acclaim
‘What makes this book so remarkable for potential readers is its immediate potential for application to those working in the nonprofit sector. ... I am pleased to recommend this book – it is well-written, keyed to the interests of practitioners, and has real potential to make a positive difference in resilience planning for nonprofit organizations. I hope that nonprofit organization leaders will read it.’
– Public Organization Review

‘Resilience and the Management of Nonprofit Organizations is a book that explores the concept of resilience management for nonprofit organizations. The authors, Dennis Young and Elizabeth Searing, argue that the current paradigm of nonprofit management, which focuses on trustworthiness and efficiency, needs to be revised to adequately address the challenges facing non-profit organizations. They propose a new paradigm based on resilience, which they define as the ability of organizations to adapt to changing circumstances and continue serving their missions effectively. The book provides strategies for anticipating and preparing for crises, explores the various dimensions of organizational resilience, and offers management strategies for achieving organizational resilience. It also discusses the need for ‘‘organizational slack’’ in order to be flexible and adaptable in the face of challenges.’
– Fandi Rahanra and Muhammad Hilal Sudarbi, International Society for Third-Sector Research 2023, Voluntas

‘The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience of many organizations. In their practical and timely book, Dennis Young and Elizabeth Searing take the opportunity to look at the larger question of preparedness in sector groups for dealing with circumstances – society-wide or unique to a specific organization – that threaten their viability.’
– The Philanthropist

‘Good non-profits are passionate about their missions and are excellent at the delivery of their services. This engaging book will provide the required learning to implement resilience strategies and strong financial acumen throughout their organizations to ensure that there is no interruption to services in times of turbulence and uncertainty.’
– Noha Ryder, Interim Managing Director & Chief Financial Officer, Apollo''s Fire, Ohio, US

‘Learning from the crisis aftermaths of September 11, 2001, 2008, and 2020-21, Dennis Young and Elizabeth Searing’s new book on long-term nonprofit management proposes a paradigm shift in emphasis—from Efficiency, Mission Impact, and other traditional standards—to long-term Resilience. Academically sound, this trailblazer offers practical, logical, and sometimes revolutionary advice for every nonprofit.’
– Richard Pogue, Former Managing Partner of Jones Day, Ohio, US and Former Chairman, Cleveland Foundation

‘This is a book for our time. With increasingly rapid change and challenges, nonprofit organizations must be resilient in order to survive and succeed. Drawing on a fresh perspective, case studies and relevant scholarship, here are the processes and practices every nonprofit leader needs now.’
– Frederick S. Lane, Baruch College, City University of New York, US

‘This book provides valuable insight into how to integrate the concept of resilience into organizational culture and management practices. As we emerge from over two years of the pandemic, the need to lean into core strengths and develop greater expertise is invaluable.’
– Brian Schreiber, JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, US

‘Challenges the conventional maxims of “minimize overhead, diversify revenues, be lean, and avoid debt” in the context of catastrophic risk. A good frame for our era of COVID and political extremism.’
– Jan Massoka, California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits)
Contents: Foreword Milton J. Little Jr. Preface Dennis R. Young 1. Introduction to Resilience and the Management of
Nonprofit Organizations 2. Risk and the nature of crises 3. Understanding organizational resilience 4. Assets, liabilities and resilience 5. Cost structure and resilience 6. Income portfolios and resilience 7. Technology and resilience 8. People and resilience 9. Entrepreneurship and resilience 10. Networks and resilience 11. Red flags and stress tests 12. A new paradigm for nonprofit management: the Goldilocks approach Index
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