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Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,031 ratings  ·  74 reviews
The service, or non-profit, sector of our society is growing rapidly (with more than 8 million employees and more than 80 million volunteers), creating a major need for guidelines and expert advice on how to manage these organizations effectively. Drucker gives examples and explanations of mission, leadership, resources, marketing, goals, people development, decision makin ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 3rd 1992 by HarperBusiness (first published January 1st 1990)
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Pam Smith
Peter Drucker is acknowledged father of nonprofit management. The man is a legend and the insights in this book are why. Should be required reading for all those looking to work in a social service or advocacy organization. Frankly it's a must read for anyone in the nonprofit sector. ...more
Jan 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Priests, non-profit managers, library students
Recommended to Michael by: Guy Robertson
This is a very useful book for people with little training in management, which is often the case for leaders in the non-profit sector. Drucker is typical of the "motivational"-type writer one encounters in the business world, and he is very good at providing advice and answers where they are needed. He is not especially scientific in his approach - most of the "evidence" in this book is purely anecdotal - but relied upon the type of "common sense" that has, in fact, proved more successful than ...more
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book for anyone working in the non-profit space. This book focuses on the unique challenges that non-profits face relative to for-profit businesses, and the additional leadership required. The main challenges that resonated with me are:

1) Having many and varied stakeholders/customers (those you serve, donors, board members, community members, volunteers, unpaid staff, paid staff)
2) Attracting, growing, and keeping volunteers (converting them to an unpaid staff)
3) Determining the correct su
Amy Christine Lesher
When the book was first published in 1990 and hasn't been updated in all this time there are problems. I finally had to stop reading during the interview with the then head of the American Heart Association. They were talking about having people go door - to - door for donations. The references to Sears, GM the Japanese are all out of date. Yes, there are some lessons to learn from some of these businesses, but things have changed drastically.

Also, instead of starting a book with your nonprofit
Vincent Chough
Dec 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Drucker is a management master. This book is full of his wisdom as well as the wisdom and experience of other giants in the field (pastors, president of Girl Scouts, etc...). The most important message - that so many do NOT seem to get - is that a manager/director is a servant. I read this at least three times. Great book.
May 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
A good book to read for anybody in the nonprofit sector, no matter where you place in the chain of command. Great advice on maintaining donor relationships, cultivating a staff ad board of directors, managing volunteers, and more.
د.نادر الملاح
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In simple words: a great book for people concerned about management of NGOs.
Diego Parada Herrera
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Whenever you read something from Peter Drucker, you understand why he is the single best management author of all times. He has a very detailed, yet simple focus on the most important aspects of management and leadership. This book is no exception, he understands perfectly the role of a nonprofit organization and its leadership and the fundamental differences with the business sector. The interviews in this book provide very different angles of the nonprofit management experience. The stories, f ...more
A superior at work loaned me this book. Does what it says on the tin.

This book is in an interesting place where it's well written, but not well organized. The information is good, the personal anecdotes are relevant, but the topics just jump around from paragraph to paragraph. For the first couple of chapters I was struggling to figure out how we got from one chapter to the next. Then I just gave up and accepted that I was watching a very knowledgeable man have a very stream-of-consciousness con
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yikess.... sorry but this book definitely didn't age well. I read through it but found it be very general with tips like "keep improving yourself." It talks a bunch about how nonprofits were back in the 80s and 90s. Back then they didn't know about marketing but were going quite a lot. I also didn't find the interviews, which were about 2/3rd of the book, to be too helpful.

However, there were a few nuggets of information I liked:
* The product of a nonprofit is a changed human being
* The mission
Shauntelle James
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book opens the marketing-side of non-profits and integrates it with its candidates. Everyone is very familiar with the fact that non-profits are known for missionary. The author behind this book contrast the up-side and down-side management of businesses, and exemplifies how important they are in a non-profit organization. He makes clear that no organization can survive without compliance from its team players. As I read, I understood how team players should been given direct task managemen ...more
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the first time I am reading Peter Drucker. This book by the hero of the management world is absolutely brilliant. Every other book I read about nonprofits has roots in this book. This book shows you how to do 'good' even better. A must read by anyone working in any capacity for nonprofits.

Before starting a book I thought interview chapters will be boring. But I was wrong. Interviews are power packed with the wisdom of distinguished guests from their experiences in the nonprofit world.

Thandeka Xaba
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Really practical tool that NPO managers can use to streamline and strengthen their organizations. Quite old school though, it only has interviews with white individuals, one woman and lines like “the best way to beat burnout is by working harder” would not fly in this day in age 😂 - however at its core it definitely does provide some core principals which I intend on applying in my own organization.
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very useful book! Some words just leap out at describing non-profit organisations, Drucker remarks that the job of the dominant sectors in the economy, namely government and big business, is to control and provide goods and services respectively, while non profits seek to 'change' human beings and take responsibility for community. I found that particularly relevant in the context of the utterly dysfunctional societies prevailing in most countries. ...more
Dennis Sy
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Drucker for non profit leaders

All i can say is that i never regret reading this book and would have to reread this again to chew on some life transforming management principles in leading a non profit organization
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Listened to the audio version of this book, which was an interview format with Peter Drucker. It was incredibly difficult to understand what he was saying, and the thoughts did not seem to flow all that well.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of great stuff to help leaders of non-profit organizations. Incredibly dated. Needs an update that embraces some ideas about using technology and, well changes in the sector through the last 30 years...
Ashley M
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2020
A few good pieces of advice. Some aspects are nice to read about under the context of not always being a profit-driven organization, including decision making, stakeholder engagement, and mission strategy.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Definitely had some good tips, but felt like some of it was fairly outdated (published in the early 90s). Enjoyed it after all and had some 'highlighting moments.' ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
Invaluable book from one the clearest thinkers on leadership management.
Robert Henry
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Embarrassingly, this was my first Peter Drucker book. He is impressive. I will be reading more of his works.
Yunis Esa
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Swires
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely essential read for leaders. Drucker was ahead of his time.
Ben Byler
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books on management that I've read and one I'll certainty look back to for years to come. ...more
Alwaleed Helmi
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Extremely outdated that's why I had a hard time finishing this book. It would've been a lot more useful if there was an updated edition. ...more
Alan Mills
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As I read Peter Drucker's book, I kept a yellow legal pad and blue gel pen by my side. By the time I had finished, I had six pages of notes. Only knew of those notes was about the book. All the others were about the non-profit where I am the Executive Dorector, the Uptown People's Law Center.

Like many "business management" books, Drucker's is not packed full of brand new ideas or magic solutions to problems. To the contrary, much of what he says seems like common sense (or at least it seems tha
John  Mihelic
Nov 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been working on my MBA, based on the nonprofit management track. The class I was taking on board management was not really challenging me, so I looked for something that might be applicable for the class as a supplement to what we were reading (the book for that class wasn’t bad, it was just that I had already read it).

So I came across this. Drucker is a name in management, and that he had written on nonprofits was reason enough to grab it up and see what made him a name.

Overall, I was n
Kim Do
Nov 22, 2012 rated it liked it
“Managing the non-profit organization,” is a helpful read for those who are new with managing the non-profit sector and desire to grasp a general idea of how to do their job. Aiming towards an audience with little management background, Peter Drucker applies deductive reasoning to shed light on what non-profit managers should do and why they should do so.

“Managing the non-profit organization” is the book that demolishes any narrow definition of management. It focuses on how charitable managers
Sep 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Having just started a small foundation, I found this book at the bookstore shelves and knowing how my friend loved Drucker, I picked it up to have a read, hoping it would help cast some insight on the foundation's teething issues. Over the years, working in the school, I've become a little familiar with management/organisation literature, and in my opinion, this book constituted light reading. Divided into sections dealing with the usual aspects of managing a non-profit institution (i.e. mission ...more
Roger Lohmann
Dec 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: third-sector
Written early in the history of the emergent field of nonprofit management. This book was first published in 1990 and reissued in a variety of subsequent editions; Nonprofit Management and Leadership began publication the year before and the Jossey-Bass Handbook came four years later. It is still worth a read for anyone working in or interested in this field. Whatever else you want to say, Drucker was very insightful about a lot of things and is probably more responsible than any other single in ...more
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Peter Ferdinand Drucker was a writer, management consultant and university professor. His writing focused on management-related literature. Peter Drucker made famous the term knowledge worker and is thought to have unknowingly ushered in the knowledge economy, which effectively challenges Karl Marx's world-view of the political economy. George Orwell credits Peter Drucker as one of the only writer ...more

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“The three most charismatic leaders in this century inflicted more suffering on the human race than almost any trio in history: Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. What matters is not the leader's charisma. What matters is the leader's mission.” 58 likes
“The "non-profit" institution neither supplies goods or services not controls. Its "product" is neither a pair of shoes nor an effective regulation. Its product is a changed human being. The non-profit institutions are human-change agents. Their "product" is a cured patient, a child that learns, a young man or woman grown into a self-respecting adult; a changed human life altogether.” 20 likes
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