The Non Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success

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A top business leader shares the same principles he used tolaunch a successful company and a thriving nonprofit

Nonprofit leaders know that solving pervasive social problemsrequires passion and creativity as well as tangible results. TheNon Nonprofit shares the same business principles that drive theworld's best companies, showing how they can (and should) beapplied to the realm of nonprofits. Steve Rothschild personallycrossed sectors when he left a top-level position in ...

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The Non Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success

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A top business leader shares the same principles he used tolaunch a successful company and a thriving nonprofit

Nonprofit leaders know that solving pervasive social problemsrequires passion and creativity as well as tangible results. TheNon Nonprofit shares the same business principles that drive theworld's best companies, showing how they can (and should) beapplied to the realm of nonprofits. Steve Rothschild personallycrossed sectors when he left a top-level position in corporateAmerica, where he was executive vice president of General Mills, tofound Twin Cities RISE!, a highly successful poverty reductionprogram.

His honest story, and successes and missteps, create anessential roadmap for any social venture looking to prove and boostits impact. Through RISE!'s story—as well as those of otherinnovative organizations such as Grameen Bank, Playworks, CommonGround/Community Solutions, Habitat for Humanity, Lumni, Caring -Bridge, and College Summit—Rothschild clearly details sevenkey principles:

1. Have a Clear and Appropriate Purpose

2. Measure What Counts

3. Be Market Driven

4. Create Mutual Accountability

5. Support Personal Empowerment

6. Create Economic Value from Social Benefit

7. Be Learning Driven

By adopting these principles and understanding how they areintegral to creating long-term success, anyone can create afinancially sustainable, socially responsible organization.

As insightful as it is inspiring, The Non Nonprofit can helpmaximize the positive impact of any nonprofit, governmentorganization, or social enterprise.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“In this marvelous book, Steve Rothschild shares the samesound business principles he used at General Mills and later tofound two nonprofits. Every social enterprise can benefit fromthese rigorous, real-world approaches.”
—From the foreword by Bill George

“Steve Rothschild has given the nonprofit community avital, much-needed book at a crucial moment—when funding fromall sources is tighter than ever. I believe The NonNonprofit will become the how-to manual for improving strategy,execution, and organizational effectiveness in the nonprofit world.And with twenty-two years of outstanding executive leadership atGeneral Mills, followed by twenty years of innovative leadership inthe not-for-profit world, Steve brings the ideal set of experiencesand lessons to the topic. A must-read for any executive andespecially those who lead our nonprofit organizations.”
—Ken Powell, CEO, General Mills

“The lessons of The Non Nonprofit can improve theresults of any nonprofit organization.It provides sound guidance todonors, agencies, and policy makers. This is the kind of thinking Iencourage United Way leaders to apply while measuring communityneed and community impact.”
—Brian Gallagher, president and CEO, United WayWorldwide

“We need more practical visionaries like Steve Rothschild.He saw the problem of poverty, rolled up his sleeves, and carefullytested what works and what doesn't. The result: a powerful andeffective program for reducing poverty and a set of clearprinciples that can be readily applied anywhere. The NonNonprofit is a ground-breaking book.”
—Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator, Minnesota

The Non Nonprofit is this year's mandatory readingfor anyone fortunate enough to be in leadership in the nonprofitsector. This book shows not only why but how nonprofitorganizations can strategically move into a new framework thatleads into the future, not simply react to circumstances beyond ourcontrol. The beauty here is that the principles are not onlysocially innovative but also grounded in proven experience. This isthe book I will be passing out to the leaders in mynetwork.”
—Father Larry Snyder, president, Catholic CharitiesUSA

“Steve Rothschild, one of the country's best socialentrepreneurs, has broken the back of multigenerational deeppoverty. His clients, the formerly unemployable, have better trackrecords at work than the average American. In The NonNonprofit, he explains, simply and very clearly, how anyone canbe just as effective.”
—Bill Drayton, CEO, Ashoka: Innovators for thePublic

“For all of our many achievements, America remains anation yet suffering from widespread poverty. Steve Rothschild'sThe Non Nonprofit reflects what he has learned from nearlyseventeen years as the committed and inspired founder of TwinCities RISE! These are proven ideas, practical and available tobusinesses and public leaders in our communities. I am pleased torecommend this fresh and creative approach to creating moreopportunity for those in our midst who need it themost.”
—Walter Mondale, 42nd Vice President of the UnitedStates

“Steve Rothschild's fresh thinking translates provenstrategies that successful businesses employ every day intopractical approaches to confronting centuries-old issues likepoverty. No partisan politics, no fancy tricks-just fundamental,time-tested solutions.”
—Harvey Mackay, author, Swim With The Sharks WithoutBeing Eaten Alive

“As a Twin Cities RISE! customer, I can say unequivocallythat the seven principles in The Non Nonprofit work. RISE!provides just the type of employee that every company needs to besuccessful: self-motivated, engaged, skilled, productive, andemotionally mature. The employer community would do well to takemuch greater advantage of this underutilizedorganization.”
—David Abrams, vice president, North Memorial  HealthCare

“I've observed from the beginning of his anti-poverty workSteve Rothschild's efforts to put his principles into practice.I've observed with the skeptical eye of an evaluator. I've seenhundreds of good ideas and hopeful visions flounder in the face ofcomplex realities. I'm not easily impressed. But what Rothschildhas accomplished impresses. The principles he identifies, explains,and illustrates have broad applicability. He has learned a greatdeal about what works. Anyone who cares about making a differenceshould pay attention to what he's learned-it's allhere.”
—Michael Quinn Patton, founder and director,Utilization-Focused Evaluation; former president, AmericanEvaluation Association

“As director of the U.S. Agency for InternationalDevelopment (USAID) for six years in the 1990s, I presided over theU.S. government's global poverty reduction efforts. SteveRothschild reminds me of the innovators whose practical approacheschanged the world of development, people like Hernando De Soto andMuhammad Yunus. Rothschild understands incentives, accountability,and personal improvement. His Twin Cities RISE! is alearning-driven organization that empowers challenged citizens toovercome their issues and succeed. Rothschild's RISE! is not afraidto establish a bottom line and is eager to be held accountable forachieving it. The Non Nonprofit and its recipes for successare a must-read for those who are truly concerned about poverty,here or anywhere.”
—J. Brian Atwood, former dean, Humphrey School of PublicAffairs, University of Minnesota; chair, Development AssistanceCommittee, Organization for Economic Co-operation andDevelopment

“I take pride in being one of the many people SteveRothschild met and talked with when he was first thinking ofstarting what turned out to be Twin Cities RISE! I must admit thatwhile I thought his market-based approach was exquisitely ontarget, I was concerned he wasn't giving adequate weight to themany attitudinal and behavioral shortcomings that keep largenumbers of people impoverished. More than fifteen years later, it'sclear I was wrong, as I know of no analyst or practitioner in theUnited States who better understands how efforts to help poorpeople must meld both economically grounded and culturally groundedapproaches.”
—Mitch Pearlstein, founder and CEO, Center of theAmerican Experiment

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118021811
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/21/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 315,759
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Rothschild is the founder and board chair of Twin CitiesRISE! He was also its CEO for its first nine years. He foundedInvest in Outcomes, which developed the human capital performancebond, a new financial instrument to fund nonprofits. He launchedYoplait yogurt in the United States, was the company's firstpresident, and later became executive vice president of GeneralMills. Twin Cities RISE!, an anti-poverty program for low-incomeadults living in generational poverty, trains under- and unemployedadults for jobs and connects them with employers who pay a livingwage.

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Table of Contents

Foreword: How This Book Will Benefit Us All ix
by Bill George

Introduction 1

1 Principle #1: Have a Clear and Appropriate Purpose21

2 Principle #2: Measure What Counts 47

3 Principle #3: Be Market Driven 65

4 Principle #4: Create Mutual Accountability 85

5 Principle #5: Support Personal Empowerment 101

6 Principle #6: Create Economic Value from Social Benefit141

7 Principle #7: Be Learning Driven 169

8 The Principles in Practice 191

Appendix A: What You Can Do to Make a Difference 203

Appendix B: A Note on the Organizations in This Book 211

Notes 217

Acknowledgments 225

About the Author 227

Index 229

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Interviews & Essays

Author Q&A with Steve Rothschild, author of The Non Nonprofit

What does it mean for a nonprofit organization to think like a private sector company?
For-profits and nonprofits are more alike than many think. While their missions and goals are obviously different, the same fundamental principles guide them. These include the abilities to (1) articulate a clear purpose that inspires and leads to appropriate goals and strategies; (2) serve their respective customers well; (3) empower their employees and clients to achieve high levels of accomplishment and be accountable; (4) create value from the strategies they pursue and the actions that they take; (5) measure and communicate that value to stakeholders; and (6) learn from their actions and those of their competitors so that they improve continuously. Applying these principles allows any organization, for-profit or nonprofit, to become more efficient, effective, and successful.

Are there any differences between how a nonprofit and a corporation should run themselves financially?
Organizations need to manage their finances according to the expectations and standards of their respective investors. In the case of for-profits, that would be market rate investors who seek high returns on their investment, whereas nonprofit investors are typically social investors like government, foundations, and donors more interested in a social return and therefore more focused on programatic results. Both nonprofits and for-profits require sound financial performance in order to thrive. Without sound financial results, both lose their ability to invest toward their goals.

Is this book only for nonprofits?
The book is subtitled "for-profit thinking for nonprofit success." The principles are based on successful for-profit strategies that any enterprise—for-profit or nonprofit—can benefit from.

What is your experience in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations?
I've benefited by spending half of my professional life in the for-profit world and half in the nonprofit sector. I've also served on numerous for-profit and nonprofit boards, two of which I founded. This experience has given me the opportunity to learn the best practices in both sectors and to understand where there are great opportunities to share knowledge.

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