The Non Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success

The Non Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success

The Non Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success

The Non Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success


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A top business leader shares the business principles he used to launch both a top company and a thriving nonprofit

Nonprofit leaders know that solving pervasive social problems requires passion and creativity as well as tangible results. The Non Nonprofit shares the same business principles that drive the world's best companies, showing how they can (and should) be applied to the realm of nonprofits. Steve Rothschild personally crossed sectors when he left corporate America to found Twin Cities RISE!, a highly successful poverty reduction program. His honest story, and success and missteps, create an essential roadmap for any social venture looking to prove and boost its impact.

  • Distills essential nonprofit principles such as having a clear and appropriate purpose, creating economic value from social benefit, and establishing mutual accountability
  • Shares successful approaches from innovative organizations such as Grameen Bank, Playworks, Common Ground, Habitat for Humanity, Lumni, Caring Bridge, College Summit and RISE!
  • Draws from the author's success in founding and building Twin Cities RISE!, which trains unemployed Minnesotans for living wage jobs. RISE! serves 1,500 participants each year

As insightful as it is inspiring, The Non Nonprofit can help maximize the positive impact of any nonprofit.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781118021811
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/21/2012
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Steve Rothschild is the founder and board chair of Twin Cities RISE! He was also its CEO for its first nine years. He founded Invest in Outcomes, which developed the human capital performance bond, a new financial instrument to fund nonprofits. He launched Yoplait yogurt in the United States, was the company's first president, and later became executive vice president of General Mills. Twin Cities RISE!, an anti-poverty program for low-income adults living in generational poverty, trains under- and unemployed adults for jobs and connects them with employers who pay a living wage.

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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 Purpose 21

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 Benefit 141

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


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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