A Social Justice Approach to Nonprofit Management

January 16, 2017       THE NONPROFIT TIMES      

Can nonprofit leaders apply business management skills in running their organizations? Are future nonprofit leaders able to address the social justice challenges facing their organizations? And what management and social change skills and knowledge do nonprofit executives need to succeed as nonprofit leaders?

These are just some of the questions and issues that Elaine P. Congress, Allan Luks and Francis Petit address in Nonprofit Management: A Social Justice Approach (Springer Publishing Company, 2017).

What is the difference between social service leaders and those committed to a social entrepreneurship perspective? Many of those who lead social service organizations benefit from maintaining the status quo. Funded social service programs are designed to show client improvements, but not to eliminate the need for services. Social entrepreneurs, on the other hand, work to become unemployed — to make the problem disappear.

When developing a social entrepreneurship project, nonprofit leaders should ask themselves the following:

  • What is the difference between a social entrepreneur and a traditional entrepreneur, an NGO executive, a government executive (social service agency), an advocate and an academic?
  • Which social problems do I really care about (that I have personally experienced and been affected by)?
  • What are the questions to answer in the social entrepreneurial process?
  • What are the two most important parts of the business plan?
  • What is the difference between resourcefulness and having resources?
  • How well do I work with other people and what are my personal strengths?
  • Who else would I need on board (with what strengths) to make the project a reality?
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