Analyzing Non-Profit Organizations: Managerial Frameworks and Evaluation

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ABSTRACT

Managing a non-profit organization requires careful planning and organization. This paper analyzes the strategies and mission of two non-profit organizations based in the United States. Using the organizations as examples, the paper uses managerial frameworks to understand how the organization's form their mission and strategies in the competitive world of public service. The SWOT analysis framework is used in the paper.

Managing a non-profit organization requires careful planning and organization (Pakroo, 2007). Many non-profits fail because people were not accountable or even will to take the time to manage successfully with implementation. Some non-profits should follow the example of for profit companies and implement some procedures like benchmarking to make the organizations they serve more effective (Tyler, 2005; Light 2000). What can be said is that non-profits often follow a noble purpose in their missions (Pakroo, 2007) and that they aspire for long-term improvements in the societies they serve.

This paper will look at two non-profit organizations and assess their impact, their mission and their strengths and weaknesses through several for-profit frameworks. The frameworks are appropriate even for non-profits as they aspire to better understand what the organizations are striving to achieve in the busy and even competitive world of public service. The two non-profit organizations are the Foundation for Excellence (headquartered in Santa Clara, California and also Mumbai India) and also the American India Foundation (headquartered in New York City and chaired by William Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States). The frameworks used to understand these two important organizations are the Mission Statement Analysis framework, developed by the author; benchmarking activity and also SWOT analysis.

The purpose of this paper is to better understand these organizations and how they might better serve their respective communities of constituents. Both organizations offer service to India and they both were established by overseas Indians, specifically members of the Indian diaspora. As we know, the overseas Indian community is 1.2 million strong in the United States. Its desire to help other Indians in India is one of the common purposes of those like-minded organizations.

As mentioned above, the non-profit sector can learn about sound management principles from the for-profit sector. In particular, active management and providing direction are important activities for those at the top levels of the non-profit organizations (Pakroo, 2007). Also, organizations have to show concern for structuring activities, developing a review procedure and also determining what tasks need to be done (Ibid, 2007: 85). Thus, managing a non-profit organization requires some careful planning and management (Werther and Berman, 2001). Some non-profit sectors are swayed by ideology and a founding belief to do good; however, in order to be most effective these organizations need to provide clear mission and implement their strategies effectively.

The board of directors of a non-profit organization, for example, must handle the following activities:

* Defining the organization's mission and ensuring that the non-profit stays on course

* Outlining the non-profit's main programs designed to accomplish its mission, usually on an annual basis

* Establishing and managing financial systems by developing budgets, monitoring finances, and implementing accounting controls

* Leading and helping with fundraising efforts

* Dealing with internal board management, such as electing officers and finding new board members to replace outgoing ones

* Establishing and overseeing committees to handle special issues, such as membership, special events or fundraising

* Hiring and managing an executive director (if the non-profit plans to have one), and

* Helping promote the non-profit and its activities to the public (all quoted from Pakroo, 2007: 69)

Thus, the roles and responsibilities of a nonprofit board are important in developing the strategies of the organization. …