Nonprofits contribute to a healthy democracy by providing citizens with collective representation. While building representational capacity seems particularly important for nonprofit organizations whose primary goal is to engage in representational activities like political advocacy and lobbying, it is also relevant to other charitable organizations such as hospitals, universities, museums, churches, and human- service organizations. These groups have a moral responsibility to provide services that reflect the true needs of those they serve. They also have enormous potential to improve their constituents’ lives by influencing public policy and empowering them to represent themselves effectively. For nonprofits to fulfill their service, advocacy, and empowerment roles, it is not only appropriate but also necessary for organizations to establish structures and systems that ensure that they voice their constituents’ views and concerns.
A study conducted by Community Resource Exchange (CRE), a nonprofit social-change consulting firm, and Performance Programs Inc. (PPI), a consulting firm that specializes in leadership and organizational assessment, showed that nonprofit leaders received higher ratings than for-profit leaders based on feedback from direct reports, managers, peers, and a category called “others.”
Is it easier to steal from a nonprofit organization than from a business? That’s what some researchers have speculated. To identify how people steal from nonprofits and how to prevent it, we turned to the biannual surveys of fraud examiners.
The cover image of this Winter edition of the Nonprofit Quarterly is a little dark and stark, as befits the winter solstice before we light the lights and candles to cheer us. NPQ hopes you are safe and warm, but it wants to contribute its own bright moment to those who work in the nonprofit sector with a landmark study that indicates that nonprofit leaders out-perform business leaders. This study, conducted by Community Resource Exchange and Performance Programs Inc. compares the results of the 360-degree evaluations of the two groups, finding that, while nonprofit leaders rated themselves approximately on par with how business leaders rated themselves, peers, superiors, and direct reports actually rated nonprofit leaders higher than those of for-profit leaders in 14 out of 17 categories. This comes as no surprise to the NPQ editors who understand the challenges of the role, and we were glad to find that it came as no surprise to Jim Collins, world-renowned author of the classic management books, Built to Last and Good to Great. He explains why nonprofit leaders may be perceived as more capable by those with whom they work.