What does worker self-management in nonprofits look like—and can it work in practice? In this webinar conversation, a coproduction of NPQ and the Sustainable Economies Law Center, we’re looking at nonprofits that have implemented worker self-management and analyze both the successes and challenges inherent in sharing management authority across the entire staff.

In this webinar, we asked people who have participated in worker self-directed nonprofits to share their experiences. Our expert panelists are:

Among the many questions this webinar explores are the following:

  • What is a worker self-directed nonprofit?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of a worker governance structure in a nonprofit context?
  • How do worker self-directed nonprofits help nonprofits advance economic justice?
  • What design decisions need to be made to make a worker self-directed nonprofit effective? How are course corrections made if the system runs into problems?
  • How does having a worker self-directed nonprofit affect personnel evaluation and worker access to company information?
  • How does having a worker self-directed nonprofit affect careers ladders and compensation levels?
  • How does a worker self-directed nonprofit interact with the Board?
  • What can other nonprofits learn from worker self-directed nonprofits’ experiences?




Rebecca Bauen, “Democratic Management: Lessons from Worker Cooperatives,” NPQ, June 2, 2021.

Faye Christoforo,  “Want Democratic Leadership at Your Nonprofit? Here Are Some Dos and Don’ts, May 7, 2024.

Steve Dubb, Nicole Koch, Yarissa Soriano and Anj Talley, “Remaking the Economy: How to Design Democratic Management.” NPQ, April 15, 2022.

Sustainable Economies Law Center, Worker Self-Directed Nonprofits, Oakland, CA: no date.

Nicole Wires, “Making Economic Democracy Work: How to Practice Shared Leadership,” NPQ, November 28, 2023.


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