This course fulfills the Public Management core requirement for M.P.P. students who are interested in nonprofit organizations in the context of public policy. The intent of the course is to prepare future nonprofit leaders to critically analyze management issues that define and constrain the nonprofit sector, particularly in terms of its relationship with government and social welfare provision, in the United States.
The course begins by establishing a conceptual framework that will be used throughout the course, which examines how the nonprofit sector can be understood through two contrasting disciplinary perspectives, drawn from economics and political science. The class will then discuss key institutional structures and legal rationales that have resulted in the nonprofit sector’s special tax privileges, and will analyze how nonprofits operate in partnership with or in complement to the state. We will apply these concepts to concrete problems in management, using a case-based approach. Topics include navigating organizational change, problems in governance and leadership, strategy development, performance management, measurement and evaluation, organizational growth and scaling, marketing and fundraising, communications and advocacy, and ethics.
The course is designed to provide not only a review of best practices in policy-oriented nonprofit management, but also to rigorously consider underlying normative issues that arise within the process of managing organizations.