Book Review: The Future of Nonprofits | Changing Engagement
The Future of Nonprofits by David J. Neff and Randal C. Moss
If you are involved in managing the operations or direction of a nonprofit organization (NPO), then I suggest that you take a look at The Future of Nonprofits by David J. Neff and Randal C. Moss. If you are, or want to be, a change agent in an NPO, this book should be on your required reading list.
“Innovate” and its related word forms are written all over and throughout the book. For the word purist holding that “Innovation” yields something truly new, allow the authors a bit of literary leeway and accept that it may also cover “Adaptation.” (Also ignore the paragraph on a revenue measure.)
A good deal of the book revolves around the organization’s culture and behavior toward change and innovation. Teaching someone to be innovative is not an easy task. Organizations, however, can foster an environment for innovation and they can also squash even thinking about change. Neff and Moss do a very nice job here. Within a structure of background and pillars, they use a combination of descriptions, examples, interviews and assessment questions to reinforce the material and get their points across. The context is kept within NPOs and much of it revolves around technical innovation, particularly in regard to data, analysis and communication.
“Engagement” is a fundamental critical success factor for NPOs. Those who engage well, get more dollars. Given advancements in information technology, particularly around Social Media, the potential “engagement” possibilities are radically expanding. Neff and Moss illustrate how various NPOs are using new ways to engage. And although these are charitable organizations, they do compete for donor dollars. For at least some NPOs, their funding streams out a number of years will be highly influenced by how they modify their engagement, individually, and in comparison to others competing for their donors’ dollars.
The authors conclude with five forecasts for 2016. There are three useful appendices and a comic section. With all of the delivery modes, Neff and Moss use in their book, it would be pretty hard not to “get it.” The authors are both active in the Social Media Club. They got it—and they "shared it" very well in The Future of Nonprofits.
**Social Media Club members (Open/Pro/SMB/Corporate) are welcome to participate in a free webinar hosted by Social Media Club featuring David Neff and Randall Moss, Authors of The Future of Nonprofits on Tuesday, November 29th at 2pm EDT. Register here!**