Those in the field of public administration will be well-served by reading the book by Drucker, “Managing the Non-Profit Organization” as it offers several sound guidelines regarding leadership, management, and budget issues among others. For those who don’t have the time, this article offers an analysis and short summary of “Managing the Non-Profit Organization” by Drucker in terms of the salient points. Even if you are not an administration official in the non-profit sector, this book is beneficial as it provides a great starting point for understanding your organization and how your role should operate.
From a public administration viewpoint, the various points expressed in Drucker’s Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices are useful, particularly in terms of how they seek to guide an administrator in matters of leadership and adherence to organizational mission statements. If there is one theme throughout the text, it is that the responsibilities that come with non-profit management (including, among other things; fundraising, bbudget management, marketing, and other essentially non-mission-based activities) must always be organized according the services that the non-profit is geared toward.
This text is a very relevant resource to those involved in public administration because it offers advice and insights for dealing with both organizational and public / public relations issues, just as a public administrator would have to do. Furthermore, it discusses the various challenges that are faced by any administrator in the running of an organization aimed at providing a public service. Throughout the nine interviews in the book, it is clear that a public administrator of a non-profit must think like a business person and make sure that the organizational structure of the group allows for the doling out of responsibilities-otherwise the focus of the non-profit’s mission becomes clouded and this leads to problems. From a more personal perspective, this book is a valuable resource from a public administration angle because it is concise and filled with real-world experiences from managers of large organizations that have had to deal with both the practical budgetary as well as general management issues involved with such a job.
It is necessary for non-profit institutions such as universities to make certain they have a solid funding strategy in place that fits in with their mission statement and overall goals. Furthermore, as Drucker points out in several areas of his book, there is always a danger of non-profit organizations becoming “prisoners” of money and getting stuck on fundraising while ignoring the larger commitments they have made to donors and the people the organization is supposed to serve. In the university sector, Drucker warns about the example of how “some presidents of private colleges or universities who are so totally preoccupied with money-raising that they have neither the time nor the thought for educational leadership”).
In order to avoid such pitfalls, the non-profit must prioritize-a point which the author makes repeatedly throughout “Managing the Non-Profit Organization”. In his interview with Philip Kotler, he considers the routes the university as a non-profit should take and the response is that Standford is doing an excellent job because it “took a totally market-based point of view”. This could be applied to any non-profit but especially the university sector so that it can concentrate on academics and education instead of fundraising since there will be professionals to handle that aspect of the organization. By taking such a path, leaders of this non-profit will be able to provide the key goods and services that are stated in their mission statement and will not get so bogged down with fundraising and other related tasks that they forget their primary function.