Non-profit organizations represent an important alternative to the vested interests of government or of for-profit corporations in strategizing and implementing economic and community development programs. At the same time, the operational structure, policies and procedures of a non-profit entity have a significant impact on its effectiveness in bringing about the kinds of change reflected in its Vision and Mission Statements. The terms “non-profit” and “non-governmental” reflect the historic potential of development organizations to unconsciously adopt the assumptions and approaches of the for-profit corporations and politically-motivated governmental entities that community-based organizations often wish to avoid. Furthermore, the structure of non-profits grew out of the Western paradigm of development to meet specific U.S. interests, and may have embedded elements that are contradictory or even counter-productive with the cultural values, social norms, and national history of the community seeking self-determination by creating its own non-profit organization. For example, assumptions of hierarchical power and salaried class differentiation are often unthinkingly reproduced in conveying titles like board member, executive director, and committee chair, when the intention of the organization is to be egalitarian, inclusive, and community-based.
In this course, we will explore the ways to effectively manage a non-profit organization in order to meet community development goals, as well as ways to avoid unintended consequences that may stem from adopting generic mainstream models for creating and managing non-profits. Participants will have the opportunity to critically assess the management strategies and structures of existing community development organizations from diverse communities, and to create or revise their own organizational and operational documents with a sharper eye to the cultural and political significance of the structural choices they make.
Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:
• Explain the history and trajectory of the non-profit entity in relation to economic development, globalization, and the commodification of poverty.
• Review and revise existing documents and practices of non-profit organizations for cultural, philosophical and operational consistency.
• Analyze the underlying political and economic implications of adopting generic forms of non-profit policy and practice, in contrast with tailoring a local, participatory form.
• Explore human resource alternatives in structuring the roles of managers, community activators, employees, volunteers and community members for a non-profit organization.
• Develop Non-Profit Articles of Association, By-laws, and Policies and Procedures, and analyze their impact on the philosophy and practice of an organization.
Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.
Due to the condensed time frame for this course, students cannot withdraw and receive a refund once the course begins.