Front Cover

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Title, Copyright

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Contents

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p. v

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Preface

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pp. vii-viii

Sustaining Nonprofit Performance is the third of a series of volumes published as part of Brookings’s Nonprofit Effectiveness Project, which was launched in 2000 with Making Nonprofits Work. That work examined the deluge of reform moving through the nonprofit sector and was followed by Pathways to Nonprofit...

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Chapter 1. The Pressure to Perform

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pp. 1-12

These are times that try the nonprofit soul. Hardly a day goes by without a news story about a nonprofit or philanthropic foundation gone wrong. Congress seems ready to put strict limits on how much nonprofits can spend on administration and fund-raising. State attorneys general continue to...

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Chapter 2. The Logic of Investment

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pp. 13-43

This book starts from the premise that nonprofits make miracles every day. Name a difficult national or international problem since World War II, and the nonprofit sector has played a role in addressing it, whether through its research, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, or advocacy. Consider the government’s greatest achievements of the past half century, which were identified in a survey of 450 leading historians...

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Chapter 3. The State of Nonprofit Capacity Building

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pp. 44-85

Just because organizational capacity matters to effectiveness does not mean that efforts to strengthen capacity actually work. Indeed, there is very little hard evidence that capacity building produces a significant rate of return on investment, not because capacity building has a dismal record, but because it has almost no measurable record at all. Although there are...

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Chapter 4. The Case for Capacity Building

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pp. 86-122

However the term is used, capacity building involves an activity such as planning, reorganizing, merging, downsizing, assessing, auditing, installing, training, recruiting, measuring, treating, and so forth. As such, the case for capacity building hinges on finding a positive relationship between the activity and organizational effectiveness, whether measured...

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Chapter 5. Improving the Odds of Success

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pp. 123-135

Despite its potential impact on organizational effectiveness, capacity building is far from automatic or easy. Roughly a quarter of the 318 efforts chronicled in this book were either somewhat successful or less, two-fifths of the survey respondents said their organization’s effort taught them that change is very stressful for their staff, and more than half said they learned that change is more difficult to achieve than...

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Chapter 6. The Spiral of Sustainable Excellence

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pp. 136-176

Imagine nonprofit life as a journey up and down a spiral. All organizations would start with a simple idea for some new program or service and then move up the spiral toward greater and greater impact. Also imagine five landings, or stops, along the climb: the organic phase of life in which they struggle to create a presence in their environment, the enterprising phase...

Appendix A. The Capacity-Building Survey

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pp. 177-190

Appendix B. Capacity Building in Low-Income-Serving Children and Family Organizations

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pp. 191-196

Notes

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pp. 197-202

Index

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pp. 203-213

Back Cover

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pp. 214-214