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Strategic Leadership and Management in Nonprofit Organizations

Theory and Practice

Second Edition

Martha Golensky and Mark Hager

Publication Date - 25 February 2020

ISBN: 9780190097844

392 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Nonprofit organizations need smart, informed managers. This comprehensive introductory textbook aims to expose students to the range of responsibilities expected from modern nonprofit organizations and their boards, executive management, frontline staff, and community volunteers.


Nonprofit organizations need smart, informed managers. This comprehensive introductory textbook aims to expose students to the range of responsibilities expected from modern nonprofit organizations and their boards, executive management, frontline staff, and community volunteers. Section 1 focuses on the characteristics of a nonprofit organization, with an explanation of the specific attributes of both charitable and member-serving nonprofits. It considers the historical development of the nonprofit sector as a whole and of the human services subsector in particular, culminating with a review of the political and economic climate in which nonprofits operate. Section 2 considers theories of leadership. The multiple roles of the nonprofit professional leader are delineated, to recognize that the same person may serve as manager and administrator, motivated by different priorities when functioning in each capacity. Ethical issues are also considered, along with the theoretical and practical aspects of decision-making, and the relationship between organizational culture and organizational change. Sections 3 and 4 address the specific skills of the nonprofit leader involved in securing material resources and managing human resources, respectively. The book concludes with a focus on the role of volunteers and the need for organizations to provide them good experiences if they want volunteers to keep coming back.

Featuring an extended case study, this book is a useful guide for students and professionals new to the workplace on topics such as successfully managing change, strengthening programs, nurturing a dynamic board of directors, diversifying revenues, and building a strong, committed staff and volunteer corps.

New to this Edition

  • Updated research on leadership shared between executive directors and board chairs provides current thinking on a key governance topic (Chapter 4)
  • Big updates on technology use in nonprofits, especially in communication with various stakeholders (Chapter 12)
  • Expansions and updates on best practices in motivation and management of volunteers (Chapter 16)


  • Golensky's lifetime of practice and Hager's career focus on nonprofit sector research provide an energetic mix of practical application and academic treatment of core nonprofit management content
  • An extended case study on Youth Services Network allows students and instructors to apply key concepts as the case unfolds throughout the book

About the Author(s)

Martha Golensky is Professor Emerita of Social Work at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. In a career spanning thirty years, she has worked in nonprofit organizations at the local, state, and national levels. She was executive director of Pathways for Youth in New York City, executive director of the Connecticut Trails Council of Girl Scouts, president/CEO of the Center for Nonprofit Corporations in New Jersey, and national director of the capital campaign of the United Negro College Fund.

Mark A. Hager is Associate Professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management at Arizona State University. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Nonprofit Management & Leadership and the director of the master's degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management at Arizona State.


"Strategic Leadership and Management in Nonprofit Organizations includes the classic content on nonprofit management, while at the same time weaving through the most current research and innovative thinking in the subfields of nonprofit management across the different chapters....The authors provide a practical overview of the nonprofit sector and the challenges of leading a nonprofit organization in turbulent times. The sections that follow provide the most thorough coverage of essential topics on leading a nonprofit organization of any book on nonprofit management I know...The content of each section is illustrated with real-world examples from the authors' practice experience, making this book a fun and engaging read." -- Kristina Jaskyte, School of Social Work and Institute for Nonprofit Organizations, University of Georgia

"Strategic Leadership and Management in Nonprofit Organizations, in its second edition, maintains the excellence of the first edition, but adds further depth into our understanding of management and leadership. A must-have book for aspiring leaders in the sector and a first-rate textbook for nonprofit management courses. It details process integral to nonprofits form from strategic management to resource generation and human resource management paid and unpaid. I am hard-pressed to think of another book that covers the breadth and depth of nonprofit management using research and case studies to help students understand and master how to lead and manage nonprofits." -- Femida Handy, Director, Ph.D. program School of Social Policy & Practice, University of Pennsylvania

"This new edition of Martha Golensky's book, with useful additions and updates by Mark Hager, is very accessible to students new to nonprofit organization administration. It also covers key subjects with enough detail to be useful to practicing administrators and to stimulate and freshen their thinking about their important work." -- Tom Packard, DSW, Professor EmeritusSchool of Social WorkSan Diego State University

"Martha Golensky and Mark Hager's new edition of this classic is most welcome. The entire book is anchored by an engrossing "based on true events" case study which skillfully leads students through the strategic and operational decisions that nonprofits make. Highly recommended!" --Richard Hoefer, University of Texas at Arlington

"Intended as a textbook for students and a resource for young nonprofit professionals, this book brings together classic management and organizational change theories and practical discussions about the nonprofit sector. Though the work mostly reads like an academic literature review, the last half of many chapters provides links to the theories, planning steps, nonprofit management, nonprofit-related definitions, and exhibits (e.g., a sample job description, budget report, performance appraisal form). Recommended." -- Choice

Table of Contents


    Section 1: Understanding the Nonprofit Sector
    Chapter 1: Definition of a Nonprofit Organization
    Chapter 2: Historical Moments in the U.S. Nonprofit Sector
    Chapter 3: Political and Economic Considerations

    Section 2: Leading in Turbulent Times
    Chapter 4: The Nature of Leadership
    Chapter 5: The Practice of Leadership
    Chapter 6: Decision-Making
    Chapter 7: Organizational Change

    Section 3: Securing Material Resources
    Chapter 8: Strategic Planning
    Chapter 9: Program Development
    Chapter 10: Resource Generation
    Chapter 11: Financial Performance Indicators
    Chapter 12: Technology and Communication

    Section 4: Maximizing Human Resources
    Chapter 13: Leadership by Example
    Chapter 14: Human Resources Management
    Chapter 15: The Nonprofit Governing Board
    Chapter 16: Volunteer Administration


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