Pathfinder: Nonprofit Management

The following Pathfinder helps to locate information on nonprofit management and related topics.

Please consult the Steps to Research and Writing a Paper for more detailed information.

1. Start by locating resources that provide an overview of your topic.

This will help you define terms in that discipline and provide background information in your subject area. Encyclopedias, handbooks and
subject specific dictionaries offer good places to start.

Some titles specifically related to nonprofit management are:

Agard, K. A. (Ed.). (2011). Leadership in nonprofit organizations: A reference handbook (Vols. 1-2). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Anheier, H. K., & Hammack, D. C. (Eds.). (2010). American foundations: Roles and contributions. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Bass, B. M. , & Bass, R. R. (2008). The Bass handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and managerial applications (4th ed.). New York: Free Press.

BoardSource. (2010). The handbook of nonprofit governance. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Bronfman, C., & Solomon, J. R. (2010). The art of giving: Where the soul meets a business plan. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Bryce, H. J. (2000). Financial and strategic management for nonprofit organizations: A comprehensive reference to legal, financial, management, and operations rules and guidelines for nonprofits (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

Carlson, M., & Donohoe, M. (2010). The executive director’s guide to thriving as a nonprofit leader (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Carver, J. (2006). Boards that make a difference: A new design for leadership in nonprofit and public organizations (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Chait, R. P., Ryan, W. P., & Taylor, B. E. (2005). Governance as leadership: Reframing the work of nonprofit boards. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Cohen, W. A. (2010). Drucker on leadership: New lessons from the father of modern management. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Connors, T. D. (Ed.). (2001). The nonprofit handbook. Management (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley.

Crutchfield, L. R., & Grant, H. M. (2008). Forces for good: The six practices of high-impact nonprofits. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Edwards, R. L., & Yankey, J. A. (Eds.). (2006). Effectively managing nonprofit organizations. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

Golensky, M. (2011). Strategic leadership and management in nonprofit organizations: Theory and practice. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.

Greenfield, J. M. (Ed.). (2001). The nonprofit handbook. Fund raising (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley.

Hampton, J. J. (Ed.). (1994). AMA management handbook (3rd ed.). New York: Amacom. (Also available as an E-book)

Hart, T., Greenfield, J. M., & Johnston, M. (Eds.). (2005). Nonprofit internet strategies: Best practices for marketing, communications, and fundraising success. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Herman, R. D., and Associates. (2005). The Jossey-Bass handbook of nonprofit leadership and management (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Hudson, M. (2005). Managing at the leading edge: New challenges in managing nonprofit organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Klein, K. (2009). Reliable fundraising in unreliable times: What good causes need to know to survive and thrive. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Korten, A. E., & Fine, M. (2009). Change philanthropy: Candid stories of foundations maximizing results through social justice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Levy, C. S. (1982). Guide to ethical decisions and actions for social service administrators: A handbook for managerial personnel. New York: Haworth Press.

Martin, L. L. (2001). Financial management for human service administrators. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

National Association of Social Workers. (1990). NASW standards for social work personnel practices (Rev. ed.). Silver Spring, MD: National Association of Social Workers.

Patti, R. J. (Ed.). (2009). The handbook of human services management (2nd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

Perry, J. L. (Ed.). (2010). The Jossey-Bass reader on nonprofit and public leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Powell, W. W., & Steinberg, R. (Eds.). (2006). The nonprofit sector: A research handbook (2nd ed.). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Salamon, L. M. (Ed.). (2002). The state of nonprofit America. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

Saul, J. (2004). Benchmarking for nonprofits: How to measure, manage, and improve performance. St. Paul, MN: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.

Shafritz, J. M. (Editor-in-chief). (1998). International encyclopedia of public policy and administration (Vols. 1-4). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Smith, D. H., Stebbins, R. A., & Dover, M. A. (2006). A dictionary of nonprofit terms and concepts. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Snow, R. M., & Phillips, P. H. (2008). Making critical decisions: A practical guide for nonprofit organizations. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Wilbur, R. H. (Ed.). (2000). The complete guide to nonprofit management (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.

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2. Search the online catalog for additional books that will give you the history, context, definitions and theories.

Below are suggested keywords to use when searching for information. You can use them when searching the catalog or the research databases. Try combining them with another concept having to do with your subject:

  • Boards
  • Budgeting
  • Business planning
  • Capacity building
  • Finance
  • Fundraising
  • Information systems
  • Leadership
  • Personnel
  • Public relations
  • Quality management
  • Strategic planning
  • Supervision
  • Volunteers

Also, using these subject headings in the library catalog may improve your search results:


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3. Find some general articles on your topic.

After you have located books on your topic, start looking for general journal articles on your subject. Several general databases include:

  • Academic Search Complete
    Subjects: most academic topics
    Formats: journals, magazines, newspapers, books, book reviews
    Publication dates: 1887-present
  • LexisNexis Academic
    Subjects: news, law, business
    Formats: newspapers, wire services, broadcast transcripts, company profiles, court cases
    Publication dates: most are 1990s – present; court cases are 1789 – present
  • Article First (OCLC)
    Subjects: business, science, humanities, social sciences, medicine, technology, popular culture
    Formats: journal articles
    Publication dates: 1990 – present
  • Summon
    Subjects: interdisciplinary
    Formats: journal articles, books, conference proceedings, newspapers, images, databases and more available at CWRU
    Publication dates: Ongoing
  • TOPICsearch
    Subjects: current events, social, political and economic issues, scientific discoveries
    Formats: journal articles, magazine articles, biographies, book reviews, government information, public opinion polls, international newspapers
    Publication dates: 1990 – present

These databases are interdisciplinary and most provide a mix of popular magazine articles and scholarly research articles.

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4. Search subject specific databases for more scholarly journal articles.

After finding general journal articles on your topic, begin focusing on scholarly research articles. Citations, abstracts and, sometimes, the full-text of journal articles are found in a variety of research databases:

  • Business Source Complete
    Subjects: marketing, management, accounting, banking, finance
    Formats: journal articles, financial data, major reference works, book digests, conference proceedings, case studies, investment research reports, industry reports, market research reports, country reports, company profiles, and SWOT analyses
    Publication dates: 1886-present
  • Social Work Abstracts
    Subjects: addictions, aging, child and family welfare, community organization, homelessness, human services, mental health, therapy
    Formats: journal articles
    Publication dates: 1965-present
  • SocINDEX
    Subjects: sociology, criminal justice, demography, ethnic and racial studies, gender studies, marriage and family, religion, social development, social psychology, social structure, social work, socio-cultural anthropology, substance abuse, violence
    Formats: journal articles, books, conference proceedings
    Publication dates: 1895-present

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5. Browse current issues of journals that contain literature on your topic.

Click here for a list of journals to which the MSASS Harris Library subscribes.

Journals that are most likely to contain information on the topic of nonprofit management include:Administration and Policy in Mental Health online at: OhioLINK. (Public catalog.)

Administration in Social Work online at: Taylor & Francis Online. (Public catalog.)

Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing online at: Taylor & Francis Online. E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog.)

Leader to Leader online at: OhioLINK. E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog.)

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly online at: OhioLINK. E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog.)

Nonprofit Management & Leadership online at: OhioLINK. (Public catalog.)

Stanford Social Innovation Review online at: E-Journal Portal (Public catalog.)

Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations online at: OhioLINK. E-Journal Portal. (Public catalog.)

Additional journals that cover general topics in sociology and social studies are available in the
Electronic Journal Center and the E-Journal Portal.

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6. Search online for additional information.

Information located through the Internet can provide supplemental material to scholarly research articles. Material retrieved from websites should always be evaluated for currency, authorship, bias and accuracy.

Following are selected websites that have information on nonprofit management:

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7. Evaluate the information you have collected from books and articles.

Consult the bibliographies of the books and articles you have selected. This will lead you to additional references and authors to investigate. Make notes of the gaps in your literature so that you can use this information when you do additional searches. Click here for more information on evaluating the information you have collected.