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The Non Nonprofit: For-Profit Thinking for Nonprofit Success Hardcover – Feb 21 2012

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great Resume to Write this Book May 27 2012
By Jim Estill - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The career story of Steve Rothschild, author of The Non Nonprofit, perhaps warrants a book of its own. Rothschild rose to corporate success as the executive vice president of General Mills, a Fortune 100 company, only to then leave the corporate world and found Twin Cities Rise! (using his own money). Rise! works to combat inner city poverty in the Minneapolis area by providing long term job training to low-income adults.

Rothschild possesses a keen sense for the modern challenges faced by nonprofits and social enterprises.
Through the story of Rise!, as well as through case-studies of other inventive social organizations, Rothchild identifies seven key principles for long-term success, applicable to any social venture looking to boost impact:

1. Have a clear and appropriate purpose
2. Measure what counts
3. Be market driven
4. Create mutual accountability
5. Support personal empowerment
6. Create economic value form social benefit
7. Be learning driven

I particularly like the last principle. Being a constant learner is one key to success.

Rothschild meticulously demonstrates the value of each principle in numerous, varied circumstances.

Nonprofits attempt to tackle society's most challenging problems with few resources and financial support from state and federal governments has recently dwindled. In meeting these challenges, Rothschild's for-profit geared principles delve into economics, strategy, philosophy, psychology, etc. Incorporating these principles simply demands the courage to change.

I would recommend this book to any current or prospective social venture leaders looking to improve their results and achieve their purpose.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Required Reading May 25 2012
By David J. Goldstein - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Non Nonprofit is required reading for anyone involved in running or supporting a nonprofit organization as well as a useful guide for leaders in almost any endeavor.

Steve Rothschild had a legendary career as a senior executive at General Mills before leaving the private sector to create a visionary program for addressing generational poverty - Twin Cities Rise! In this book, Rothschild offers a few hints into the secrets of his private sector success while sharing his vision for creating more relevant and successful nonprofits.

Often undercapitalized and reliant on short term and uncertain funding sources, how can nonprofits possibly be expected to make a meaningful difference in facing the pervasive problems that face our society? The answer, as persuasively argued in this book, is to live by seven key principles: (1) Have a clear and appropriate purpose; (2) measure what counts; (3) be market driven; (4) create mutual accountability; (5) support personal empowerment; (6) create economic value from social benefit; and (7) be learning driven.

Each of these principles is clearly explained in its own chapter and illustrated by real-life case studies. Each chapter also includes practical questions that all organizations should ask in order to assess and improve their effectiveness.

As Rothschild notes in his introduction, this book is not a scholarly work, but rather a "personal take on what I have learned - as a businessman, a nonprofit CEO, and a board member - about what enables organizations to excel" Given Rothschild's remarkable record of success at both General Mills and Twin Cities Rise! his is a voice worth heeding. This book will undoubtedly help to produce better leaders and more effective nonprofits.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
New insights into nonprofit success Feb. 28 2012
By Dave MacCallum - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book presents a clear and compelling overview of the seven principles that are key to being a successful nonprofit. Some of these are familiar (e.g. the need for a clear purpose), but all are important and Steve's perspective is refreshingly straightforward. The more novel principles concerning the role of personal empowerment and new approaches to financing nonprofits are the book's most important contribution. Do yourself the favor of reading this book; it will challenge your conception of nonprofits, and force you to think about how you can be more effectively involved in them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great ideas for nonprofits (and for profits) March 9 2012
By Norman Reiss - Published on
Format: Hardcover
In recent years, nonprofits have often been advised to 'think more like a business' and to adopt principles used in for profit companies. Having been successful in both worlds, Steve Rothschild offers 7 tips with loads of practical examples which will be helpful both to new organizations and to established nonprofits trying to re-focus its work. Some of these ideas seem self-evident after you read about them but others, like the idea of 'personal empowerment' offers an interesting perspective on why many organizations find it so difficult to serve clients successfully. The idea of selecting carefully what you measure to make sure it relates to your mission (not just reporting on data that's easy to capture) is also very thought provoking.

I've worked in both for profit and nonprofit, although mostly for the latter in recent years. These principles will be helpful to any organization that wants to improve its effectiveness, but especially to nonprofits that want to be able to demonstrate the results of their work.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
New Directions for noonprofit leaders Feb. 20 2012
By Charles M. Denny, Jr. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Steve Rothschlid, who has excelled in both the for profit and nonprofit worlds, has written a book that is a must read for nonprofit leaders. While equally valuable to those who lead commerical organizations, this book can help nonprofits who measure and value only their efforts into effective and efficent organizations who prove their worth through outcomes of value to their funders and those they seek to serve. I am giving copies of the book to the leaders of the nonprofits with which I work.