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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass (Feb. 21 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118021819
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118021811
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.4 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #250,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“In this marvelous book, Steve Rothschild shares the same sound business principles he used at General Mills and later to found two nonprofits. Every social enterprise can benefit from these rigorous, real-world approaches.”
—From the foreword by Bill George

“Steve Rothschild has given the nonprofit community a vital, much-needed book at a crucial moment—when funding from all sources is tighter than ever. I believe The Non Nonprofit will become the how-to manual for improving strategy, execution, and organizational effectiveness in the nonprofit world. And with twenty-two years of outstanding executive leadership at General Mills, followed by twenty years of innovative leadership in the not-for-profit world, Steve brings the ideal set of experiences and lessons to the topic. A must-read for any executive and especially those who lead our nonprofit organizations.”
—Ken Powell, CEO, General Mills

“The lessons of The Non Nonprofit can improve the results of any nonprofit organization.It provides sound guidance to donors, agencies, and policy makers. This is the kind of thinking I encourage United Way leaders to apply while measuring community need and community impact.”
—Brian Gallagher, president and CEO, United Way Worldwide

“We need more practical visionaries like Steve Rothschild. He saw the problem of poverty, rolled up his sleeves, and carefully tested what works and what doesn't. The result: a powerful and effective program for reducing poverty and a set of clear principles that can be readily applied anywhere. The Non Nonprofit is a ground-breaking book.”
—Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator, Minnesota

The Non Nonprofit is this year's mandatory reading for anyone fortunate enough to be in leadership in the nonprofit sector. This book shows not only why but how nonprofit organizations can strategically move into a new framework that leads into the future, not simply react to circumstances beyond our control. The beauty here is that the principles are not only socially innovative but also grounded in proven experience. This is the book I will be passing out to the leaders in my network.”
—Father Larry Snyder, president, Catholic Charities USA

“Steve Rothschild, one of the country's best social entrepreneurs, has broken the back of multigenerational deep poverty. His clients, the formerly unemployable, have better track records at work than the average American. In The Non Nonprofit, he explains, simply and very clearly, how anyone can be just as effective.”
—Bill Drayton, CEO, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

“For all of our many achievements, America remains a nation yet suffering from widespread poverty. Steve Rothschild's The Non Nonprofit reflects what he has learned from nearly seventeen years as the committed and inspired founder of Twin Cities RISE! These are proven ideas, practical and available to businesses and public leaders in our communities. I am pleased to recommend this fresh and creative approach to creating more opportunity for those in our midst who need it the most.”
—Walter Mondale, 42nd Vice President of the United States

“Steve Rothschild's fresh thinking translates proven strategies that successful businesses employ every day into practical approaches to confronting centuries-old issues like poverty. No partisan politics, no fancy tricks-just fundamental, time-tested solutions.”
—Harvey Mackay, author, Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive

“As a Twin Cities RISE! customer, I can say unequivocally that the seven principles in The Non Nonprofit work. RISE! provides just the type of employee that every company needs to be successful: self-motivated, engaged, skilled, productive, and emotionally mature. The employer community would do well to take much greater advantage of this underutilized organization.”
—David Abrams, vice president, North Memorial  Health Care

“I've observed from the beginning of his anti-poverty work Steve Rothschild's efforts to put his principles into practice. I've observed with the skeptical eye of an evaluator. I've seen hundreds of good ideas and hopeful visions flounder in the face of complex realities. I'm not easily impressed. But what Rothschild has accomplished impresses. The principles he identifies, explains, and illustrates have broad applicability. He has learned a great deal about what works. Anyone who cares about making a difference should pay attention to what he's learned-it's all here.”
—Michael Quinn Patton, founder and director, Utilization-Focused Evaluation; former president, American Evaluation Association

“As director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for six years in the 1990s, I presided over the U.S. government's global poverty reduction efforts. Steve Rothschild reminds me of the innovators whose practical approaches changed the world of development, people like Hernando De Soto and Muhammad Yunus. Rothschild understands incentives, accountability, and personal improvement. His Twin Cities RISE! is a learning-driven organization that empowers challenged citizens to overcome their issues and succeed. Rothschild's RISE! is not afraid to establish a bottom line and is eager to be held accountable for achieving it. The Non Nonprofit and its recipes for success are a must-read for those who are truly concerned about poverty, here or anywhere.”
—J. Brian Atwood, former dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; chair, Development Assistance Committee, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development

“I take pride in being one of the many people Steve Rothschild met and talked with when he was first thinking of starting what turned out to be Twin Cities RISE! I must admit that while I thought his market-based approach was exquisitely on target, I was concerned he wasn't giving adequate weight to the many attitudinal and behavioral shortcomings that keep large numbers of people impoverished. More than fifteen years later, it's clear I was wrong, as I know of no analyst or practitioner in the United States who better understands how efforts to help poor people must meld both economically grounded and culturally grounded approaches.”
—Mitch Pearlstein, founder and CEO, Center of the American Experiment

From the Inside Flap

A top business leader shares the same principles he used to launch a successful company and a thriving nonprofit

Nonprofit leaders know that solving pervasive social problems requires passion and creativity as well as tangible results. The Non Nonprofit shares the same business principles that drive the world's best companies, showing how they can (and should) be applied to the realm of nonprofits. Steve Rothschild personally crossed sectors when he left a top-level position in corporate America, where he was executive vice president of General Mills, to found Twin Cities RISE!, a highly successful poverty reduction program.

His honest story, and successes and missteps, create an essential roadmap for any social venture looking to prove and boost its impact. Through RISE!'s story—as well as those of other innovative organizations such as Grameen Bank, Playworks, Common Ground/Community Solutions, Habitat for Humanity, Lumni, Caring - Bridge, and College Summit—Rothschild clearly details 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

7. Be Learning Driven

By adopting these principles and understanding how they are integral to creating long-term success, anyone can create a financially sustainable, socially responsible organization.

As insightful as it is inspiring, The Non Nonprofit can help maximize the positive impact of any nonprofit, government organization, or social enterprise.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa25499a8) out of 5 stars 13 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa254afcc) out of 5 stars 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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa266ef6c) out of 5 stars 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
HASH(0xa26711a4) out of 5 stars 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
HASH(0xa2671120) out of 5 stars 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
HASH(0xa2549a14) out of 5 stars 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.