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Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs

Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs
Author: J. Gregory Dees - Jed Emerson - Peter Economy
ISBN 13: 9780471397359
ISBN 10: 471397350
Edition: 1
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: 2001-03-29
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
List Price: $49.00

"If anything, social enterprises today are learning that the universe of possible opportunities for introducing entrepreneurial activity into their organizations is limited only by their imaginations."

The idea of social entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular. Many nonprofit leaders are initially drawn to this concept as they search for new ways to generate funds for their organizations. But once they delve deeper, they find that being entrepreneurial is about much more than funding. It involves operating your organization with a fresh mind-set and a set of management tools that can have powerful and positive effects on how you serve your mission. True social entrepreneurs are innovative and resourceful; they mix passion with businesslike discipline; they take risks but know how to manage them; they are mission-driven but market savvy; and they are intensely focused on creating sustainable social impact. Effective social entrepreneurship is hard work but absolutely crucial to the health of the communities in which we live. This book can make it easier for you to develop your entrepreneurial skills.

Written by leading experts in the field, Enterprising Nonprofits introduces you to key elements of social entrepreneurship and equips you to become more effective as a social entrepreneur. In each chapter, you will find concise explanations of core concepts, as well as practical tools for applying the concepts. You’ll also find exercises and action steps to guide you as you put the concepts and tools into practice. Throughout the book, you’ll learn from the experiences of successful social entrepreneurs ranging from Bill Strickland, head of the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh, to Muhammed Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. You’ll also uncover the strategies of some of today’s most enterprising nonprofits and determine their relevance to your organization.

In addition to contributions from the three lead authors, you’ll benefit from advice offered by some of the best and brightest thinkers in the field, including:

  • Bruce Hopkins, Polsinelli, Shalton & White
  • Rob Johnston, Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management
  • Jerry Kitzi, Social Venture Partners of Greater Kansas City
  • Kristin Majeska, Common Good: Investments in Nonprofit Solutions
  • Tom McLaughlin, BDO Seidman, LLP
  • Jeanne Rooney, UMB Bank Nonprofit Financial & Advisory Services

Whether you are a nonprofit CEO, board member, staff member, or volunteer, Enterprising Nonprofits will open the door to new opportunities for you and your nonprofit organization. The more you use the skills described in this book, the better you’ll get at them, and the more effective your organization will become.


The idea of "social entrepreneurship" has spread as nonprofit organizations search for new ways to raise funds. Dees (Stanford U.) and his co-authors wrote this guide to show nonprofit leaders how to adapt the tools long employed by business both to generate funds and also to serve their social missions more effectively. Their goal is not to turn nonprofit organizations into businesses; rather, they want to help nonprofits learn from business, be more enterprising, and have a greater positive, long-term impact in their field. The guide is written with a practical, hands-on orientation for readers with no prior business training. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)