Organizational Management & Planning


Organizational Management & Planning

Nonprofit management supports continuous improvement of individuals and their organizations to better serve their communities.


The most comprehensive visualization of U.S. public data

For nonprofits working with, or needing access to, data in the United States, Data USA, provides free, open source data that is already packaged into comprehensive visualizations.  The M.I.T. Media Lab with support from Deloitte, has accessed years of federal government, state and city data and is making it available free of charge at the DATA USA website.  Take a look.


The Emerging Leaders Playbook

Working together, Beth Kanter and Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies and have developed the Emerging Leaders Playbook a comprehensive, resource for emerging leaders and their supervisors.  They have pulled together essential tools and research on leadership into this practical  e-book. Funded by the Packard Foundation, you can download it for free, learn more on Beth’s Blog


Nine Key Trends Affecting the Charitable Sector

The world is rapidly changing around us. If the nonprofit and philanthropic sector is to thrive in the decades ahead, we must come together to assess the daunting challenges and incredible opportunities that face us.   Take a look at the Independent Sector’s view of the nine key trends that will shape the operating environment of the charitable sector in profound and unavoidable ways over the coming two decades.


What Nonprofit Leaders Need to Know
How the economic outlook impacts your work

Recently, the Center for Nonprofit Management in Los Angeles invited a number of prominent economic, policy, and nonprofit leaders together to discuss what the numbers mean for community based organizations and, more importantly, those they serve. Download the report to find out what they learned.


The Performance Imperative
A Framework for Social-Sector Excellence

What does “high-performance” really mean for mission-based nonprofits? And how do executives, boards, and funders get there? The Leap Ambassadors Community, a network of nonprofit executives, has spent a year developing clear, actionable answers to both questions. You can find them in the free — and jargon-free — document “The Performance Imperative: A Framework for Social-Sector Excellence“.

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Sample Dashboard Indicators
Dashboards can be valuable tools for the executive director and the board when making critical decisions

This sample from CompassPoint will give a framework as you begin to develop your own Indicators.


Nonprofit Management Tools and Trends 2014

The Bridgespan Group’s Nonprofit Management Tools and Trends 2014 report provides insight from 481 nonprofit executives on the use and effectiveness of 25 top tools as well as their opinions on the importance of 21 major trends affecting the sector.

Get the full report here.


Essential Strategic Plan
An online approach to strategic planning

The Essential Strategic Plan Online (ESP) is an online coaching experience for intact planning teams from small and mid-sized nonprofits that supports them in creating their own, complete strategic plan.

The Essential Strategic Plan is designed to be:


Building Movement Project
Support for creating change

The Building Movement Project develops research, tools, training materials and opportunities for partnership that bolster nonprofit organizations’ ability to support the voice and power of the people they serve.


Collaboration and Beyond
New approaches to collaboration

What does it take to build real collaborations, where trust and exploration and learning together lead to pooling resources to make great things happen?

Three foundation leaders 

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The Nonprofit Business Plan
Resources, links and tips

This Foundation Center Grantspace Business Plans page offers information and links to a variety of resources.

LaPiana Associates offer these free resources.

Download this free guidebook from SCORE.  Business Planning Tools for Nonprofit Organizations 2nd ed.

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2014 State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey

The Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Annual Survey chronicles the challenges facing the nonprofit sector .

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2014 Nonprofit Trends to Watch
What are the implications for nonprofit staff, board members, donors & community leaders?

The National Council of Nonprofits offers this view of 2014 trends to watch.  Starting with #1

THE RESOURCE SQUEEZE: One prominent trend that began with the Great Recession will continue its drain in 2014: scarce financial resources. The vast majority of charitable nonprofits will continue to be squeezed for financial resources in 2014. In the current environment of increased competition for scarcer financial resources, no nonprofit’s board of directors should be caught ignoring its fiduciary duty to help the nonprofit fund raise.

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City of Sacramento Open Data Portal
More than 40 different data sets


Investing for Impact
Indirect Costs Are Essential for Success

Investing for Impact: Indirect Costs Are Essential for Success a new report from the National Council of Nonprofits shares substantial research for board members and funders about the need to invest in core infrastructure to have a stronger nonprofit.


Liberating Structures
Exercises to unleash creativity and fresh ideas

This website offers an alternative way to approach and design how people work together. It provides a menu of thirty-three Liberating Structures to replace or complement conventional practices.

Liberating Structures used routinely make it possible to build the kind of organization that everybody wants. They are designed to include and unleash everyone in shaping the future.


Raising Impact
Elevating the quality of consulting in the social sector offers tools, informative articles and interactive opportunities aimed at supporting high quality consulting and empowering nonprofits as wise consumers. Includes the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for Effective Nonprofit Consulting Engagements, which outlines seven mutual commitments for an effective partnership and successful consulting engagement.

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Top 150 Nonprofit Blogs

Wondering if there’s anything going on in the blogosphere that you should be following? 


Nonprofit Finance Fund State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey Results

In this year’s Nonprofit Finance Fund State of the Nonprofit Sector survey, nearly 6000 respondents from nonprofits across the country shared the details of how they are adapting their organizations and finances to economic conditions.  The survey, which was supported for the third year in a row by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, reveals that 2012 was a year in which organizations either made or planned to make significant changes in order to cope with mounting economic stress.


Personifying the Nonprofit Life Cycle
The predictable stages of a nonprofit's development

Dr. B.J. Bischoff, a consultant in the Sonoma Valley area of northern California, offers a column (kudos to the Sonoma Valley Sun for featuring a regular column devoted to nonprofits) in which she outlines the stages of a nonprofit organization’s development as a life cycle. For those with significant experience in the nonprofit sector, this is likely nothing new. Consultants across the country have all heard the cry, “X, Y, and Z is happening at my organization. Is that normal?!?!” The answer to that question is almost always, “Yes, it’s perfectly normal.

Most nonprofits go through that at your stage of development.”…

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California Cultural Data Project

The California Cultural Data Project (California CDP) is a powerful online management tool designed to strengthen arts and cultural organizations. This  project gathers reliable, longitudinal data on the sector.

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Getting Started With Data-Driven Decision Making
A Workbook

Could you use more help thinking through how to use data to help your organization make decisions? If so, you’re not alone. NTEN’s recent report on how nonprofits are using data showed that although some organizations are relying heavily on data, a number were doing very little to actually measure their work or use the data to inform other decisions.

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Free Management Library
Articles on all aspects of nonprofit managment

The Free Management Library provides free, easy-to-access, online articles to develop yourself, other individuals, groups and organizations (whether the organization is for-profit or nonprofit).  This comprehensive resource, curated by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, Authenticity Consulting, LLC,  is a large, well-organized collection of articles and resources covering all aspects of management.  The list below includes the most popular topics:


Wishlist of Books for Nonprofits
Recommendations from nonprofit professionals

You’ll find some excellent books on this list by Marion Conway, a nonprofit consultant. Good reading for the new year.


Local Forces for Good
Six practices of high-impact nonprofits for local and smaller nonprofits

Of the more than 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States, the vast majority are local groups striving to achieve maximum results while operating on budgets well under $1 million. Most aim to deepen their impact within the local community, rather than increase their reach by scaling up nationally. So how do the six practices outlined in our book Forces for Good apply to smaller groups, when we originally studied only large national and global nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, and the Environmental Defense Fund?

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County Health Rankings & Roadmaps
Ranking the health of nearly every US county


Nonprofit Strategy and Business Planning
A fresh look

Are nonprofit business plans just “strategic plans, with numbers?” This article from David La Piana et al., explores how strategic planning and business planning are two related – but distinct – tools in the nonprofit toolbox.

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Daring to Lead
A national study of nonprofit executive leadership

Daring to Lead 2011: A National Study of Nonprofit Executive Leadership

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Racial Equity Tools
Researching what works in fundraising

Support for individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity

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Data Resources
There are many excellent local, regional, statewide and national data resources available to you.

Looking for data to plan or evaluation your programs?  Or to support your grant proposal? Need to better understand the community you serve or would like to serve? There are many excellent local, regional, statewide and national data resources available to you. 

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The Community Research Lab Toolbox from Healthy City
Make data meaningful and relevant to your work and your community

Are you interested in using online tools for community-based research?
Can research support your work in a specific neighborhood?
Are you interested in how to collect data from communities and map it?

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Nonprofit Collaboration Resources
Foundation Center

The Foundation Center has gathered a wealth of information about the ways that nonprofits can collaborate to achieve their missions — through mergers, joint programming, and other forms of collaboration.  You’ll find interviews with experts, case studies, links to books, articles and websites, and a database of over 650 real life examples.

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Healthy Living Map of the Capitol Region
Zip code level health data in western El Dorado, south Placer, Sacramento, and Yolo Counties

The 2010 Community Needs Assessment