Session 1: Overview of the Non-Profit Sector

Instructors

Pat Bennett, Melissa Moore

Aims

To present fellows with an overview of the non-profit sector

Objectives

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
  1. Understand the characteristics of community-based organizations
  2. Understand and appreciate their unique organizational culture, mission and values, funding streams, and governance structures
  3. Understand the organizational challenges and opportunities they face
  4. Appreciate the role of diversity in CBO organizational life
  5. Apply acquired knowledge to working with partner community based organizations
  6. Understand the role of government agencies in the CBO landscape

Key Terms

  • Community based organization: a CBO is a non-profit organization that is identified by their relationship to a group of people within a geographic area.
  • The governing structure: also known as the Board of Directors, the governing structure of a CBO has representatives from the community that is served.
  • Organizational culture: the spoken and often unspoken assumptions about how people behave within the organization with each other – the social norms that are operative
  • Collaboration: working together among stakeholders beyond one’s own organization in order to achieve common goals.  It requires organizations to put their own self-interests aside. 

Agenda

  • 9:00 – 10:00: Fellows share their experiences to date with the non-profits– What does the organization do? Who do they have most contact with in the organization?  What do they notice about the people they work with?  How is the experience?
  • 10:00 – 10:30:  PowerPoint presentation – Characteristics of Non-Profit Organizations/Community Based Organizations
  • 10:30 – 11:00:  Presentation and Discussion on homework assignments

Readings

  • Herman, R. D. (2005). The jossey-bass handbook of nonprofit leadership and management. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Blue Avocado Website
  • Fieldstone Alliance (Please look through the entire list of books related to non-profits on this website and choose one.)

Teaching Materials

Supplemental Resources

Assignment

Conduct an Internet search of community based organizations (CBO). Summarize and describe 3-5 different types of CBOs’ and include their mission, description of what they do and who they serve (target population).   Identify, if any, system differences among the CBOs.

Summaries of Objectives

  1. Understand the characteristics of community based organizations
    1. Understand characteristics and organizational structure of non-profit sector organizations including classifications and types of non-profit organizations, sizes and scope, facts and figures, source of revenue and assets, and expenditures.
  2. Understand and appreciate their unique organizational culture, mission and values, funding streams, and governance structures.
    1. Study certain aspects of the organizational culture
  3. Understand the organizational challenges and opportunities they face
    1. A basic framework of organizational transformation – meaning challenge as opportunity
  4. Appreciate the role of diversity in CBO organizational life
    1. Participants learn how to assess organizations on their sensitivity to issues of culture
  5. Apply acquired knowledge to working with partner community based organizations
    1. Develop an appreciation of the networks and other relationships non-profits utilize
  6. Understand the role of government agencies in the CBO landscape
    1. Participants will learn about the funding landscapes and identify government resources in working with CBO’s 

Assessment Data and Learner Feedback

  1. Understand the characteristics of community based organizations
    1. Each participant will describe the organization in which they are working through this lenses and be able to answer questions regarding the mission vision and values of the organization 
  2. Understand and appreciate their unique organizational culture, mission and values, funding streams, and governance structures.
    1. Participants will interview a staff member at the organization to have them describe the organizational culture
  3. Understand the organizational challenges and opportunities they face
    1. An ability to identify challenges they are facing in current partnerships that are specific to CBO’s
  4. Appreciate the role of diversity in CBO organizational life
    1. Participants are able to identify the lens of diversity in the organizations with which they are partnering
  5. Apply acquired knowledge to working with partner community based organizations
    1. Participants will learn about the networks and relationships within the organization in which they are working and write up a brief description
  6. Understand the role of government agencies in the CBO landscape
    1. Participants will be able to identify funding landscapes and identify government resources in working with CBO’s

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