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Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits Hardcover – May 1, 2012
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From the Inside Flap
Since the first edition of Forces for Good was published in 2007 the world has changed significantly. The U.S. and global economies have essentially ground to a halt. Government cutbacks, reduced public support, and less money from corporations have challenged nonprofits like never before.
In the original book, authors Crutchfield and McLeod Grant employed a rigorous research methodology to determine "what makes great nonprofits great?" They studied twelve nonprofits that have achieved extraordinary levels of impactfrom Habitat for Humanity to the Heritage Foundationand distilled six counterintuitive practices that these organizations use to change the world. This revised and updated edition of that bestselling book explores how the recent economic and social upheavals have impacted these noteworthy organizations. In addition, Forces for Good shows how the six practices have been applied successfully to small, local nonprofits.
Despite the enormous changes in the economic landscape, the authors' recent research reaffirms the viability of the original six practices for scaling social impact. This updated book examines a proven framework that helps nonprofits shift from an organizational mind-set to a relational mind-set, from a more industrial era model of production, where the nonprofit produces goods and services for customers, to a networked model, where the nonprofit's mission is to catalyze social change by inspiring others to action.
If you are a nonprofit professional, an agent for social change, a dedicated volunteer, or a concerned donor, this book will serve as a manual for becoming a force for good.
From the Back Cover
Praise for Forces for Good
"Top 10 Business Book of the Year ... a serious piece of research."The Economist
"Offers excellent real-world examples of what great nonprofits actually look like."Financial Times.com
"A Best Book of the Year."The Globe and Mail, Toronto
"Inspired and inspiring, this book can change the way the world works by changing how leaders think. Leslie Crutchfield and Heather McLeod Grant have made a significant contribution with a Very Big Idea: the shift in focus from building an organization to building a movement."Jim Collins, author, Good to Great; coauthor, Built to Last
"Global problems like abject poverty require innovative, scalable solutions. We have so much to learn from these six practices because they're what lead to wide-scale social change."Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer, Facebook
"The nonprofits making the greatest impacts these days are entrepreneurial, adaptive, outward-looking, and sometimes a little messy. Working together, they are trying not only to solve problems, but also to reform whole systems. For the many leaders of all ages out to change the world, this book provides an invaluable road map. Bravo!"David Gergen, professor of public service and director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School; senior political analyst, CNN
Skystone Ryan Research Prize by the Association of Fundraising Professionals
Gold Prize by Axiom Business Book Awards for Nonprofits
Revised and Updated
"Top 10 Business book of the year." The Economist
Top customer reviews
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I really enjoyed the updated content and in my mind it made it much more relevant to what the agency that I am interviewing with is going through. In addition, I really liked the style of using great examples from real non-profits that are making it happen and really making a difference.
A must read for all non-profit managers, boards, staff, etc.
1) Advocate and Serve: trying to go beyond serving others to try to affect change at a level that will impact the lives of many more through activism.
2) Make Markets Work: work WITH, not AGAINST the private sector with mindset of trying to help private companies win too, while you help permeate their view of things.
3) Inspire Evangelists: very much aligned with the thoughts by Guy Kawasaki of developing people who will very much preach to others about the work your organization does.
4) Nurture Nonprofit Networks: believing that there is so much room and space for all and that united we stand a bigger chance of growing and accomplishing our goals.
5) Master the Art of Adaptation: change is the only constant... deal with it.
6) Share Leadership: don't become fixated (as a founder) on retaining all power... there are different leaders for different times.
In the end, applying these thoughts and learning from the loads of practical examples offered by the authors, it becomes clear how a nonprofit can have a sustained high impact.
Based on several years' research involving twelve of the most successful nonprofits in recent U.S. history, Forces for Good looks closely at the six practices that high-impact non-profits use to maximize social change.
What makes the book so engaging is that it is NOT about America's most well-managed non-profits, nor is it about America's best-marketed organizations with the most recognized brands. It's NOT even about the groups with the highest revenues or the lowest overhead ratios.
Rather, Forces for Good is about one dozen exemplary organizations that have created real social change - organizations that can be considered cousins to companies like Google or eBay in what they have accomplished. Very exciting stuff!
The best news is that the book is well-written and engaging - with several good stories and logical explanations, as well as authentic suggestions and even fantastical ideas (for those real dreamers out there who still like to read.) If you are a leader in the non-profit sector, I believe you will agree with me that Forces for Good not only makes sense, it opens up the mind to new ways of thinking and acting. It is a blueprint for turning your non-profit into a force for good.
Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, The Heritage Foundation, Share Our Strengths and eight other nonprofits made the list. This helpful study also dispels six myths about effective nonprofits. Example: not all organizations are perfectly managed, have brand-name awareness, or breakthrough new ideas. They don't wordsmith their mission statements, they live them. And--they're big on implementation and execution (my favorite.)
Read chapter one and you'll have the gist of the whole book, especially the six practices: 1) Advocate and serve, 2) Make markets work, 3) Inspire evangelists, 4) Nurture nonprofit networks, 5) Master the art of adaptation, and 6) Share leadership. The best nonprofits realize it's not about egos and logos.
The authors intentionally excluded religious organizations and churches from the study (a flaw, in my opinion since The Salvation Army and others have much to teach us). But you'll benefit from these new insights. Many nonprofits will especially appreciate learning how these exemplary organizations turn volunteers into evangelists.
The book showcases 12 non-profits that exemplify the essence for a "Force for Good." The book is an extremely important work that examines the the factors and attributes that make organizations such as YouthBuild and City Year world class operations. It is an excellent contribution to the sudy of management.
Dorothy Stoneman and YouthBuild are truly inspirational. Michael Brown and City Year show us how community service really makes a difference.
The book is a must ready for anyone interested in public-private initiatives.