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The author begins the work with a description of
classic non-profit organizational success stories
like the Peace Corps and Americorps. There is an
extensive comparative discussion of "The Small Pond"
vs. "The Big Pond" organizational scheme. These
discussions are conditions precedent to building
a successful non-profit model or superstructure
set forth in greater detail later in the
presentation.

This work is similar to Building Social Business by
Dr. Muhammad Yunus 2010. Building Social Business
describes the success of various Grameen enterprises.
The objective of the Grameen program is to overcome
poverty, have a sustainable economy and a modest
return on the investment; whereas, the objectives
outlined by Rupert Scofield are mainly the social
benefit within a non-profit organizational setting
versus a profit seeking enterprise. When loans are
paid back in the Grameen program, profits are
plowed back into the company not unlike the
function of retained earnings in a for-profit entity.

This discussion is helpful because there are
opportunities for non-profits in Egypt, Libya,
Tunesia, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Afghanistan
and many areas of the world. The challenge is
to establish the requisite funding and build
meaningful personal relationships by engendering
trust, dealing with goal incongruencies and
taking calculated risks . Another dimension is
building the organizational infrastructures
requisite to carrying out an identifiable
social mission in communities throughout the world.

The Small Pond refers to a smaller scale
organization with organic operational modes
because there are fewer people and less
structure. Accordingly, each person has
a wider span of control with a more decentralized
decision-making apparatus and less bureaucracy. The
Big Pond is the classic organizational hierarchy like
the military or organized churches. These structures
have more bureaucracy, formal standards, charters
and a clearly defined span of control and boundary
spanning functions. Organizational discretion tends
to be more highly centralized with many decisions
coming down from the top of the organizational
hierarchy. Which organizational structure is best?

Much depends upon available financial resources,
expertise, timeliness and many other factors too
numerous to list in a finite review. Decentralized
decisions tend to be made outside headquarters
while centralized decision-making is found in
larger organizations with more clearly defined
spans of control. The post-Revolutionary War
in America ceded more powers to the States in
favor of a smaller central government.

Once a big idea emerges (like Cloud Computing), people
tend to copy and emulate it. A big idea blossoms and
spreads outward like a huge octopus. A starting venture
needs a clearly definable mission with a cadre of
knowledgable people who can spread out in the field and
recruit customers and other key employees. The author
encourages the reader to recruit top minds or human
capital and build a big tent . Hire builders and fixers
and not organizational destroyers. The most important
aspect of hiring is screening for people who can
identify with the mission enthusiastically.
In addition, a modicum of organizational quiesence is
critical with a minimum of sum zero conflict.
Some conflict is always necessary in order to thrash
out contrasting views to identify the optimal
strategic direction , achievable benchmarks,
implementation methodology and goal incongruencies
of strategic constituencies involved in this
whole process.

The challenge is to do the following:
o Set Reasonable Expectations
o Inspect
o Discuss
o Evaluate and lastly to Reward

Grass roots networks are a popular way to make an
organization known. The classic modes of operation
are public speaking, organizing public workshops,
the internet and phonebanks to contact potential
clients to grow the business and encourage
outreach into the community.

The federal government is another good resource
as are state governments. In 2009, a full 49%
of the federal budget went to contractors and
grantees. Other resources are private capital
and entrepreneurial knowhow.

Overall, The Social Entrepreneur's Handbook
provides an easy-to-follow roadmap which outlines
the formulation and implementation of non-profit
sector projects of varying complexity. The book
will be sought by non-profit sector operators,
eleemosynary institutions, academicians,
journalists, government contractors and
a wide spectrum of the general public .

Credits: First Published on the Blogcritics website
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