Monday, March 13, 2017
A Review of Peter Drucker's Views on Nonprofits
Last April, I participated in a symposium, “Social Entrepreneurship: Wave of the Future?,” hosted by the Anisfield School of Business at Ramapo College of New Jersey. During the event, we debated the merits of Peter Drucker's 1991 Wall Street Journal Essay, “It Profits Us to Strengthen Nonprofits.” The event went so well, that the professor behind it, Dr. Sabrin, decided to publish an ebook of essays about Drucker's ideas. Here's a synopsis from my essay:
Drucker’s Vision Can be Realized Only When Donors and Nonprofits Focus on Results
by Sandra Miniutti
In Peter F. Drucker’s Wall Street Journal essay, “It Profits Us to Strengthen Nonprofits,” he makes the claim that “a well-managed nonprofit gets at least twice the bang out of each buck that a government agency does.” He proposed that we “grow our economy beyond the public and private sectors by adding the third, nonprofit sector that would succeed or fail based upon their own abilities to achieve their missions and deliver results.”
Drucker even provides the recipe to make this happen. First, he says we need to “...triple the productivity of the nonprofits.” Then, we need donors to double the amount they give. And he gets even more granular saying that nonprofits need to focus on their impact, appeal for support based on those results rather than based on their needs, and by aligning our government’s tax policy so that we offer greater rewards to those who invest in the sector.
I believe Drucker is right. I also believe, based on my 20 years studying and working in the nonprofit sector, that significantly improving the performance of nonprofits and changing donor behavior is no small task. Clearly, it hasn’t happened on a massive scale in the 25 years since Drucker’s essay. In my essay, I’ll discuss how I see the current state of the nonprofit sector and how that aligns with Drucker’s forward thinking in 1991.
Continue Reading The Essay