Strategic administration of nonprofit human service organizations: a model for executive success in turbulent times

Adm Soc Work. 1997;21(2):1-19. doi: 10.1300/J147v21n02_01.


Rapid and unprecedented changes in our modern society have created extremely turbulent environments for nonprofit human service organizations. These changes threaten to transform the very nature of our business in ways difficult to predict and prepare for. The author examines the collective views of 21 purposely sampled executive directors in the city of Baltimore, Maryland on the future of the nonprofit human services sector. In 1 hour face-to-face interviews, subjects were asked to respond to three questions. What major trends will impact the nonprofit sector in the near future? What potential impact do you see these trends having on the nonprofit sector? What strategies would you recommend that executive directors take today to ensure success of their organization in the future? Narrative responses to each question were aggregated, organized into dominant views, and summarized. Subjects identified a host of social, political, economic, and technological trends that will have major effects on the future of the nonprofit sector. Subjects recommend a variety of tactics for helping an agency respond successfully to these forces. These tactics emphasize three critical areas of strategic administration: planning, management, and leadership.

MeSH terms

  • Administrative Personnel / standards*
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Baltimore
  • Computer Communication Networks
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Leadership*
  • Models, Organizational
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Organizations, Nonprofit / economics
  • Organizations, Nonprofit / organization & administration*
  • Organizations, Nonprofit / standards
  • Planning Techniques
  • Politics
  • Social Work / economics
  • Social Work / organization & administration*
  • Social Work / standards