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Case Studies of Nonprofit Organizations and Volunteers

Edited By Jennifer Mize Smith and Michael W. Kramer

Given the increasing presence of nonprofit organizations and their impact upon American society, colleges and universities are recognizing the need to offer courses and programs to train current and future employees, volunteers, and supporters of the nonprofit sector.
This volume, featuring empirically-based case studies, provides an opportunity to analyze communication and other organizational issues in nonprofit, volunteer, and philanthropic contexts. Each case is designed to help readers critically think about the particular nonprofit context, the organizational issues presented, the ways in which those issues could be addressed, whose interests are served, and potential consequences for the organization and its various stakeholders.
This collection offers a unique glimpse into everyday issues and challenges related to working in and with nonprofit organizations, making it a valuable resource for undergraduate and graduate courses in nonprofit management, nonprofit communication, voluntarism, philanthropic studies, and social entrepreneurship. Each case also addresses a broader conceptual or theoretical framework of organizational studies, making it appropriate in other organizational communication courses as well.


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Section One: Executive Director Dilemmas: Change, Collaboration, and Crisis


Executive Director Dilemmas: Change, Collaboration, and Crisis s e c t i o n o n e Leading Change An Examination of Communication Practices Aimed at Organizational Change* elizabeth a. williams Colorado State University Robert was in a reflective mood. It had been a year since he started as the exec- utive director (ED) at Counties United to End Homelessness (CUEH), and he had just found a list he made his first day on the job detailing tasks he wanted to accomplish during his first year. CUEH was a nonprofit organization aimed at preventing and ending homelessness in a large metro area. The mission of CUEH was to facilitate, integrate, and track cooperative, community-wide, and regional systems of care for the homeless. Part of CUEH’s role was to distribute millions of grant dollars to support the operations of homeless service providers. Robert knew when he began his new position that if he did not get some alignment or partnership with the Board of Directors, he would experience diffi- culty. The board fired the previous ED after only six weeks, and before that, they were without an ED for five years. When Robert started his job, he was optimistic that he could be successful. He had worked with the homeless for years and had relationships across the community and in the local and state government. But most importantly, he really understood the issues that the organization faced. As Robert looked at the year-old list, he recalled the many obstacles he faced...

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