For the Nonprofit Management category

US nonprofit sector is a job creator


October 24, 2012
Jerry Lindman, JD

This article in (Look to nonprofit sector to create jobs, CNN Oct 19, 2012) makes the case for the resilient job creating ability of the US nonprofit sector over the last decade, even in this slow-growth economy. Though not a surprise to some (including our LTU graduate nonprofit students), many are still unaware of the dramatic growth in the nonprofit sector and the employment opportunities that exist.  Here are some key points the author makes:

  • “the nonprofit sector employs about one in 10 American workers…..the third largest labor force behind retail trade and manufacturing.”
  • “According to a recent study the U.S. nonprofit sector posted a remarkable 10 year record of job growth despite
  • two recessions, achieving an annual growth rate of 2.1% from 2000 to 2010…..for-profit jobs declined by 0.6% per year during the same period.”
  • The same study showed that “even during the recession from 2007 to 2009, nonprofit jobs increased by an average of 1.9% per year. At the same time, businesses averaged jobs losses of 3.7% per year.”
  • “While nonprofits are known for employing social workers, they also need managers, human resource professionals, educators, artists, computer programmers, marketers, accountants…researchers…and many skilled workers.”

This author closes by calling of the next President (and Congress?) to do five things to support nonprofit job growth: (1) maintain tax deductions for donations and on estate tax; (2) incentivize nonprofit education and careers; (3) expand national service via the proposed ‘Serve America Act’ (4) Invest in social entrepreneurship to promote innovation in the nonprofit sector and (5) expand tax incentives for financing of small business to nonprofits.

From my work with nonprofit organizations and their leaders, growth is just one of the major forces causing transformation of how charitable organizations operate. Because of these dynamic times, what is most needed are newly educated and trained nonprofit managers who can blend the unique nonprofit management competencies with new business-influenced strategies that support diversification of their revenue sources to include more earned income. Coincidentally, that is the topic my students are addressing this week in my graduate course in nonprofit management.

Lunch-Network with Foundation Professionals – LTU – Sept 25


Jerry Lindman

The LTU Center for Nonprofit Management is pleased to be hosting the annual Lunch With Leaders of the Emerging Practitioners In Philanthropy of Michigan at Lawrence Tech, UTLC Gallery, on Tues. Sept 25, 12:00-2:00pm.  I highly recommend attending this lunch & networking event to anyone who seeking to learn more about Michigan philanthropic and foundation world.   Lunch will be included in your registration fee of $5; register at:

The speakers are Derek Aguirre, Executive Director of Racquet Up Detroit and Doug Stewart, Executive Director Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation.

About Lunch With Leaders (LWL): LWL is an annual statewide event is provided by Emerging Practitioners In Philanthropy of Michigan[Jerry Lindman]  (EPIP-Michigan); Email: or visit

Supreme Court Rules on Affordable Care Act: What does it say & where do we go from here?


By Jerry Lindman, J.D.

The US Supreme Court issued their ruling today (June 28, 2012) on the constitutionally of the Federal healthcare reform law passed in 2010 (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010) and its various parts. What does it say and where do we go from here? I offer short-term and longer term perspectives on next steps on this important matter.

In the short term, a 5-4 majority of justices upheld all key provisions of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 including the individual mandate. Though their ruling and the way they decided it will have implications on future Congressional action, in effect, the US Supreme Court affirmed its constitutionality and sent it back into the realm of our elected public policy makers to implement, execute and improve. For a concise, simple overview of what the US Supreme Court ruling said, see Health-Care Ruling: A Scorecard, from the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog, . For on-going legal analysis and other developments related to the Supreme Court’s ruling, see Scotus Blog –

What I find far more informative and inspiring is the longer term look “up-stream” that leading stakeholders and experts committed to universal healthcare in the US are taking. This “up-stream” examination looks well beyond the immediate legal, policy and political discourse regarding the Affordable Care Act of 2010, to identify and develop a growing consensus around next steps in public policies and practices that will remake what we now think of as our US healthcare system.  Their vision and action plan involves much more than is being discussed today by our elected policymakers and the media. As they see it, health is not just something that comes from the doctor’s office, it also is an outcome of addressing many community and neighborhood conditions that create an environment for healthy living.

The June 2012 Symposium sponsored by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation ( ) did a good job of capturing consensus from this group of leading stakeholders which include academic, business and government. In the Symposium’s Final Report[1], this diverse group of stakeholders conclude:

  1. “No matter how the Supreme Court rules on the Affordable Care Act, health care in the next 20 years will need leadership that embraces community needs and new roles to care and guide individuals across a more data-driven, accountable U.S. health system. That was a consensus reached by health leaders brought together this week by the Foundation for an intensive two-day symposium in Kansas City to explore the future of health and health care in 2032. Though the high court’s decision looms large, the Justices’ coming ruling was barely acknowledged by the diverse group of more than 50 leaders from across the national health spectrum. The group included clinicians, academics, entrepreneurs and business executives from employers that ranged from Google to IBM.”
  2. They see four “alternative futures” for what healthcare in the US may look like in 2032; 1.) Slow Reform, Better Health, 2) Health If You Can Get It, 3) Big Data, Big Health Gain and 4) The New Ethics of Health. Alternative future #1 they describe as resulting from a “Zone of Conventional Expectation”. Alternative future #2 arises from the “Zone of Growing Desperation”. Alternatives #3 and #4 arise in a “Zone of High Aspiration”.

The Symposium Report goes on to identify four key areas for focus that will help to advance a quality, efficient universal healthcare for all in the United States:

  1. Develop new health roles beyond just traditional medical care professionals and public health providers;
  2. Focus the health-tech sector on developing community health metrics;
  3. Cultivate new leadership for a healthy society; and
  4. Remove barriers to achieve better health outcomes and quality.

Full Report:

More on the Four Scenarios:

[1] Health Leaders Look to 2032 for Opportunities to Improve the Health of the Nation at


For nonprofits of the health safety net, the times they are a-changin’


The times are definitely a-changin’ for the leaders and the nonprofit organizations making up the health safety net.  As moderator/facilitator for Day #2 of the 2012 Healthy Safety Net Symposium of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) which just completed on Thursday, I learned more about their commitment and challenges of delivering on this mission of quality healthcare for all. This variety of nonprofits from across the State provide quality preventive and primary healthcare to anyone regardless of income or insurance. My respect for this experienced group dedicated volunteers, board members and staff (including many health providers) grows only larger.

The first day of the 2012 HSN Symposium provided an update on federal healthcare reform which largely consisted of many experienced and educated professionals concluding that we really don’t know what the US Supreme Course will do with the Affordable Care Act of 2010. My work on the 2102 HSN Symposium focused on the second day and our planning team decided to focus on things more in our control, that is, organizational sustainability and transformation of the health safety net organizations.  I served as moderator and facilitator for three panels of experts, practitioners and stakeholders who engaged the audience of about 250 for the entire day.

I started the day with some context on the topic of organizational sustainability. What it takes to sustain any nonprofit organization has been heavily examined, written about and discussed with some areas of consensus emerging. Though there is no one methodology coming forward, there is clear consensus that it all starts with leadership at both the executive and board level. A good example of a model for nonprofit sustainability comes from The TCC Group , a nationally recognized nonprofit consulting firm. The TCC Group has done extensive research on organizational sustainability at nonprofit organizations and developed what they refer to at The Sustainability Formula. In its simplest form, they present their formula as this:  “Leadership + Adaptability + Program Capacity = Sustainability”.

Leaders of healthy safety net (HSN) organizations know full well the realities of sustaining and transforming their nonprofit organizations however the pace of the real-time decision-making they engage in has exponentially increased.  Along with restructuring that all U.S. nonprofits today face (For nonprofits, time to end business-as-usual ) , the leaders of these safety net organizations have the added dynamic of operating in the midst of the historic change in healthcare reform. Given the lack of clarity on many key issues, they are in need of relevant, timely information to inform their vision and planning. This was an over-arching goal of the 2012 HSN Symposium.

Inspiring Creativity in Nonprofit Management – Josh Linkner


Today in the Executive to Executive Speakers Series for Nonprofit Leaders at Lawrence Tech University, Josh Linkner, CEO of Detroit Ventures Partners/Founder of ePrize, provided very valuable insight on how to inspire creativity at nonprofit organizations. He presented his “Disciplined Dreaming” approach in a very engaging and relevant style. Though he is used to speaking to business audiences on creativity, he tailored his innovative ideas and strategies to speak directly to core nonprofit management issues (e.g. fundraising, volunteers, social innovation).

He summarized his Disciplined Dreaming approach by reviewing  5 steps to inspire creativity in your organization:
1.Get curious: ask why, what if, and why not?
2. Encourage courage: embrace the idea that mistakes are the portals of success
3.Challenge assumptions: do not let imaginary barriers impede progress
4.Think small: embrace risk, be nimble, generate a fire-in-the-belly culture
5.Stand out: allow yourself to be different from all others

For more about Josh Linkner and his Disciplined Dreaming approach to inspire creativity in organizations see this YouTube Video: Josh Linkner

Welcome New COM Adjunct, Richard Rappleye


Welcome Richard K. Rappleye, Vice President of Administration at the Kresge Foundation ( to the College of Management!  As our newest Adjunct Professor, Richard will teach part-time the course entitled “Leading Change, and Building Capacity for Nonprofits” (MGT 6033).  This course focuses on current change management strategies for nonprofit organizations and is one of the core graduate nonprofit management components of the MBA concentration and Graduate Certificate in nonprofit management and leadership (

Richard’s extensive management experience spans almost 30 years and includes senior executive positions at both the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Kresge Foundation. He has served on many statewide boards including the Council of Michigan Foundations, Michigan State Bar Foundation and Highway T. Richard’s first-hand experience leading organizational development and change management initiatives at philanthropic and nonprofit organizations offers our students a unique opportunity to learn the theory and practice of this important discipline and prepare them for leadership at charitable organizations.

Richard will be teaching part-time at Lawrence Technogolical University both on-campus and 100% online. For the past months Richard has been working with the LTU Elearning team to enhance his use of advance instructional technology tools used at Lawrence Tech. He is putting to work these instructional technology skills to not only to effectively deliver his course oncampus and 100% online but most importantly to provide an engaging learning experience for his students.

Sustaining and Transforming the Health Safety Net

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As renegotiation of healthcare rages on in the halls of Congress and the US Supreme Court, health safety net organizations find themselves in the midst of unprecedented change. Collectively referred to as the Safety Net, this array of charitable nonprofits provide “a significant level of health care and other related services to the uninsured, Medicaid and other vulnerable populations.”[i]  As I see it, successful transformation of the Safety Net is a benchmark for successful reform of the US healthcare system.

What will it look like? These charitable organizations face great risk during these times of unprecedented change. Buffeted by the dual forces of healthcare reform and the transformation of the traditional business model of the charitable nonprofit sector, Safety Net organizations are faced with simultaneously sustaining their charitable mission to deliver quality and affordable primary healthcare services to all. All while simultaneously re-evaluating their programs, the people they serve and, in some cases, their very existence.

The annual Healthy Safety Net (HSN) Symposiums were initiated in 2011 to convene all stakeholders who share the essential mission of the Safety Net and seek its successful transformation. The 2012 Healthy Safety Net Symposium (May 23-24, 3012; Lansing, MI) will share the latest information, research and best practices to support strategic, collaborative decision-making at these organizations.  Participants from across the State will spend two full days of collaborative information sharing and deliberative conversation among all stakeholders committed to the collective mission of these organizations. From Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHC), Free/Rural/Migrant health clinics, hospitals and government agencies across Michigan, these are the leaders making the strategic decisions, in real-time, to transform their organizations and sustain their essential mission.

Jerry Lindman, J.D., Senior Lecturer and Director, Center for Nonprofit Management


[i] Institute of Medicine (IOM). America’s health care safety net: intact but endangered. Washington: Institute of Medicine; 2000

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