Title

Toward a More Perfect Nonprofit: The Performance Mindset and the "Gift"

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2013

Journal Title

Administrative Theory & Praxis

Volume

35

Number

1

Abstract

This article examines the use of evaluation feedback in decision-making by governments, foundations, corporations, and individual donors financing the nonprofit sector in an environment of resource scarcity. It includes an analysis of curricular offerings in program evaluation courses offered by nonprofit management educational programs. Finding that the courses primarily provide instruction in systematic evaluation and the logic model, it argues for an alternative approach to educating nonprofit leaders that emphasizes the social role of nonprofits and the concept of charity, drawing extensively on Jacques Derrida's understanding of "the gift." The new curricular approach would reframe authority, embrace interdisciplinarity and connections, including democratic feminist theories of management, revise accountability to move toward consensus, and end lip service to praxis.

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