The Refractive Thinker® Vol XV: Non Profits: Strategies for Effective Management
The The Refractive Thinker Press 2018
Number of Pages: 216


Publish date: Nov 1, 2018

Join Foreword writer, Frank Shankwitz - co founder of the Make a Wish Foundation and contributing doctoral scholars as they discuss research focused on nonprofit organizations and their specific needs regarding strategies for effective management. This volume will continue to shape the conversation of their future success and the latest best practices and proven strategies for success.


RT Vol XV: Foreword: The Power of a Wish
Many people struggle to find their place in the world. For me, finding that purpose was in the eyes of a 7 year old little boy named Chris with leukemia. Meeting this little boy forever changed me and those around me. As one of the primary officers from the Arizona Highway Patrol, we decided to grant Chris’s wish to be a Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officer like his heroes, Ponch and John from the television show, “CHiPs.” Chris was made the first and only Honorary Arizona Highway Patrol Officer in the history of the Arizona Highway Patrol, complete with a custom made uniform, badge, and Motor Officer Wings. Chris succumbed to his illness a few day after receiving his “wish”, and was buried with full police honors in Illinois, as I led the police funeral procession. Because of the power of this wish by one very special little boy, Chris became the inspiration to start a nonprofit foundation that would let other children ‘make a wish’ and have it come true for them as well. (the rest of this Foreword may be found in the book).
RT Vol XV: CH 1: Like Us, Follow Us, Support Us
Leaders of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) will successfully raise awareness of services and charitable needs with a written social media strategy. This chapter will provide an analysis of the benefits of different social media applications and success stories of the NPO leaders who took advantage of applying marketing tactics on the most popular social media platforms. Social media applications explored include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogging, Instagram, and YouTube. The NPO leaders making good business decisions with documented strategies based on successful social media strategies develop a marketing campaign that will reach out to a broader audience of social media users; therefore, create a better opportunity of marketing success and consumer desire to donate to the NPO.
RT Vol XV: CH 2: What Nonprofit Organizations Need to Unlearn
Change is a part of our global business environment. As knowledge grows exponentially, the ability to maintain competitive advantage becomes difficult for organizations and individuals alike. Previously, a worker may have been able to learn a set of skills that would last. However, in today’s environment, individuals must update information to correctly complete job functions when old knowledge is no longer useful.
Unlearning is the power to think differently, and behave differently in light of these changing circumstances. It is doing things differently, no matter what type of organization. When you want to remain competitive, the key challenge is to be able to modify current knowledge, and update it with improved skills. When you think about ways to remove unwanted and faulty knowledge from the past, you are on your way to unlearning.

FPOs and NPOs, can never remain the same in these times of change. Otherwise, they will not survive. Upon realization of a knowledge gap, the time to adapt, is now. Support of NPO associates producing the change will help organizations alter their trajectory. Understanding unlearning can assist in changing the current base of knowledge and can maximize efficient associate skills and update NPOs processes.
RT Vol XV: CH 3: Financial Distress at Nonprofit Organizations
The number of nonprofit organizations in financial crises that can lead to insolvency and closure in the United States has increased in the past 3 years. The financial distress consequences are catastrophic because it affects sustainability and may lead to a discontinuity of operations. By implementing effective organizational performance strategies, nonprofit Executive Directors can increase the organization’s competitive edge, improve performance, increase productivity and sustainability. Executive Directors who care about the survival and profitability of their organization must not ignore that without the right strategies in place, gaining a competitive edge to increase performance and productivity is very difficult. In this chapter of the Refractive Thinker, I present an overview of the status of financial stability and organizational performance in the nonprofit organizations. I also shared the finding from ten qualitative interviews I conducted with ten Executive Directors from a nonprofit hospital in Dallas, Texas. The findings from the data analysis revealed that non-profit Executive Directors could improve organizational performance by applying effective leadership, improving organization performance, and promoting continuous learning.
RT Vol XV: CH 4: Managing Nonprofit Inevitable Cyber-Vulnerabilities
Computer and network-security, vulnerability assessment of cybersecurity and information systems management, written cyber-policy and effective strategies for resilience to address relentless and well-funded vulnerability risks of cyber-attacks, insider-threats and hacking, and cybersecurity response plan to evaluate potential risk of exposure might need review and reexamination by nonprofits’ senior executives. The ability to judge content, awareness of threat-vulnerabilities, incorporating advanced analytics, cryptography, and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, and consideration of acquiring cyber-liability insurance to safeguard information do apply to not-for-profit organizations in digital-age to reduce the risk of breaches, which could expose personally identifiable information (PII) and sensitive personal information (SPI) of members. A reflective approach in thinking to secure the confidentiality of membership systems and exercise of security efforts could help to alleviate risks of cyber-threats to protect data against a breach or modification by grouping and sorting relevant information sequences. Risks and gains from critical ability to judge information through differentiating facts for gaining understanding of Internet risks of threats are pertinent to reduce exposure to malicious behavior on the world-wide web of Internet, given nonprofit organizations’ leadership’s continual pressure to prove value (Brill, Land, Herrburger, Balcanoff, & Wright, 2018). Rise in insider threats, increase in mobile computing, and unchecked organizational applications and resources, and Internet accounts contribute to nonprofits’ vulnerability of valuable information. Advancements in Internet technologies and cellular telephone communication support the need for nonprofit entities’ exercise of awareness against risks of harm, with the Internet and cellular phone devices’ ease of ability to exchange information. Additionally, the present Internetworking could open gateways to possible access to inappropriate deviants, which could place information at risk of accidental disclosure and privacy risk.
RT Vol XV: CH 5: Critical Perspective on Selection Practices in Texas Community Colleges
An analysis of women aspiring to higher levels of educational leadership revealed their experiences and perceptions of fairness in selection practices. Senior women leaders expressed a variety factors limiting career progression. Trends and consistent patterns mirrored behaviors thwarting progress. For example, gender inequity is prevalent in the organizational culture and stereotypes marginalizing women into positions with little or no authority or influence regarding decisions affecting the departments in which they worked. Although policies are written and designed to provide inclusion in higher education, the implementation and application of equitably policies and practices posed barriers to women not discussed in previous research (Yancy-Tooks, 2012). Researchers agreed that barriers in the community college environment persisted and coping strategies were a means of survival (Chock, 2007; Fisher, 2008; Williams, 2009). Women relied upon coping strategies such as spiritual guidance, family support systems, preparedness and mentoring. Women described mentoring as the most meaningful tool for maintaining focus and motivation. This critical reflection and refractive thinking approach on African American women’s experiences and perceptions of selection practices in higher education showed the resolve of women to overcome barriers and to succeed through coping strategies, preparedness and determination. The research findings demonstrate the need for a closer examination of selection practices to support the inclusion of African American women in top leadership positions.
RT Vol XV CH 6
The survival of nonprofit higher education instutions depends on leaders’ ability to retain top performers. Key employees are an undispensible resource that effect the survival of any organization. The loss of essential employees leads to loss of knowledge and can have an immidiate effect on how effective and efficient businesses are. Nonprofit higher education leaders can help their organizations be successful by implementing effective employee retention strategies. By focusing on the retention of essential personnel, higher education administrators can provide their organizations with a competitive edge, improve knowledge retention, and increase employee commitment and job satisfaction, which in turn leads to increased productivity and sustainability. Without experienced employees in the right positions, leaders have a difficult time achieving their organizations’ missions and vissions. In this chapter, we discuss some of the effects of employee turnover and provide an overview of the current literature on employee turnover. We also share
the findings from document reviews and the data collected from ten interviews with nonprofit higher education leaders. The findings from the data analysis indicated that leaders can reduce employee turnover by communicating effectively with their employees, creating a supportive work environment, and increasing employee job satisfaction.
RT Vol XV: CH 7
Preparing leaders and managers to operate in environments of increasing change and uncertain conditions require an expanded set of capacity and skills. Inability to be flexible, adaptive and agility in complex operating environments leads to failure, which is a circumstance most profit and nonprofit organizations can ill afford. There is a need to develop leaders and managers who discern and acknowledge changing conditions within operational and organizational environments and are resourceful in creating innovative solutions. The competitiveness of an organization could lead directly to the education and development of its’ leaders and managers. Development involves an organizational investment from strategic leaders and managers. There are similarities and differences to preparing military and civilian leaders and managers to respond to challenges in one’s environments. Development of either require adjusting initiatives to address specific areas of need understanding senior noncommissioned officers’ experiences and perspective of the development environment as well as other variables provide context to shaping and enhancing skills of flexibility, adaptability and agility. By employing the perspectives shared in Refractive Thinker, leaders and managers might gain new insights to understanding not only the environment but also how initiatives such as mentoring, coaching and self-awareness enhance and build upon leader and manager skills.
RT Vol XV: CH 8
Prison reform is the attempt to improve conditions inside a prison or implement alternatives to incarceration. The purpose of this study is to think beyond what you have read or heard about prison reform. Some questions relating to prison reform have answers and for some the right questions have yet to evolve. How do we reduce the rate of recidivism among women knowing there is a large disparity between women and men regarding socioeconomic status? Has the mass incarceration rate decreased over the years for both men and women? Is the criminal justice system responsive to the needs of women? How does each state contribute to the overall reduction of recidivism? What is our role in contributing to the safety and overall growth of our communities? Which organizations are assisting incarcerated women and children to become successful families? The research conducted is to inform the reader of the disparities that exist in prison, lack of resources available to incarcerated women and families, and a criminal justice system that does not seek to help solve the underlying issue many women have prior to incarceration.
RT Vol XV: CH 9
Globally, nonprofit leaders expand their influence through networks. Within the United States, leaders have used various leadership styles to develop social networks with poor results. The literature lacks relational leaders’ experiences regarding network development. The researcher used an exploratory qualitative approach to answer the research question, what are U.S. leaders’ experiences with relational leadership in developing global social networks? This study consisted of relational leadership theory (RLT) that provided the theoretical foundation at the individual and collective levels. Social network analysis aided with the identification and the recruitment of 10 leaders with advanced degrees, global influence across six continents, and an average of 30 years of leadership experience. Using the thematic data analysis process, the following themes emerged: (a) networks describing the context; (b) key network relationships, key traits of spiritual family members and organizational impacts of emerging leaders; (c) leadership network development, trust investment, accountability management, and global movement creation; (d) network influence, shape and enhance the network, and (e) network leadership influence, develop the family identity, foster an environment of trust and achieve kingdom goals. These findings yielded new insights at the individual and collective levels of RLT that provide leaders with a spectrum of actions to develop global networks, internally. Building on these new insights, I plan to conduct further research exploring the environment, external to the network, and the interaction with the network from a nonprofit leader perspective.
RT Vol XV: CH 10 Nonprofit transition strategies: Combat Boots to Heels program
We use an innovative approach through the nonprofit vocational college and the F-SET Inventory to make Combat Boots to Heels a success story for the individual female veteran.
This emerging model of higher education that includes shareholders who expect the college to make money to ensure they make money may be a challenge regarding the effectiveness of institutions of higher learning. These challenges of serving the needs of the student, particularly the U.S. military veteran call into question the mindset of higher education, particularly the for-profits. The refractive thinking approach to this chapter offered analysis of the needs of serving nontraditional students, particularly asking the question regarding the boundary of academia and commerce. The question pursued in this chapter was whether these emerging business models serve the needs of nontraditional students in particular and U.S. Veterans specifically.