Department of Urban and Regional Planning
School of Architecture and Urban Planning

University at Buffalo



Spring 2006

Nonprofit Management


Lecture:                       Monday 12:00pm-2:40pm, 230 Hayes Hall

Instructor:                    Dr. Robert Silverman

Office:                         201K, Hayes Hall

Office Hours:              Monday 2:40pm -3:30pm, Wednesday 1:00pm-2:00pm (and by appointment)

Phone:                         829-2133 x227



The Course:

This course introduces students to management issues in the nonprofit sector. Topics will include nonprofit: governance, board structure, planning, financial management, fundraising, grant writing, leadership, personnel management, and ethics. The course will examine major nonprofit sub-sectors that relate to urban planning such as: community-based organizations, nonprofit healthcare providers, educational institutions, cultural institutions, faith-based organizations, and funding intermediaries. 

            We will meet once a week for the next fifteen weeks. During each class session we will discuss the required readings and their relevance to individual and group assignments you will be working on during the semester. Everyone should be prepared to discuss the readings on a weekly basis. Regular and punctual attendance is required for full credit.

            If you have any questions during the semester, please bring them to my attention. I will be available during my office hours and by appointment. Also, you may contact me by phone or e-mail. The syllabus for this class is subject to change during the semester.


Required Text and Required Reserve Readings: The required texts are available at the UB Medical Campus Bookstore and the College Store.


1) Karsh, Ellen and Arlen Sue Fox. 2003. The Only Grant Writing Book You’ll Ever Need. New York: Carroll and Graf Publishers.


2) Light, Paul C. 2000. Making Nonprofits Work: A Report on the Tides of Nonprofit Management Reform. Washington D.C.: The Aspen Institute and Brookings Institution Press.


3) Sand, Michael. 2005. How to Manage an Effective Nonprofit Organization. Franklin Lakes, NJ: Career Press.


4) Wolf, Thomas. 1999. Managing A Nonprofit Organization in the Twenty-First Century. New York: The Free Press.


            5) Required Reserve Readings are available on the S:drive and UB Learns


Note:    In addition to the required readings it is suggested that students purchase a copy of a style manual (i.e. The Chicago Manual of Style, or a similar manual) to use as a reference when writing papers, journals and other assignments during the semester.



Course Requirements:

            Concept Paper: A concept paper (10 pages in length) is due at the beginning of class on March 6. The paper should be based on course materials covered between January 30 and February 27. In the paper students will describe their vision for an ideal nonprofit sector in the contemporary period. The concept paper should: begin with a strong thesis statement, reference the literature in a manner that support the thesis, identify and address alternative viewpoints, and make recommendations for the future. Sections of the paper should discuss: governance and board structure, leadership and personnel management, planning in nonprofits, and nonprofit capacity building. The concept paper should not simply summarize the literature, it should apply concepts to a specific argument (i.e. vision for the nonprofit sector) being advocated for by the author. The concept paper should be type-written, double-spaced, use standard fonts, and be formatted properly. The concept paper will be discussed in greater detail on January 30.


            Group Synopsis of a Foundation or Intermediary: During class on March 6 each student will be assigned to a group. Each group will be assigned a foundation or intermediary to analyze. Each group will be responsible for developing a synopsis (10 pages in length) of its organization’s: mission, organizational structure, funding patterns, and collaborative activities. Each group will also generate specific recommendations for its organization to expand collaborative activities and better target resources. The group synopsis is due at the beginning of class on May 1, and each group will present its synopsis on May 1. The group synopsis will be discussed in greater detail on March 6. The presentation of the group synopsis will be discussed on April 24.


            Individual Synopsis of a Community-Based Organization (CBO) : Each student will develop a synopsis (5 pages in length) for a CBO. The synopsis should draw from sources such as: annual reports, 990 forms, strategic plans, and other organizational documents. The synopsis should identify the CBO’s: mission, organizational structure, projects and programs, and funding sources. The synopsis should include a set of recommendations for the development of a fund raising and grant writing strategy for the CBO. The recommendations must identify specific funding sources to target. Each student should select a CBO to examine and have the organization approved by the professor before the beginning of class on March 20. The CBO synopsis is due at the beginning of class on April 24. The individual synopsis will be discussed in greater detail on March 6.


            Class Participation: A portion of your overall grade will be determined by your weekly participation in class. Make sure you complete the assigned readings before each class, and be prepared to discuss them during lecture. Regular and punctual attendance is required for full credit.


Grading Policy:

            There are 100 points possible during the semester. With the exception of extreme emergencies, the grade of “I” will not be given at the end of the semester. Extra credit will not be offered in this course. Your grade will be based on the following assignments and activities:


CONCEPT PAPER                                                                              50 points

                                                GROUP FOUNDATION/INTERMEDIARY SYNOPSIS             20 points

                                                INDIVIDUAL CBO SYNOPSIS                                                       25 points

CLASS PARTICIPATION                                                   5 points



Graduate Student Grading Scale:


Grade               Total Points

A                      96-100                        

A-                     90-95.99         

B+                     87-89.99         

B                       84-86.99       

B-                      80-83.99                    

C+                     77-79.99

C                       70-76.99        

D                       60-69.99

F                        0-59.99

Academic Integrity:


            Students are expected to approach the course with seriousness and integrity. It is important to complete assignments on time, attend class regularly, and foster a collegial learning environment. Plagiarism and other instances of academic misconduct will result in a failing grade on a respective assignment, exam, or paper. Students should refer to the University at Buffalo Graduate Catalog for clarification on the University’s policies and procedures.    


Accommodations for Disabilities:


            If you have a disability (physical, learning, or psychological) that impacts your course work please contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS), 25 Capen Hall, (716) 645-2608.  ODS will provide you with information and review appropriate arrangements for reasonable accommodation (such as recruiting note-takers, readers, or extended time on assignments). You must bring requests for accommodations for a disability to the professor’s attention within the first two weeks of class.


Writing Centers:


            The University at Buffalo has a number of writing center where students can get assistance with essays, term papers, and thesis projects. Students should contact one of the following if they would like to access these campus resources:       






January 23: Introduction to the Course        


January 30: The Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector

Required Readings:

Wolf: Ch 1      


Eikenberry, Angela M. and Jodie Drapal Kluver. 2004. “The Marketization of the Nonprofit

Sector: Civil Society at Risk?” Public Administration Review, 64.2: 132-140. (RESERVE)


Salamon, Lester M. 2001. “Chapter 2, Scope and Structure: The  Anatomy of America’s

Nonprofit Sector.” (pp 23-39) In J. Steven Ott. The Nature of the Nonprofit Sector. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. (RESERVE)


Other Activities:

            Concept Paper Discussed


February 6: Nonprofit Governance and Board Structure

Required Readings:

Light Ch 3, 4, 5           

Sand: Ch 1

            Wolf: Ch 2


February 13: Leadership and Personnel Management                     

Required Readings:

            Sand: Ch 6, 7, 8

            Wolf: Ch 3, 4, 10


Greene, Annette D. and Jean Kantambu Latting. 2004. “Whistle-Blowing as a Form of Advocacy:

Guidelines for the Practitioner and Organization.” Social Work, 49.2: 219-230. (RESERVE)


February 20: Planning in  Nonprofits

Required Readings:

            Sand: Ch 5

            Wolf: Ch 9


Mulhare, Eileen M. 1999. “Mindful of the Future: Strategic Planning Ideology and the Culture of

Nonprofit Management.” Human Organization, 58.3: 323-330. (RESERVE)


 February 27: Capacity Building

Required Readings:

            Sand: Ch 9


Frederickson, Patricia and Rosanne London. 2000. “Disconnect in the Hollow State: The Pivotal

Role of Organizational Capacity in Community-Based Development Organizations.” Public Administration Review, 60.3: 230-239. (RESERVE)


            Glickman, Norman J. and Lisa J. Servon. 2003. “By the Numbers: Measuring Community

Development Corporations’ Capacity.” Journal of Planning Education and Research,22:240-256. (RESERVE)


March 6: Concept Paper Due

Other Activities:

            Groups Analysis of Local Foundations and Intermediaries Discussed

            Individual Analysis of a Local Nonprofit Discussed


March 13: Spring Break


March 20: Financial Management

Required Readings:

            Wolf: Ch 6, 7


Dropkin, Murry and Bill LaTouche. 1998. “Chapter 2, Understanding Basic Types of Nonprofit

Budgets.” (pp 6-9) In Murry Dropkin abd Bill LaTouche. The Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits: A Step-by-Step Guide for Managers and Boards. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (RESERVE)


Dropkin, Murry and Bill LaTouche. 1998. “Chapter 5, How Different Sources and Types of

Income Can Affect Budgeting.” (pp 17-19) In Murry Dropkin abd Bill LaTouche. The Budget-Building Book for Nonprofits: A Step-by-Step Guide for Managers and Boards. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (RESERVE)


Keating, Elizabeth K. and Peter Frumpkin. 2003. “Reengineering Nonprofit Financial

Accountability: Toward a More Reliable Foundation for Regulation” Public Administration Review, 63.1: 3-15. (RESERVE)


Other Activities:

Meet in Hayes 239 – Introduction to financial management software and resources


March 27: Finding and Writing Grants

Required Readings:

            Sand: Ch 3

            Karsh and Fox: Lessons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9


Other Activities:

            Meet in Hayes 239 – grant and fund raising resources


April 3: Working Day - No Class


April 10: Budgeting, Evaluating, and Administering Grants

Required Readings:

            Sand: Ch 4

            Karsh and Fox: Lessons 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16


April 17: Fund Raising

Required Readings:

            Sand: Ch 2

Wolf: Ch 5, 8


April 24: Individual CBO Synopsis Due

Other Activities:

            Group Presentation of the Local Foundation/Intermediary Synopsis Discussed


May 1: Group Foundation/Intermediary Synopsis Due and Presentation


 *Guest Speakers TBA