This course examines the nature and major trends of the nonprofit sector, understood within the context of a broad shift in governance, both in the US and internationally. The course aims to deepen student understanding of the nature of the nonprofit world and its organizations, using both theoretical and practical lenses to do so. Understanding the legitimacy and authority of the nonprofit sector to address collective problems requires inviting both management and policy practitioners to see the intersection between managerial practices and policy decisions and to connect the macro and micro dynamics of governance.
The course focuses heavily on the broad trends shaping the sector, predominantly in the United States, but making connections to international trends. The goal is for students – whether they are interested in policy, finance or management – to develop their own “cognitive map” of the sector, so that they can identify and interpret key issues and challenges of sustainability experienced by stakeholders of the nonprofit world, and consider their implications for practice. Classes will involve a mix of brief lectures; discussion based on readings and written assignments; and guest speakers.