Organizational development helps a nonprofit increase its long-term health and performance by building the capacity of and supporting the people who make up the organization. The process usually begins with an organizational assessment; quantitative and qualitative information gained through assessment helps the staff, board, community members and other stakeholders identify what is working well, what can be improved and any barriers to effectiveness.
- Free Management Library: Organizational Change and Development
Provides a general overview of organizational development; written for both nonprofits and for profit organizations
- Interchange International, Inc.
Resources on change management, including brief descriptions of the stages of the change cycle
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
Provides organizational development resources specifically geared towards community development corporations; resources include training and conferences, a list of publications and software and online training materials
- Management Assistance Group
Gross, Susan. 1983. “The 10 Most Common Organizational Problems: Getting to their Source”. Foundation News.
- Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation
Resources on Organizational Development for community organizations, nonprofits, and foundations
- Philbin, Ann and Sandra Mikush. A Framework for Organizational Development: The Why, What and How of OD Work.
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Hall, Holly. April 2006. “Getting Over Growing Pains: Life-cycle Analyses Helps Charities Deal with the Challenges of Aging.”
- American Society for Training and Development
An international association that provides research, information, and publications on workplace learning and organizational development; the association is not specifically focused on nonprofits, but does provide a list of resource links for nonprofit organizations
- Organization Development Network
An international membership association for organization development practitioners
- Block, Peter. 2000. Flawless Consulting. NY: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Written for consultants; offers a whole systems approach and advice on organizational change and development for consultants
- Block, Peter. 1993. Stewardship: Choosing Service over Self-Interest. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
- Brinckerhoff, Peter. C. Mission-Based Management (2000) and Mission-Based Management: An Organizational Development Workbook (2001). New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
- Holman, Peggy, Steven Cady, and Tom Devane, eds. 2007. The Change Handbook. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.
- McNamara, Carter. 2005. Field Guide to Consulting and Organizational Development with Nonprofits: A Collaborative and Systems Approach to Performance, Change, and Learning. Minneapolis: Authenticity Consulting, LLC.
- Senge, Peter. 1999. The Dance of Change: The Challenges to Sustaining Momentum in Learning Organizations. New York: Doubleday.
- Ross, Bernard, and Clare Segal. 2002. Breakthrough Thinking for Nonprofit Organizations: Creative Strategies for Extraordinary Results. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Winner of the Alliance for Nonprofit Managements’s 2003 Terry McAdam Book Award
Free Management Library
Basic Guide to Nonprofit Program Design and Marketing: an overview of program design with examples and recommended reading materials
Altschuld, James. W., and Belle Ruth Witkin. 2000. From Needs Assessment to Action: Transforming Needs into Solution Strategies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Linnell, Deborah, Zora Radosevich, and Jonathan Spack. 2002. Executive Directors Guide: The Guide for Successful Nonprofit Management. Boston: Third Sector New England.
Kettner, Peter, Robert Moroney, and Lawrence Martin. 2008. Designing and Managing Programs: An Effectiveness-Based Approach 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Guides the reader through the program planning process, including needs assessments, measurement approaches, goals, budgeting, evaluation and more
Pawlak, Edward J., and Robert D. Vinter. 2004. Designing and Planning Programs for Nonprofit and Government Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
A guide for nonprofit and government organizations; covers the program planning process from start to finish
- Free Management Library: Systems Thinking
Provides a general overview of systems thinking
- Management Assistance Group
Article: “Organizational Life Cycles: Revisited” by Susan Gross, Karl Mathiasen, and Nancy Franco.
- Society for Organizational Learning
Links to other systems thinking and organizational learning websites
- Sustainability Institute
Systems Thinking web resources
- The Nonprofit Quarterly
Linnell, Deborah. Spring 2004. "Founders and Other Gods." Nonprofit Quarterly Volume 11, Issue 1.
Using a larger systems perspective rooted in Karl Mathiasen’s work on the life cycle of nonprofits, the author discusses the impact that founder transitions have on their organizations.
- Whole Earth
Articles relating to systems by Donella Meadows:
- Connolly, Paul. M. 2006. Navigating the Organizational Lifecycle: A Capacity-Building Guide for Nonprofit Leaders.
- Meadows, Donella. 1991. The Global Citizen. Washington, DC: Island Press.
- Senge, Peter. 1990. The Fifth Discipline. New York: Doubleday.
- Senge, Peter. 1994. The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook. New York: Doubleday.
- Simon, Judith Sharken. 2004. Five Life Stages of Nonprofit Organizations: Where You Are, Where You’re Going, and What to Expect When You Get There.Saint Paul, MN: Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.
- Stevens, Susan Kenny. 2002. Nonprofit Lifecycles: Stage-based Wisdom for Nonprofit Capacity. Stragewise Enterprises Inc.
Recipient of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s 2002 Terry McAdam Book Award
Videos on Organizational Development
- How would you define capacity building?
- What is the whole systems approach?
- Why does Third Sector New England practice the whole systems approach?
- What is a "theory of change"?
- Why should a nonprofit care about “theory of change”?
- What's the difference between an outcome, output and logic model?
- What is ongoing learning for an organization?
- Why is ongoing learning an important part of yearly activities?
- What’s the most important thing a nonprofit organization should focus on?
- What is the difference between strategic planning and operational planning?
- What is an organizational assessment?
- Why is organizational assessment valuable for a nonprofit organization?
- What is TSNE's preferred methodology for organizational assessment?
- What are the key steps to take to prepare for an organizational assessment?
- What should you look for when you hire a consultant to do an organizational assessment?