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Cases in Nonprofit Management

Cases in Nonprofit Management
A Hands-On Approach to Problem Solving

February 2016 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“Libby and Detrick have compiled their extensive knowledge of the real issues that face our nonprofit sector to help students glean important lessons from each case.  It is refreshing to have such a tool to assist in the education of our future nonprofit leaders.”

—Emma A. Powell, Western Michigan University


Case Studies in Nonprofit Management by Pat Libby and Laura Deitrick consists of original cases that are designed to teach students how to think critically, hone their decision-making skills, and learn to apply leadership and management principles that are essential for any nonprofit professional. These case studies illustrate the multifaceted nature of the nonprofit management sector and bring concepts like nonprofit leadership, risk management, advocacy, and grant making to life.

Chapter 1: Nature of the Sector

Case 1.1: Social Enterprise within a Nonprofit Organization

Case 1.2: To Start or Aid an Existing Organization

Case 1.3: When Mission and Money Collide

Case 1.4: Why Bylaws Matter

Chapter 2: Board of Directors

Case 2.1: Conflict of Interest

Case 2.2: Hiring Board Members as Staff

Case 2.3: The Board’s Role in CEO Evaluation

Case 2.4: The Rubber Stamp Board

Chapter 3: Executive Leadership

Case 3.1: The Board’s Role in Executive Transition

Case 3.2: CEO Pay

Case 3.3: Challenges of Executive Search

Case 3.4: Toxic Leadership

Chapter 4: Measuring Performance

Case 4.1: Establishing Metrics

Case 4.2: When Outcomes Fail to Meet Established Benchmarks

Case 4.3: When the Program Isn’t Working

Chapter 5: Strategic Decision Making

Case 5.1: Generating Revenue by Selling Assets

Case 5.2: Policy Disputes

Case 5.3: Setting Strategy

Chapter 6: Human Resource Management

Case 6.1: Policies and Procedures for Staff Members in Crisis

Case 6.2: Employee Substance Abuse

Case 6.3: Volunteers Ignoring the Rules

Case 6.4: When Volunteers Run Amok

Chapter 7: Risk Management

Case 7.1: Stolen Information

Case 7.2: Theft

Case 7.3: Vulnerable Populations

Case 7.4: Workplace Accidents

Chapter 8: Public Relations and Marketing

Case 8.1: A Change in Policy with Unforeseen Consequences

Case 8.2: Celebrity Endorsements

Case 8.3: Dealing with the Press

Case 8.4: Devising Marketing Strategies

Chapter 9: Generating Revenue

Case 9.1: Donor Management

Case 9.2: Endowments

Case 9.3: Accounting for Fundraising Costs

Chapter 10: Financial Management

Case 10.1: Decision Making

Case 10.2: Misallocation of Grant Money

Case 10.3: Transparency

Chapter 11: Advocacy and Lobbying

Case 11.1: Meeting Your Mission

Case 11.2: Public Policy Versus the Bottom Line

Case 11.3: Staff Advocacy

Chapter 12: Technology

Case 12.1: Internal Systems

Case 12.2: Integrating Technology

Case 12.3: Social Media

Chapter 13: Grantmaking

Case 13.1: Deciding When to Hire Staff

Case 13.2: Donor Advised Funds

Case 13.3: Foundation-Initiated Collaboration

Case 13.4: When a Foundation Accomplishes Its Mission

Chapter 14: International Nonprofits

Case 14.1: Cross-Cultural Clash

Case 14.2: NGO Accountability

Case 14.3: The Organic Nonprofit

Case 14.4: When Donors Don’t Want to Fund Overhead



Instructor Resource Site
  It's easy to log on to SAGE's password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for Cases in Nonprofit Management, First Edition. Simply provide your institutions information for verification and within 72 hours you'll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title!

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following: 
  • Teaching notes for cases are designed for instructors to expand questions to students, or initiate class discussion. 

“Libby and Detrick have compiled a rich and interesting set of cases that are sure to inspire thoughtful conversations in any NP management course.”

William A. Brown
Texas A&M University

“The originality of the work is a huge advantage, as is the fact that they are teaching cases that end without a clear, “best” answer.  Finally, the inclusion of issues unique to international nonprofits is a welcome addition and one I have not run across in previous texts.”

Doreen Swetkis
Evergreen State College

“Libby and Detrick have compiled their extensive knowledge of the real issues that face our nonprofit sector to help students glean important lessons from each case.  It is refreshing to have such a tool to assist in the education of our future nonprofit leaders.”

Emma A. Powell
Western Michigan University

“Students will appreciate learning through these cases, as they serve as a safe place for pre-service students to test out ideas and solutions to real problems, and allow mid-career students an opportunity to reflect on similarities and differences in their own workplaces, all while tying theory to practice.”

Erin K. Nemenoff
University of Memphis

“This text is an excellent tool to provide students the “critical-thinking” application that is missing from many texts.”

Laurie Taylor-Hamm
California State University, Fresno

“Cases in Nonprofit Management —A hands on approach fills a real hole in the nonprofit curriculum.  While good texts are increasingly coming to market, there are few supplemental texts and really nothing else that seeks so clearly to facilitate critical thinking and discussion among students.”

Shelly Arsneault
California State University, Fullerton

“I would have no problem fitting this book into my graduate courses.”

Bonnie Peterson
Valdosta State University

“Having short mini-cases for a broad range of topics that typically get covered in an Introduction to Nonprofit Management class is very useful and fills a long-standing need.”

Stefan Toepler
George Mason University

Chose to stay with worth

Dr Donovan Branche
Business Administration Dept, Mary Baldwin University
July 17, 2023
Key features


  • Engaging original case studies profile a wide variety of issues and obstacles facing all types and sizes of nonprofit organizations today.

  • Theories, cultural competencies, and ethical and legal considerations are integrated throughout the text. 

  • A chapter on risk management explores challenges such as theft, vulnerable populations, and workplace accidents.

  • A chapter on international nonprofits adds a dimension that is not always covered in texts.

  •  Case questions teach students to think strategically, solve problems, handle conflict, and unpack organizational issues.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 6

Chapter 10

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