Reviews - What do customers think about Nonprofit Nonsense & Common Sense?
This deserved better Jul 9, 2008
There is a need for strong books about nonprofit management and for new voices and perspectives about how to run an organization. Unfortunately, this book doesn't fit the bill. Author Marshall McNott would appear to have the experience to write such a book, but he doesn't seem to have the ability. Nor did he get enough help. The book's primary weakness is that it is riddled with grammatical and factual errors and bad writing, which undermine McNott's legitimate goal of informing nonprofit managers that there are ways to improve the relationships between boards and executives. For example, on page 7, he writes: "Of course, 'we've experienced a 50% increase in growth this year' could range from 3 to 6 or 2,000 to 4,000." No, actually, that would be 100 percent growth; 50 percent growth would mean 3 increases to 4.5 or 2,000 increases to 3,000. While perhaps some readers would forgive an editor's inability to grasp third grade math (please read John Allen Paulos's book "Innumeracy"), an editor shouldn't allow a flawed phrase such as "increase in growth." Later, on page 65 there is a reference to "former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld." Secretary Rumsfeld could be called many things, but he was never Secretary of State; he was Secretary of Defense under presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. In the final paragraph of chapter 10 (page 105), the lead sentence reads: "Altogether too often the 'iron sharpening iron' phenomenon sometimes happens at the wrong time..." Too often sometimes happens? Given Mr. McNott's grateful acknowledgements to his editor, I shudder to think what he had written originally. In the final chapter, the first subhead states "Remember to Laff." If "Laff" references an acronym, there is nothing to show for it. Perhaps it was removed and no one thought to fix the subhead. To be fair to the editor, I suspect that so much work was done on the original drafts of the book to get it to this sorry state that the publisher needed to hire a fresh set of eyes to proof it, which doesn't appear to have happened. While the introductory page of the book -- presumably written by the publisher -- informs readers that it "confronts some sacred cows," the final product is a flop.
Keep you interested and wanting to learn more Apr 7, 2008
Reviewed by Elizabeth E. Gibson-Evans for RebeccasReads (4/08)
"Nonprofit Nonsense & Common Sense," written by Marshall McNott, who spent nearly 40 years as the Director of several nonprofit organizations, uses his knowledge and experience to enlighten and open up the world of Nonprofit Organizations from the inside out.
He not only explains what nonprofit is all about, he teaches you differences in what creates and drives them, as well as about funding these organizations.. He teaches the many kinds of organizations, the reason they start or were started, such as what the organization desired and expected to accomplish.
Included is a foreword written by Dave Clark, Anchorman KCAL/KCBS-TV, CBS Studio City Broadcast Center in CA, in which Mr. Clark tells a bit about Marshall McNott's start in nonprofit, which surprisingly with all his knowledge shared in this work, you find he started his career as a musician. Then, by a divine calling, he surged into nonprofit with a drive and flare. He explains through "Nonprofit Nonsense & Common Sense" how to begin and establish a nonprofit organization, the reasons and goals to begin one, along with funding and fund-raising ideas.
He discusses methods of organization, achieving the goals and stabilizing them. He is enlightening on CEOs/the board, how they get along and work together, as well as reasons for giving, why and how. I believe my favorite phrase in this book says a lot -- "Helping another by enabling that person to become self-sufficient -- through a gift or loan, or help in gaining a skill or finding employment." It is in the beginning, though throughout my reading, I personally could not shake that thought and learned a lot regarding nonprofit organizations.
I appreciate the author's candidness and easy transition to keep you interested and wanting to learn more. He gets right to his point in a manner you remember. "Nonprofit Nonsense & Common Sense" is highly recommended to anyone beginning or already involved in nonprofit, very useful tool.
A Look at the Operations and Funding of Non Profit Organizations Feb 21, 2008
Marshall McNott's "Nonprofit Nonsense and Common Sense" provides the reader a valuable resource. Leadership Personnel, Board of Directors, and supporters of Non Profit organizations will all benefit from McNott's constructive advice.
McNott uses composite examples and sometimes fictional illustrations to provide success formulas, guidelines and principles. He begins by providing donors with "enlightenment questions" to consider. Marshall's candid approach gives solid and practical guidance to the reader as they are exposed to the many sides of fundraising, motivation, ethics of stewardship and absolute integrity in every area of operation.
McNott's long career in Management, especially his work with non-profit organizations gives him the credibility for authoring this book. He has also served in a wide variety of related roles: as board member, consultant, and "servant" Marshall McNott knows every facet of non-profit organizations and faith based ministries. He provides insight from a staff perspective, from the Board room, and as an outsider looking in, he offers constructive, practical advice for getting to the bottom of critical and significant issues being faced by non-profit organizations today.
The chapter dealing with the Board of Directors, and their commitment to the CEO of the organization was significant. A number of suggested direct and pertinent questions provide the opportunity for accountability and the "iron to sharpening iron" concept.
"Nonprofit Nonsense & Common Sense" is an important and timely. It is a book for everyone involved in a non profit organization or ministry whether a volunteer, a board member, an executive, a staff member, or donor.