Developing Nonprofit and Human Service Leaders: Essential Knowledge and Skills


Larry D. Watson & Richard A. Hoefer

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    Austin and Kruzich (2004) noted a number of shortcomings when they reviewed 11 human services administration textbooks a decade ago. They stated that emphasizing content over application or skill building was done in almost all texts; learning through case-based and problem-centered exercises was minimal; transmitting content was seen as more important than providing learning strategies for content integration; describing managerial practice was done in the absence of social environment theory; and developing textbooks was done without reviewing empirical research on what managerial practice is. This set of five interpretations represents a powerful indictment of the texts available at the time, most of which still exist in updated editions that have not been radically revised to meet the challenge of contemporary human service and nonprofit leadership. Other texts have been developed, but they have not heeded the lessons that Austin and Kruzich described, nor the similar issues found by Au (1994) a decade earlier.

    We have built this book from the ground up, making three decisions that we believe make this text particularly compelling for contemporary nonprofit and human services administration and leadership courses, generalist macro practice courses desiring a concise book to cover essential topics in administration and leadership within human services, as well as practitioners looking for an accessible overview of essential knowledge combined with exercises that can be done on their own or in groups at the office.

    Decision 1: Focus on Developing Practice Skills as Much as Substantive Content

    Our first decision to develop a “better book” was to focus as much on the development of practice skills as on substantive content. Each chapter contains at least three hands-on experiential exercises (including a substantial in-basket case exercise) and three additional assignments. The exercises are designed to provide opportunities for readers to apply the substantive information in the chapter and to better internalize what the ideas mean in practice.

    Most other administration texts in nonprofit studies and human services programs have discussion questions in them. We do not. Students and readers generate their own discussion questions when they are faced with applying concepts in addition to reading about them. The addition of these exercises (which include activities, small-group or paired discussion, responding to YouTube videos, and other approaches to application) marks this book as substantially different from other texts in the field. It places students in the center of learning, allowing the instructor to “flip the classroom,” if that is desired. Students are more likely to come to class prepared to interact with each other and the concepts, rather than waiting to be told what is in the chapter when they know that they will be called on to apply the ideas in class. Having exercises ready to use encourages students to come prepared.

    In our book, both substantive content and skill development are central.

    Decision 2: Connect All Chapters to Skill Development

    Almost all textbooks about nonprofit and human services leadership recognize the importance of context. These other books tend to take an expository view of the topics of sector history, values and ethics, and administrative and organizational theories. Our second major decision as we wrote this book was to see these topics as areas ripe for skill development, just as much as the more traditional “skills” areas such as planning, evaluation, fund development, and so on. We believe, for example, that administrators must be able to look outside of their organization to discover the larger picture of the contemporary political, economic, and social environment whenever needed. While we describe our ideas on key current trends, others (including students and practitioners reading this book) will have access to different pockets of information and will perhaps focus on entirely different trends that make a difference to them. Thus, learning to find their own context is important to nonprofit and human service leaders.

    We also emphasize applying values and ethics in practice situations and the importance of understanding administrative and organizational theory in situ. Too often, the obligatory chapters on “ethics” and “theory” are merely skimmed and forgotten, instead of being seen as unique sets of tools to help lead to understanding and action. Ethics must underlie administrators' behavior, or else the scandals that have harmed the reputations of many organizations will continue to erode public trust in the nonprofit sector as a whole. Theory points the way, in many cases, to solutions to dilemmas about how leaders in nonprofits should act. But if none of these foundational topics are seen as skill related, their worth is left untapped.

    In our book, everything is connected to knowledge and skills that can be improved.

    Decision 3: Use a Comprehensive Conceptual Overview

    Our third decision in designing this book that separates it from many others is to use a comprehensive conceptual overview of human service administration. This overview is based on original work by Schmid, but was expanded and linked with skills and theories by Hoefer (2010). Described in Chapter 4, the conceptual overview places administrative skills into four quadrants derived from two continua: task vs. people orientation and internal vs. external orientation. While ethics surrounds and underlies the use of all administrative skills, other skills that are in the literature can be placed (more or less) neatly into one of the four resulting quadrants: internal and task orientation (Quadrant I); internal and people orientation (Quadrant II); external and task orientation (Quadrant III); or external and people orientation (Quadrant IV).

    We believe the use of a conceptual approach such as this is quite beneficial. First, as the model is empirically tested as having validity, it comports with the reality seen by nonprofit managers, administrators, and leaders. Giving readers a peek at the overall field in this way provides scaffolding for their learning specific knowledge and skills. What they learn from this text, its exercises, and its assignments can be put into a framework to be filled in with additional knowledge and experiences they claim from other sources.

    The four quadrants based on two continua are ideal for mapping administrative skills to the different quadrants. While there is perhaps some debate over which list of skills for nonprofit leaders is most useful (Hoefer, 2003; Menefee, 2000; Wimpfheimer, 2004), Hoefer (2010) has used three skills lists and mapped the skills to this four-quadrant conceptual overview. In this book, we have chosen skills from each of the quadrants to provide coverage of essential skills from all aspects of the nonprofit administrator's world.

    In our book, all the pieces (skills) can be linked into a conceptual framework.

    Who Is This Book for?

    This book is not for everyone. It has two primary audiences that we feel will be well served by the approach we take and the elements we have included.

    The first audience we see comprises instructors (and their students) who want a nonprofit leadership or human services administration text that provides essential information in a concise format. Not everyone needs or wants a full-scale, comprehensive, all-in-one text. This may be because some are teaching on a quarter system, have only a portion of a semester to devote to administration and leadership, or have other materials that cover other topics in a longer course. We know that other highly targeted books have found a home in nonprofit education circles and believe this book will fill a similar gap for similar reasons.

    The second audience is anyone seeking a text that connects experiential learning exercises, case studies, and carefully crafted assignments with essential substantive information. This second audience may overlap considerably with the first but also expands beyond it. We know that adult learners seek to learn from experience and practice as well as from reading. We also know that one of the main issues in human services administration is that good clinicians are promoted to supervisory (and higher) positions without having the opportunity to receive training or education in management or leadership skills. With both audiences, having a text that combines exercises with substantive information accelerates learning and retention of knowledge.

    The exercises in this book, when combined with the essential ideas and facts around each topic, assist readers as they grapple with the ideas and skills needed for nonprofit leadership. If we can help students and current practitioners develop more skills through cases, assignments, and exercises, these ideas and skills will be more quickly integrated into practice, and at a higher level of achievement. Armed with a conceptual view of the roles of nonprofit leaders and a larger repertoire of skills, we may anticipate larger cohorts of new nonprofit leaders sticking within the field for a longer career. Ultimately, this can lead to better outcomes for service recipients.

    A Note About EPAS

    If you are a social work educator, you already know about the Council on Social Work Education's Educational Policy Accreditation Standards (EPAS) and the need to link course-work to achieving competencies for social work graduates. This book has been designed to assist you in meeting those standards. Each educational policy is listed below, and the sections or elements of this book that apply are described afterward.

    Educational Policy 2.1.1Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly. Social workers serve as representatives of the profession, its mission, and its core values. They know the profession's history. Social workers commit themselves to the profession's enhancement and to their own professional conduct and growth. Social workers

    • advocate for client access to the services of social work;
    • practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development;
    • attend to professional roles and boundaries;
    • demonstrate professional demeanor in behavior, appearance, and communication;
    • engage in career-long learning; and
    • use supervision and consultation.

    This book provides a thorough grounding in how students may serve as representatives of the profession. Specific topics of the book include social work values and ethics (Chapter 2), advocacy (Chapter 14), and how to work with others to continue learning to be an effective human services administrator (Chapters 5 and 13). The many exercises and assignments throughout the book provide opportunities for readers to practice personal reflection and self-correction as they learn about proper professional roles and boundaries. Material is presented regarding professional behavior, appearance, and communication in the process of communication and persuasion.

    Educational Policy 2.1.2Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice. Social workers have an obligation to conduct themselves ethically and to engage in ethical decision making. Social workers are knowledgeable about the value base of the profession, its ethical standards, and relevant law. Social workers

    • recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice;
    • make ethical decisions by applying standards of the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics and, as applicable, of the International Federation of Social Workers/International Association of Schools of Social Work Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles;
    • tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts; and
    • apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.

    Chapter 2 presents a detailed explanation of the values and ethical basis for human services administration and leadership, drawing on the National Association of Social Workers' Code of Ethics. Readers see how to resolve issues and are provided case studies to apply abstract concepts to practice. They learn to tolerate ambiguity as they apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at their decisions.

    Educational Policy 2.1.3Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgments. Social workers are knowledgeable about the principles of logic, scientific inquiry, and reasoned discernment. They use critical thinking augmented by creativity and curiosity. Critical thinking also requires the synthesis and communication of relevant information. Social workers

    • distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge and practice wisdom;
    • analyze models of assessment, prevention, intervention, and evaluation; and
    • demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and colleagues.

    The development of critical thinking skills is infused throughout the book by the use of individual assignments and interactive exercises. Some of these outputs are written, while others are oral or even artistic in nature. All aspects of the text are designed to challenge students to read and apply material to encourage their personal growth. Students come away with a greater understanding of professional processes in human services leadership and with the ability to analyze models of program development, evaluation, funding, marketing, and advocacy, among other topics.

    Educational Policy 2.1.4Engage diversity and difference in practice. Social workers understand how diversity characterizes and shapes the human experience and is critical to the formation of identity. The dimensions of diversity are understood as the intersectionality of multiple factors including age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation. Social workers appreciate that, as a consequence of difference, a person's life experiences may include oppression, poverty, marginalization, and alienation as well as privilege, power, and acclaim. Social workers

    • recognize the extent to which a culture's structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege and power;
    • gain sufficient self-awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups;
    • recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences; and
    • view themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.

    The underpinnings of this book are planted in understanding diversity and difference and the ways that leaders and managers must address them in ways that maximize their positive impact. Leaders should strive to be the leaders of everyone in the organization, and the book provides skills to do so, regardless of age, class, color, culture, disability status, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expressions, immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation.

    Educational Policy 2.1.5Advance human rights and social and economic justice. Each person, regardless of position in society, has basic human rights, such as freedom, safety, privacy, an adequate standard of living, health care, and education. Social workers recognize the global interconnections of oppression and are knowledgeable about theories of justice and strategies to promote human and civil rights. Social work incorporates social justice practices in organizations, institutions, and society to ensure that these basic human rights are distributed equitably and without prejudice. Social workers

    • understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination;
    • advocate for human rights and social and economic justice; and
    • engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

    We believe one of the primary directives of human service and nonprofit leaders is the advancement of human rights and social and economic justice. This is carried out by having knowledge and skills relating to effective administrative practice, which can then be applied to promote services that seek to end oppression and discrimination and to improve the life chances of marginalized populations. The material in Chapter 14 directly relating to advocacy is key to becoming effective in these tasks.

    Educational Policy 2.1.6Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research. Social workers use practice experience to inform research, employ evidence-based interventions, evaluate their own practice, and use research findings to improve practice, policy, and social service delivery. Social workers comprehend quantitative and qualitative research and understand scientific and ethical approaches to building knowledge. Social workers

    • use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry, and
    • use research evidence to inform practice.

    Chapter 7 addresses this educational standard directly. It describes the use of logic models and program evaluation to ascertain the effectiveness of programs, interventions, and policies. Linking process and outcome evaluation together with an overview of methods, readers will be able to run programs using research and apply their practice to inform the evaluation questions they ask. Additional information is provided to assist students in evaluating the impact and process of their advocacy efforts (Chapter 14).

    Educational Policy 2.1.7Apply knowledge of human behavior and the social environment. Social workers are knowledgeable about human behavior across the life course, the range of social systems in which people live, and the ways social systems promote or deter people in maintaining or achieving health and well-being. Social workers apply theories and knowledge from the liberal arts to understand biological, social, cultural, psychological, and spiritual development. Social workers

    • use conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation; and
    • critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.

    Leadership and administration are, ultimately, processes designed to change the behavior and thinking of humans. Social workers should understand theories and conceptual frameworks as they look at improving the world at all levels of intervention. Assessment for, intervention by, and evaluation of programs, interventions, and policies requires the ability to understand, critique, and apply knowledge of decision making and other administrative tasks, all of which take place in a dynamic social, economic, and political context. This book provides readers with considerable information, coming from many academic disciplines, relating to human behavior in an organizational and social milieu.

    Educational Policy 2.1.8—Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work services. Social work practitioners understand that policy affects service delivery, and they actively engage in policy practice. Social workers know the history and current structures of social policies and services, the role of policy in service delivery, and the role of practice in policy development. Social workers

    • analyze, formulate, and advocate for policies that advance social well-being; and
    • collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.

    This text combines in one book much of the essential knowledge needed to be effective in effective advocacy and service work service delivery. Leadership, advocacy, personal communication, planning, program evaluation, budgeting, fund development, marketing, and more—all vital topics of nonprofit leaders in the 21st century—are covered.

    Educational Policy 2.1.9Respond to contexts that shape practice. Social workers are informed, resourceful, and proactive in responding to evolving organizational, community, and societal contexts at all levels of practice. Social workers recognize that the context of practice is dynamic, and use knowledge and skill to respond proactively. Social workers

    • continuously discover, appraise, and attend to changing locales, populations, scientific and technological developments, and emerging societal trends to provide relevant services; and
    • provide leadership in promoting sustainable changes in service delivery and practice to improve the quality of social services.

    By providing information related to the context of human services leadership linked to values and ethics of social work, this book is able to show readers how to assess new trends and developments, and to provide leadership across the gamut of human services issues that stand in the way of improving the quality of social services across the United States and internationally.

    Educational Policy 2.1.10(a)-(d)—Engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Professional practice involves the dynamic and interactive processes of engagement, assessment, intervention, and evaluation at multiple levels. Social workers have the knowledge and skills to practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Practice knowledge includes identifying, analyzing, and implementing evidence-based interventions designed to achieve client goals; using research and technological advances; evaluating program outcomes and practice effectiveness; developing, analyzing, advocating, and providing leadership for policies and services; and promoting social and economic justice.

    Educational Policy 2.1.10(a)—Engagement

    Social workers

    • substantively and affectively prepare for action with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities;
    • use empathy and other interpersonal skills; and
    • develop a mutually agreed-on focus of work and desired outcomes.
    Educational Policy 2.1.10(b)—Assessment

    Social workers

    • collect, organize, and interpret client data;
    • assess client strengths and limitations;
    • develop mutually agreed-on intervention goals and objectives; and
    • select appropriate intervention strategies.
    Educational Policy 2.1.10(c)—Intervention

    Social workers

    • initiate actions to achieve organizational goals;
    • implement prevention interventions that enhance client capacities;
    • help clients resolve problems;
    • negotiate, mediate, and advocate for clients; and
    • facilitate transitions and endings.
    Educational Policy 2.1.10(d)—Evaluation

    Social workers critically analyze, monitor, and evaluate interventions.

    All of these topics and subtopics are addressed in this book for the specialty area of administrative practice. Readers learn how to engage others, assess agency- and community-level concerns, intervene when problems occur, and evaluate the impacts of programs, interventions, and policies.

    The student who completes this book will have an excellent grounding in the 10 competencies required by the Council on Social Work Education, within the context of administration and leadership of human services organizations. An instructor who adopts this book will have a clearly enunciated connection with all of the 10 core competencies of social work administrative practice. The program or school of social work that endorses this book may find the reaffirmation process a bit easier.

    Before We Begin

    We believe that leadership, administration, and management in the nonprofit and human services arenas depends a great deal on the ability to begin, cultivate, and maintain meaningful personal relationships with those around you. While it may at times be difficult and full of challenges, we know that the satisfactions and joys of the work are abundant as well. We present this book to all of our students—past, present, and future—and to those dedicated nonprofit leaders we have had the pleasure of working with over the years.

    Au, C. (1994). The status of theory and knowledge development in social welfare administration. Administration in Social Work, 18 (3), 127–157.
    Austin, M., Kruzich, J. (2004). Assessing recent textbooks and casebooks in human services administration. Administration in Social Work, 28 (1), 115–137.
    Hoefer, R. (2003). Administrative skills and degrees: The “best place” debate rages on. Administration in Social Work, 27 (1), 25–46.
    Hoefer, R. (2010). Basic skills of nonprofit leadership. In Agard, K. (Ed.), Leadership in nonprofit organizations (pp. 321–328). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    Menefee, D. (2000). What managers do and why they do it. Iny R.Patti (Ed.), The handbook of social welfare management (pp. 247–266). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    Wimpfheimer, S. (2004). Leadership and management competencies defined by practicing social work managers. Administration in Social Work, 28 (1), 45–56.
  • Conclusion: Putting the Pieces Together

    In the previous chapters, we have looked at many aspects of human services administration. Figure C.1 replicates Figure 4.1 to remind us of the breadth of topics addressed so far. In Part I, we began by looking at the context of human services and the values and theories that underlie our work in this sector. We further examined the tasks of leadership and the importance of communication skills in Part II. Beginning in Part III, we began to look in more detail at the four quadrants of human service administration functions. In Quadrant 1, we examined functions that are task oriented and internal to the organization. The specific topics covered were planning, evaluation, and budgeting. Quadrant 2 functions are those that are internal but more people oriented. In this section, we examined issues of human resources and board relationships. As we moved to more externally oriented tasks, we explored issues of fund development and marketing in Quadrant 3. Finally, in Quadrant 4, we moved to people-oriented and externally focused functions to explore advocacy and persuasion skills. As you look back across the topics covered, you will find that a common denominator in almost all the functions of human services administration is the ability to form and maintain relationships.

    Figure C.1 A 4-Quadrant View of Leadership, Needed Skills and Linked Theory
    Building Relationships

    Human service administration is about forming relationships at all levels. Relationships are key dealings with funding sources, regulatory agencies, the general public, boards and commissions, referral sources, staff, clients, and all other stakeholder groups related to the organization. Relationship is a term of great historical significance in the social work literature (Johnson & Yanka, 2010) and in other disciplines, as well. While it is often used in relation to the direct service worker/client dyad, it is of equal importance in administrative practice. Perlman (1979) describes relationship as “a catalyst, an enabling dynamism in the support, nurture and freeing of people's energies and motivation toward problem solving” (p. 2). This definition well describes the tasks of human services administrators.

    The importance of administrative relationships is documented in a study of 37 companies from 11 parts of the world in which Kanter (1994) found that relationships between companies grow or fail, much like relationships between people. She reports that when relationships between organizations were built on creating new values together, rather than on a mere exchange arrangement, both partners considered their alliance a success. True partners valued the skills that each brings to the relationship. The same can be said for all levels of human service administration. Human services administrators understand intuitively the importance of relationships. Relationships are key to our professional identity.

    Hoefer (2009) identified 37 skills, attitudes, and knowledge areas needed for human service administration and then condensed them to four categories: people skills, attitudes and experiences, substantive knowledge, and management skills. People skills were found to be the most important, and management skills were the least important. While it is important for human services administrators to have the management skills necessary to be technically competent administrators, these management competencies are not a substitute for the core values and interpersonal skills. Denhardt (2004) advised public administrators not to define their role or gauge their actions based solely on business values and market-based approaches but, rather, on democratic ideals such as citizenship, community, and participation in decision making.

    Human service administrators must find the balance between business- and market-driven approaches and foundational principles such as fairness and social justice. Efficiency and effectiveness are not enough. They must be coupled with principles of participation, trust, fairness, honesty, and reciprocity. Building and maintaining relationships within the organization and in the external environment will be key to your success as a human services administrator.

    The Joy of Administration

    One of the assignments that we give to the students in our nonprofit administration class is for them to go into the community and interview an agency executive director. During a class discussion of the student's interview experience, one of the students made a very interesting comment. She said that she was fascinated when the administrator she was interviewing began to talk about the joys of being a human services administrator. During the next class after the interview, the student said, “You teach us about the challenges and the tasks of administration, but we don't hear about the joys of being an administrator.” This comment led to a modification of the assignment and the beginning of a research project to explore the “joys of human service administration.” The early results of this exploration with 20 executive director interviews have revealed several themes.

    Making a Difference in People's Lives

    Without exception, the human services administrators said that the greatest joy of their job was knowing that their agency was making a difference in people's lives. If an administrator has true passion and a heart for the people served by the organization, she will find joy in her work. As you consider where you will expend your time and your energies in your career, be sure that you have passion for the people served and a belief in the mission of the organization.

    Mentoring Staff

    The second most common source of joy identified by the human services administrators was helping their staff to grow and to advance in their careers. Several talked about people who had been mentors in their lives, and they now found joy in helping others to reach their career and professional goals. As you advance in your career, remember those who have served as your role models and mentors. Remember your responsibility to be a mentor and to help others to meet their professional goals.

    Finding Meaning in Work

    Some of the administrators had come to the human services field by way of the business world. In their interviews, they talked about the differences in the setting and what that difference meant to them. One said, “At my other job, we were concerned about money. Here we are concerned about helping autistic children learn to speak.”

    Being an Advocate

    Other administrators said they found joy in advocating for their clients who could not advocate for themselves. In most cases, they spoke of being an advocate at the community level and seeing that services were available for their client populations. Many who had come from direct services spoke of feeling they could help more people as an administrator than they could as a direct service provider. Many saw their work in the community of human services as a function of advocating for the people served by their organizations.

    You Can See It in Their Eyes

    Several students commented that when they asked the question, “What brings you the most joy in your work?” they could see a physical change in the administrator's facial expression. “Their face lit up” or “I could see the passion in their eyes” was a common observation made by the students. Find a position that will be so important and meaningful to you that others can see it in your face when you talk about your work.


    As a human services administrator, you will want to master each of the areas discussed in this book. While the tasks and skills are important to your success, much of your success will be related to your ability of form and maintain relationships with the stakeholders of the organization. You will be the face of the organization in the community you serve. Serving as a human service administrator will, no doubt, bring great challenges, but it can also be a fascinating and rewarding career that will bring you great joy.

    Denhardt, R. B. (2004). Theories of public organization. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
    Hoefer, R. (2009). Preparing managers for the human services. In R. J.Patti (Ed.), The handbook of human services management (pp. 483–501). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
    Johnson, L. C., Yanca, S. J. (2010). Social work practice: A generalist approach. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
    Kanter, R. M. (1994). Collaborative advantage: The art of alliances. Harvard Business Review, 27, 96–109.
    Perlman, H. H. (1979). Relationship: the heart of helping people. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    About the Authors

    Larry D. Watson is an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) School of Social Work. He publishes and teaches in the area on nonprofit administration and social policy. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), and the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR). He is the president of the Texas Chapter of NASW. Prior to joining the faculty of the UTA School of Social Work, he served as the president/CEO of Methodist Mission Home in San Antonio, Texas, and was executive director of Catholic Family Services in Amarillo, Texas. He is a faculty associate of the Center for Advocacy, Nonprofit and Donor Organizations (CAN-DO) at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work.

    Richard (Rick) A. Hoefer is the Roy E. Dulak Professor for Community Practice Research at the University of Texas at Arlington, School of Social Work. He has published frequently on nonprofit administration, advocacy, social policy, and program evaluation, and teaches in those areas at the BSW, MSW and PhD levels. He is also the director of the Center for Advocacy, Nonprofit and Donor Organizations (CAN-DO), which assists local nonprofits with consulting on administrative skills development, board relations, strategic planning initiatives, and other aspects of nonprofit organization life. Dr. Hoefer is the founding and continuing editor of the Journal of Policy Practice, an award-winning teacher, and recipient of NASW Tarrant County Social Worker of the Year award. He is a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the Association for Research on Nonprofit and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR), and the American Evaluation Association (AEA).

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