How can today's nonprofits demonstrate effective use of funds?

How can they motivate employees and volunteers and combat burnout and high turnover?

How can they ensure that they are performing in accordance with their mission and purpose?

Author Stephen J. Gill answers these questions and more in Developing a Learning Culture in Nonprofit Organizations. Filled with practical tips and tools, the book shows students and managers of human services, arts, education, civic, and environmental agencies how to implement a learning culture with individuals, teams, the organization as a whole, and the larger community.

Key Features

Draws on the author's more than 25 years of consulting experience; Demonstrates how to create a culture of intentional learning that uses reflection and feedback, focuses on successes and failures, and builds a strong organization that motivates employees and volunteers; Offers specific, hands-on tools for each level of the organization, from the individual and team to the whole organization and the community; Discusses not only the need for a learning culture but also the barriers that may stand in the way; Takes a step-by-step approach that facilitates managers and students' understanding and learning; Incorporates practical tools that can be used in nonprofit management and in actual field instruction

Developing a Learning Culture in Nonprofit Organizations is appropriate for courses in Social Work Evaluation, Public and Nonprofit Management, and Evaluation.

Barriers to a Learning Culture

Barriers to a learning culture

Telling the truth to people who may not want to hear it is, after all, the chief purpose of evaluation.

—Eleanor Chelimsky

Significant barriers stand in the way of learning in organizations. These barriers are manifested in subtle and not-so-subtle resistance to creating a culture of learning. If you want to be successful over the long term, you have no choice but to face these barriers and overcome them. Barriers to a learning culture are examined in some depth in this chapter:

  • Program focus
  • Limited resources
  • Work-learning dichotomy
  • Passive leadership
  • Nonlearning culture
  • Resistance to change
  • Not discussing the undiscussable
  • Need for control
  • Focus on short-term, simple solutions
  • Skilled incompetence
  • Blame, not gain language

Program Focus

One barrier to developing a learning culture is that the attention of staff and volunteers ...

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