I am a practicing nonprofit manager, currently serving as the Executive Director of the Arizona Land and Water Trust. For several decades, I have served in various leadership & management roles (from marketing to finance to HR to operations) in several nonprofits and a for-profit.
My undergraduate degree is in English from the University of Arizona. My graduate degree is in International Management from the "Thunderbird" School of Global Management. And these past 24 months of pandemic life, I've been working part-time on my master's in social work degree, learning alongside of and from the next-generation of community leaders.
Over the years of serving diverse communities and important causes in the greater Southwest, my vocation has become the application of ethical and sound business principles and practices -- as well as the imperfect use of the diplomatic and rhetorical arts -- in leading high-impact organizations that serve neighbors across the whole spectrum of Maslow's hierarchy of need, from providing "safety-net" basic services to facilitating opportunities for under-served communities' self-actualizing achievement and for privileged communities' self-sacrificing contributions towards the greater good.
Aristotle held that human beings utilize three basic types of knowledge: theoria (comprehended knowledge), praxis (applied knowledge), and poiesis (creative knowledge). Relatedly, Bloom's taxonomy of cognition articulates the higher-order thinking required of an effective nonprofit manager. During the course of my practice, I've found that I am expected to utilize all three types of Aristotle's definitions of knowledge (with an emphasis on the higher-order levels of cognition in Bloom's taxonomy).
Nonprofit Journey contains some of what I've found useful in my wanderings, my ongoing attempt to be a more effective, broadly skilled practitioner of the art and science of nonprofit leadership. Check back periodically, as this site is still UNDER CONSTRUCTION with new readings, websites, and questions.
The general topics on this website include:
- The identity, history, and contemporary trends & concerns of the nonprofit sector, vis-à-vis other economic sectors, and among various types of NPOs, both domestic & international.
- Leadership, organizational & NPO "ecosystem" management, change-management, HR management, & performance measurement/management in an NPO's life-cycle.
- Brand management, marketing, constituency-engagement, volunteer management, public education, advocacy & influence, and resource- or fund-development.
- Finance, accounting, budgeting, and analysis of NPOs' business-models, as well as accountability and ethics in the NPO.
- Professional development, and life-balance or self-care management.
Wishing each of us continued good journey - Michael McDonald firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. In the two slide-decks below I've attempted to include just about everything I've learned and have found of value in my own evolving NPO leadership & management practice. Perhaps it'll pique your curiosity to explore the breadth and depth of your own practice to figure out what makes most sense to you and those who depend upon you.
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