100765: Developing Contracted Social Services Initiatives in Small Non-Profit Agencies

Understanding Management Dilemmas in Uncertain Environments

About the Course:

The author examines management dilemmas experienced by small nonprofit social services agencies as they entered new service domains with the assistance of governmental funding. Miscalculations regarding service and management expectations were common, as were problems in meeting contractual reporting requirements. Agencies also overestimated the possibility of using existing client pools as referral sources for the new services and consequently experienced difficulties in recruiting clients for service provision. Contrary to concerns raised in previous studies of nonprofit agencies, entering into new service domains did not create clear conflicts with existing agency service missions. However, subtle shifts in programming emphases did occur in some agencies. The implications of these findings for the development of contractual relationships between government agencies and small nonprofit agencies are discussed. COURSE SYLLABUS I. Introduction II. Assessing Performance in Non-Profit Agencies III. Methods IV. The Frustration of Good Intentions V. The Difficulties of Differentiation VI. Subtle Shifts in Purpose VII. Discretion vs. Accountability VIII. The Evloution of Accountability Demands in Contractual Relationships IX. Discussion X. Implications

Publication Date:

2004 /Vol. 85, No. 4


Steven G. Anderson, PhD

About the Author:

Associate Professor School of Social Work University of Illinois

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other human services and behavioral health professionals who seek knowledge about non-profit agencies. It is appropriate for participants with intermediate to advanced levels of knowledge about the topic.

Course Objectives:

  1. describe potential dilemmas and pitfalls that can occur when small non-profits develop social service contracts with government agencies.

  2. identify recommendations for small non-profits and government agencies for successful contractual relationships.

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