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Book Review: The Mission Myth: Building Nonprofit Momentum Through Better Business by Deirdre Maloney

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The Mission Myth: Building Nonprofit Momentum Through Better Business is an excellent book on how to manage all aspects of a non-profit organization. A non-profit functions very much like a for profit business. Both business structures require management, money, marketing and measurement.

The Mission Myth begins with an inspirational story of a struggling entity –The Colorado Aids Project (CAP). The effort evolved slowly into a multi-million dollar nonprofit organization with little formal structure. CAP needed formal systems, strong internal policies/procedures, an internet server, and up-to-date kitchen facilities. Author Deirdre Maloney describes how CAP became a better non-profit business through better management of people, the mission, marketing, and resources.

Maloney goes on to explain that managers are not always liked. Sharing power is another difficult area due to the need to establish organizational boundaries while ensuring accountability for all the parties. Most of all, the corporate culture must come to a collective realization that people make errors. In addition, a manager inevitably carries part of the job from the office to the home.

Systems are needed to ensure that an organization can meet its goals on a timely basis. Task management needs to be efficient, consistent and cost-effective. Ultimately, the funders need to come to a realization that the organization is meeting its goals. Otherwise, the gift giving and donations may suffer.

The marketing dimension is important because the activity inspires people to act on behalf of the nonprofit organization. In addition, a clearly defined mission matters. An independent audit committee of the Board of Directors is another important element in a successful nonprofit undertaking so that management
is not auditing itself.

The Mission Myth is an important contribution to the literature of the non-profit sector. Deirdre Maloney explains the essential elements of managing a non-profit, as well as opportunities and major pitfalls. Nowhere are the pitfalls more evident than in the closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City. Nearly six months after St. Vincent’s closed its doors, other emergency rooms were overloaded with more patients, more ambulance runs, and longer waiting times for emergency medical services.

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About Dr Joseph S Maresca

I've taught approx. 34 sections of collegiate courses including computer applications, college algebra, collegiate statistics, law, accounting, finance and economics. The experience includes service as a Board Director on the CPA Journal and Editor of the CPA Candidates Inc. Newsletter. In college, I worked as a statistics lab assistant. Manhattan College awarded a BS in an allied area of operations research. The program included courses in calculus, ordinary differential equations, probability, statistical inference, linear algebra , the more advanced operations research, price analysis and econometrics. Membership in the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society was granted together with the degree. My experience includes both private account and industry. In addition, I've worked extensively in the Examinations Division of the AICPA from time to time. Recently, I passed the Engineering in Training Exam which consisted of 9 hours of examination in chemistry, physics, calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, probability/ statistics, fluids, electronics, materials science/structure of matter, mechanics, statics, thermodynamics, computer science, dynamics and a host of minor subject areas like engineering economics. A very small percentage of engineers actually take and pass the EIT exam. The number has hovered at circa 5%. Several decades ago, I passed the CPA examination and obtained another license in Computer Information Systems Auditing. A CISA must have knowledge in the areas of data center review, systems applications, the operating system of the computer, disaster recovery, contingency planning, developmental systems, the standards which govern facility reviews and a host of other areas. An MBA in Accounting with an Advanced Professional Certificate in Computer Applications/ Information Systems , an Advanced Professional Certificate in Finance and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Organizational Design were earned at New York University-Graduate School of Business (Stern ). In December of 2005, an earned PhD in Accounting was granted by the Ross College. The program entrance requires a previous Masters Degree for admittance together with a host of other criteria. The REGISTRAR of Ross College contact is: Tel . US 202-318-4454 FAX [records for Dr. Joseph S. Maresca Box 646 Bronxville NY 10708-3602] The clinical experience included the teaching of approximately 34 sections of college accounting, economics, statistics, college algebra, law, thesis project coursework and the professional grading of approx. 50,000 CPA examination essays with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Additionally, membership is held in the Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society chartered in 1994. Significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences.