Dr. David Bozward - Entrepreneurship, Enterprise & Education

Leadership of Enterprising Groups

A large number of the attributes of a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) can be directly applied and are applicable to the Peer Led Student Enterprise Groups (PLEG). Organizational theory review also shows a higher degree of complexity for non-profit organisations when compared to profit oriented businesses.

As for Mizell (2005) and Lubar (2005) emphasize the quality of management as key to volunteer retention as well as volunteer support. This is nonetheless emphasizing the fact that one of the key responsibility of the non-profit organisation is to factor in volunteers’ potential constraints and be proactive about them. Through this research they found that most of the volunteers expected the manager to practice participating leadership. It was highlighted that the management team of non-profits organizations should think about their leadership style, in order to have the volunteers feel more productive and that they belong to the organization.

According to Trachtenberg (2006), the key importance of values and belief for non-profit organisation is attracting quality volunteers is one of the most important objectives of the NPO; however, it is a task that is often overlooked or performed poorly by NPO managers and administrators Farmer & Fedor (1999). Volunteerism cannot be separated from the motives, values, and beliefs of the volunteer (Wilson, 2000). The three most important strategies that can be drawn from the research include (1) recruiting volunteers based on their interests, qualifications, and how well they fit with the organization; (2) offering training to support the learning and skills development of volunteers, and; (3) acknowledging directly to volunteers the vital role they play in the success of the organization as well as the contributions that they make in generating the capital needed to meet its mission and its goals.

Despite the growing contribution of the nonprofits to global economies, nonprofits operate in an increasingly competitive environment. Along the same line, Jay (2010) highlights non-profit sustainability necessity but throw an interesting light on the changing non-profit environment and the related risk associated. Nonprofit literature over the last few decades reflects attempts to examine the competitive environment in which NPOs operate and impact their functioning. Several researchers have used the Porter’s five forces model to capture the competitive intensity in the immediate environment. Whilst the parallels to Porter are striking, the system of relationships proposed for NPOs has not been subjected to empirical testing.

They observe that this trend towards marketization may pose risks for civil society because nonprofits may lose sight of their social Mission. Also, governments and entrepreneurial business initiatives nested within the NPO have provided other important sources of finance for NPOs. Substantial volatility across all these diverse revenue streams forces NPOs to become adept at multiple stakeholder management.

A NPO must ensure a flow of resources in order to sustain itself which is typically through earned income, governmental support and private donations. Researchers contributing to this stream of literature have suggested several strategies that can be adopted by NPOs to gain financial substantiality: commercially generated revenues (Lundström et al 1997); application of business principles to fundraising ; employing relationship marketing ; identity-based donations (focusing on the salience of the donors’ identity within the relationship) ; and within and cross sector strategic alliances . In addition to revenue enhancing strategies, researchers have suggested a number of strategies to reduce costs: increased volunteerism and its productivity and soliciting in-kind donations.