Executive leadership and social innovation in direct-service nonprofits

The application of social change, leadership, and advocacy to a specific human and social services organization is a systematic process. The initial step is to select and delineate a professional or societal issue about which you are passionate, and then locate an organization from anywhere in the world whose mission is related to this issue. Once you determine the issue and organization that you will focus on, the next step is to set a manageable social change, leadership, or advocacy-related goal for the organization.

Human services professionals can strive to achieve and/or support social change, leadership, or advocacy-related goals by creating a strategic plan. Throughout this course, you will develop the core elements of a strategic plan for your Capstone Project. You build off the coursework you completed in previous courses to conduct a needs assessment as well as develop the fundamentals, strategic issues, and technical elements of the strategic plan.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review this week’s Learning Resources, considering strategies and approaches that human and social services professionals may use to achieve social change, leadership, and advocacy goals.
Review the Capstone Project Overview in the Course Information area and the Final Project: Developing a Strategic Plan – Introduction to the Final Project media in the Weekly Resources. Select one professional or societal issue that arouses your passion as a human and social services professional, and then choose a human or social services agency or organization, or a community, that works to support this issue. This can be a local, regional, national, or international agency, organization, or community. Throughout the completion of your Capstone Project, you will explore this issue and agency in depth, examining them from multiple perspectives. Therefore, you should select an agency, organization, or community issue that speaks to you as a human and social services professional.
By Day 4
Identify the agency, organization, or community for which you will develop a strategic plan. State whether the agency, organization, or community exists at the local, regional, national, or international level. Then, discuss why you have chosen this agency to focus on for your Capstone Project. Also, discuss whether your strategic plan will be developed from the perspective of social change, leadership, or advocacy for the agency, organization, or community. Explain why you have chosen to focus on that particular perspective for your strategic plan.

References

Homan, M. S. (2016). Promoting community change: Making it happen in the real world (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Chapter 1, “Understanding the Challenge to Change” (pp. 4–33)
Chapter 12, “Taking Action—Strategies and Tactics” (pp. 379—417)

Almog-Bar, M., & Schmid, H. (2014). Advocacy activities of nonprofit human service organizations: A critical review. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 43(1), 11–35. doi:10.1177/0899764013483212.

Shier, M. L., & Handy, F. (2016). Executive leadership and social innovation in direct-service nonprofits: Shaping the organizational culture to create social change. Journal of Progressive Human Services, 27(2), 111–130. doi:10.1080/10428232.2016.1155429.

Shier, M. L., & Handy, F. (2014). From advocacy to social innovation: A typology of social change efforts by nonprofits. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26(6), 2581–2603. doi:10.1007/s11266-014-9535-1.

 

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