What is human resource management in BPO

Nonprofit Management

Table of Contents

  1. characterization
    1. term
    2. background
    3. definition
  2. Functional features
    1. Nonprofit Governance
    2. Personnel management in NPO
    3. Marketing in NPO
    4. Financial management of NPO
    5. Accounting in NPO



The term nonprofit management (also known as not-for-profit management or NPO management) includes the management of nonprofit organizations (NPO). Accordingly, this includes the application of the business administration tools to the specific problems, framework conditions and various peculiarities of NPO. The management theory of NPO is designed as a special business administration (branch theory or sectoral business administration), which takes from the "general management theory" what appears to be transferable for NPO and develops additional knowledge and instructions in all those problem areas, in which the profit-oriented teaching does not Has to offer possible solutions.


Scientific nonprofit research has endeavored for many years to define the nonprofit sector - which is characterized by great heterogeneity and diversity of the organizational units that determine it - and to delimit it from other sectors in order to lay the terminological and sector-specific basis of nonprofit management . The large number of relevant publications on this topic in the corresponding scientific journals of the nonprofit sector (e.g. NML, NVSQ, Voluntas, ZögU), in edited volumes or in monographs is evidence of this.


In business terms, the term “management” includes all activities that are to be carried out with the management of a company or an organization. From this it can be deduced that nonprofit management includes all activities for managing an NPO. Nonprofit management thus includes all activities that are associated with the management of an individual NPO or a network with regard to the achievement of the defined goals of the organization and thus ultimately the fulfillment of the mission.

Functional features

The basic functions of management are the same in all forms of organization. However, NPOs have numerous organizational peculiarities that involve specific management problems. These specific challenges for individual management functions are presented below.

Nonprofit Governance

The management of NPO includes, analogous to the management in profit-oriented companies, dominance and management structures as well as principal-agent problems, e.g. between members, the board of directors and the management. In NPO, the voluntary management leads to problematic interfaces with the full-time management. At this point, a balance of power between the various organs and committees is necessary, as well as transparency and clear responsibility for both the voluntary management (board members) and the full-time management (management, "professionals"). Management in NPO is based on complex, multi-level organizational structures (with sometimes very large administrative boards or foundation supervisory boards), the equally complex will and decision-making processes (often involving voluntary and / or political bodies and committees) and a multi-dimensional and complex target system in which one A large number of components of a qualitative (and therefore difficult to measure) nature are made more difficult. In addition, objective objectives (e.g. meeting requirements) and not formal objectives (e.g. profit or sales maximization, return on investment) are primarily pursued. Despite the dominance of objective objectives, content-related objectives, performance standards and control parameters must be defined in NPO.

Personnel management in NPO

The function of human resources in NPO is very strongly characterized by differentiated personnel structures (full-time employees, volunteers and volunteers) and the resulting different requirements for the development and structuring of the workforce as well as for staff management. By employing unpaid employees, remuneration as an extrinsic motivational factor loses its importance. In return, praise and public expressions of thanks are particularly important. The primary goal of an NPO is the fulfillment of a mission. Therefore, the mission per se should contribute to the motivation of the employees of an NPO. In addition, there are a number of specific labor and social law issues that are due to the heterogeneous employee structure. Ultimately, dealing with or simultaneously managing voluntary employees and volunteers, most of whom can be described as "non-specialist", and full-time employees require different qualities and requirements than management only brings with professional employees.

Marketing in NPO

According to prevailing opinion, nonprofit marketing plays a decisive role for successful nonprofit management. Because also and especially in NPO, the business management function Marketing creates the prerequisites for NPOs to design their activities in line with the market. This therefore assumes that the primacy of marketing, taking into account the organizational purpose (the latter in particular when the range of services or the mission of the NPO is normatively occupied) is accepted over other business functional areas and marketing is adapted as a management philosophy or basic and thinking attitude of NPO . Nonprofit marketing is understood to mean a binding basic attitude within an NPO, which requires a consistent alignment of all decisions directly or indirectly affecting the "market" with the wishes and needs of all stakeholders or customers of the NPO. The term customer and customer integration in NPO are of great importance in this context. Cause-related marketing and legacy marketing represent special forms of nonprofit marketing.

Financial management of NPO

In the area of ​​financing, too, there are clear distinctions compared to profit-oriented organizations. In addition to being heavily dependent on public funds, NPOs are often dependent on private grant financing through donations, bequests, sponsoring, patronage and thus to a large extent on fundraising activities. Fundraising as a component of the financing mix and as a task area of ​​the marketing of an NPO is therefore very important for the long-term viability of the organization in the context of nonprofit management. The aim of nonprofit financial management, which includes all operational and strategic activities of an NPO that is directly related to the procurement, investment or repayment of financial or tangible assets from various sources of finance, is to create a secure financial situation and thus ensure that the mission is fulfilled at all times .

Accounting in NPO

The problem of the qualitative information usually to be recorded in NPO usually overwhelms the traditional key figures or accounting systems in the sense of an integrated control. In addition, the management of an NPO is faced with the challenge of defusing frequent points of criticism, such as excessive advertising and administrative costs, through confidence-building measures (see Nonprofit Accountability). Accounting transparency is a very important instrument, especially for donation-collecting organizations. The external accounting depends on the legal form of the NPO and leads to an extensive limitation of the accounting to income and expenditure accounting. Accounting standards are set in Germany by the DZI donation seal and by the statements of the Institute of Auditors.