weathering the storm

Following publication of their book, Resilience and the Management of Nonprofit Organizations (Edward Elgar, 2022), Dennis Young and Elizabeth Searing are seeking original case studies of nonprofit organizations that have been challenged by crises, devised strategies to successfully navigate those crises, or have failed to do so. Young and Searing plan to publish an edited collection of these cases as a follow up to the book and as a source of material for teaching courses in nonprofit resilience at the graduate level or in executive education coursework such as that offered by the National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise (NCNE). The book will be published by Edward Elgar Publishers in 2024.

Crises may include the coronavirus pandemic, the financial crisis of 2008/2009, the recent spike in inflation, earlier catastrophes such as 9/11 or environmental events such as wild fires or floods, philanthropic failures such as the Bernie Maddox scam, or internal crises such as scandals or sudden losses of top leadership. The collection will include the following existing draft cases:

  • Atlanta YMCA in the pandemic
  • Rialto Theater in the pandemic
  • Cooper Union College following the 2008-2009 financial crisis
  • Illinois Collaboration on Youth (ICOY) during the Illinois Budget Impasse
  • Council of International Programs in the pandemic

Cases should be 8 to 10 pages (2000 to 2500 words) and structured as follows:

  • Abstract and Key Words: A short overview of the case and 3 to 5 keywords
  • Statement of Learning Objectives: A short list of 2 or 3 specific ideas or concepts that can be gleaned from the case
  • Background: Description of the organization including mission, approximate size, financial structure and history
  • Crisis and Context: Nature of the crisis faced by the organization and the context in which it operates
  • Strategies: Options considered by the organization, and how it prepared for and navigated the crisis
  • Outcome: Changes that resulted from the crisis and the organization’s decisions
  • Critical Questions: Key issues that can be posed for students in order for them to discuss and assess the organization’s approach and draw lessons for resilience management
  • Further Reading and References: Citations to help students further explore the issues and concepts

A separate document of Teaching Notes should also be provided to guide instructors on use of the case to illustrate issues and strategies associated with managing nonprofits for resilience. The teaching notes will be published separately and should be a maximum of 5 pages (1250 words).

We are seeking a total of 20 to 25 case studies for inclusion in the book. Please send proposals to and by September 15, 2023. Proposals should be in the form of a 1 to 2 paragraph abstract describing the case, including the organization, its context, the nature of the crisis or challenge it confronts, the time period in which it takes place, and if applicable the particular strategy it followed for addressing its resilience. Final draft cases will be due by December 1, 2023.