Are We There Yet? Evaluating Nonprofit Management as a Profession for Program Accreditation
Keywords:nonprofit sector, profession, programs, accreditation
AbstractEducators in the field of nonprofit management are debating the value of academic program accreditation. To evaluate the argument objectively, they must ask, “Is nonprofit management a unique profession?” This essay examines the field of nonprofit management using the six characteristics presented by Pugh (1989) to distinguish public administration as a unique profession. Authors believe that nonprofit management firmly meets the first five criteria. The sixth criteria, a hall of fame, is questionable. However, a case for the YMCA as the father of nonprofit management was made. If educators accept that the YMCA meets the criteria for a hall of fame, all six criteria are met to consider nonprofit management a profession unto itself. Scholars and practitioners will need to determine what implications this uniqueness has for the sector. Some guiding questions are offered for consideration in moving the accreditation conversation forward.
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