Article | Nonprofit Management & Leadership | Fall 2012

Enacting Our Field

by Alnoor Ebrahim


This keynote address, delivered to the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council at its 25-year "benchmark" conference, examines the pedagogical challenges facing the field of nonprofit management in American higher education. It interrogates four binary distinctions commonly used in scholarship and teaching about the social sector, but which now show signs of eroding: for-profit versus nonprofit, funder versus grantee, local versus global, and secular versus faith-based. Each distinction is examined with the aim of answering two questions: What are the implications for new theorizing about this field? What are the implications for teaching and action? In closing, the essay explores innovations in structuring social sector management programs in order to educate cross-sector leaders capable of addressing critical societal problems.

Keywords: Conferences; Higher Education; Teaching; Social Issues; Innovation and Invention; Programs; Management; Nonprofit Organizations;


Ebrahim, Alnoor. "Enacting Our Field." Keynote Address. Nonprofit Management & Leadership 23, no. 1 (Fall 2012): 13–28. (Keynote Address to the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council, 25 Year Benchmark Conference.)