• Welcome to the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, the leading national knowledge community dedicated to building the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities working to achieve positive social change and cultural enrichment. Using a “Research to Practice” platform, the Alliance is committed to identifying and exploring both academic and practitioner research and field experiences in peer-to-peer exchanges designed to identify how capacity builders can increase the effectiveness, efficiency and impact for their clients and communities. We accomplish this through:

    1. Programming that enables our members to meet the highest standards of capacity building and professional assistance
    2. Research, development, and dissemination of cutting-edge theory and practices
    3. Generation of provocative dialogue between capacity builders, organizations, and funders

  • Become a Member!

    The Alliance is the national voice and catalyst for the field of capacity building. We improve the effectiveness of the individuals, groups, and organizations who are helping nonprofits and communities achieve positive social change. Learn new techniques and strategies to strengthen your practice as a capacity builder. Build your knowledge base and skill set with access to the latest research based methods, resources, and thought leaders. Connect with fellow consultants, coaches, capacity building funders, academics, executives, and others equally committed to impacting positive social change. Participate in webinars, conferences, regional gatherings, and research that advances the practice of capacity building. Lead the sector to new understanding and increased impact by taking your place among those capacity builders dev the Alliance’s growing roster of activities and programs.

  • Member Affinity Groups

    Member Affinity Groups are an integral part of the Alliance’s commitment to igniting and accelerating the effectiveness and efficiency of individuals and organizations helping nonprofits achieve positive social change. Member Affinity Groups self-organize around a specified interest or identity with the primary purpose of innovating ideas, practices, models, research and/or publications. They also provide a space for Alliance members with similar interests to network with each other, exchange ideas, and develop their skills. Currently, we have Member Affinity Groups focused around Executive Leadership Transitions, Coaching, Capacity Building Organizations, People of Color, The Terry McAdam Book Award, and Governance. To learn more contact the group leaders below for existing groups or contact our Executive Director if you're interested in launching a new one. For more information about Affinity Groups click here.


    The Governance affinity group provides a forum within the Alliance community to forward creative thinking in the field of board governance and development, including the generation of new approaches and models for community–based organizations. Through sharing of new approaches, practices, and research among a diverse group of consultants, MSO's and researchers, this affinity group hopes to not only further the field, but also to increase the knowledge base, generative thinking, and consulting skills of its members. To learn more about this Affinity Group, please contact Judy Freiwirth.

    People of Color

    Formed in 2001, the POC group offers a forum for capacity builders of color to share experiences and work to expand the presence of people of color in the Alliance and in the field, as well as catalyzing change in the field, the nonprofit sector, and ultimately the larger society. The POC group is currently in the process of defining and advancing "cultural competency" in nonprofit capacity building— this effort has resulted in a book entitled Embracing Cultural Competency: A Roadmap for Capacity Builders, professional development activities, and peer exchanges. The POC accelerates peer learning, challenges business-as-usual, and generates ways and means to honor the journey of these groups in the Americas through capacity building practice. To learn more about this Member Affinity Group, please contact Jose Dominguez.

    Executive Transition and Leadership Continuity

    The Executive Transition & Leadership Continuity Affinity Group, with more than 100 members, is a professional community of capacity-builders who focus on strengthening nonprofits by creating human resource solutions and developing human capital to lead the sector. Members include: executive search/transition consultants, interim executives, nonprofit turnaround consultants, executive coaches, researchers, succession planning specialists, talent pipeline and leadership development consultants, human resource professionals and others who specialize in the nonprofit sector and see value in the network.

    This Affinity Group sees its work as a pioneering and trail-blazing effort to develop methodologies, reinforce good practices and identify research needs that promote leadership continuity within nonprofit organizations by planning for positive leadership transitions, attracting and retaining outstanding professionals for the sector, developing future generations of leaders within the sector, and advocating for and teaching succession planning as fundamental to an organization’s capacity to benefit society. To Learn more about the ETL Member Affinity Group, please contact Mary Vradelis or Catherine Bradshaw.

    Coaching Affinity Group

    The Coaching Affinity Group of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management brings together experienced practitioners and capacity builders who provide executive, leadership, or organizational coaching to nonprofits in order to strengthen organizational and leadership capacity. The Coaching Affinity Group was proposed because of a desire to create a community of experienced practitioners who can delve deeply into coaching best practices and advance our collective knowledge to support the needs of nonprofit leadership development and organizational effectiveness. The Coaching Affinity group (or learning cluster) is designed as an intact group, intentionally kept to a small number in order to create a climate of safety and authenticity, where participants can share their learning edge with each other and feel comfortable in a non-judging environment. To that end, members are called upon to occupy the role of both learner and contributor in this group. To learn more about this Affinity Group, please contact Justin Pollack.

    Terry McAdam Book Award

    Terry W. McAdam devoted his professional life to improving the nonprofit management field and urged those of us in the capacity building field to write about our experiences because he considered our voices insightful and important to improving the sector. Terry died in 1986 at the age of 44. The first Terry McAdam Book Award was given in 1989 to Michael Seltzer for his book Securing Your Organization’s Future: A Complete Guide to Fundraising Strategies. At that time he was the executive vice president and program director of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Los Angeles. Before joining the foundation in 1983, Terry was vice president of the New York Community Trust where he helped to develop a variety of innovative grant programs for the trust. He was also an author himself –Careers in the Nonprofit Sector (1986). With Judith Scherer, he wrote Technical Assistance in New York City: a Preliminary Examination of the Nonprofit Technical Assistance Process in New York City in 1977. To Learn more about this Affinity Group, please contact Victoria Thurlow.

    Capacity Building Organizations

    The purpose of the Capacity Building Organization Member Affinity Group is to advance the knowledge and practices of capacity building among those nonprofit organizations whose missions aim to build the strength of the nonprofit sector. We work to identify strategies and business models that are sustainable and have impact. We exchange best and next practices that advance the effectiveness of our work. We advocate for capacity building and related funding with philanthropy and government. And, we share breakthroughs in research or practice that advance the field. Our target membership is organizations that identify themselves as contributing to the capacity of the nonprofit sector. This includes national organizations that have capacity building funding for their association or federations, stand-alone nonprofits now known as management support organizations, intermediary organizations and foundations and United Ways with capacity building programs for community nonprofits. The group meets three times per year via conference call and meets during the annual Alliance conference. To learn more about the CBO Member Affinity Group, please contact Keith Timko.   

  • Resources and Links

    A hub of information, including recent studies, articles and member created materials

    Voices of Nonprofit Board Chairs:

    A National Study on the Perspectives of Nonprofit Board Chairs: How they prepare for and perceive their role in relation to the board, community and chief executive officer.

    Voices of Nonprofit Board Chairs reflects the voices of 635 nonprofit board chairs across the United States. The study was conducted by the Alliance’s Governance Affinity Group and is intended as a first step in hearing directly from board chairs about their experiences and perceptions, acknowledging the importance of the leadership role of board chairs and the significant dearth of research in this area. As one of the few studies on board chairs, this study sought to answer two research questions: How do individuals prepare for their role as chair of a nonprofit board? and, what do board chairs perceive their leadership roles to be in relationship to the board, the community, and the CEO?

    Resource Library

    Providing resources on a variety of topics, contrasting opinions, and the latest insights into the nonprofit capacity building field, the Resource Library is a chance to exchange ideas and connect over recent events with Alliance members. Though the Alliance staff endeavor to monitor all additions to the Resource Library, please remember that it is a collaborative collection with additions made by a combination of staff, the board of directors and Alliance members. The Alliance for Nonprofit Management does not promote, endorse, claim ownership of, nor receive monetary contributions for posted materials.

    Guide for Nonprofits Integrating Community Engagement (NICE)

    The Nonprofits Integrating Community Engagement (NICE) Guide offers information, tools, case studies and other resources to support capacity builders as they guide nonprofit groups in developing core competencies on constituent and community engagement. The NICE Guide is designed for organizational development experts, management support organizations, and internal and external consultants to facilitate efforts to integrate the voice of community members and constituents into the daily practice of nonprofit organizations.

  • Board Leadership

    Our Board is comprised of Alliance members elected yearly by our membership. Contact us for information on how to join our board and other leadership opportunities with the Alliance.

    Marissa Q. Paine

    Interim Executive Director

    Marissa Paine is the principal at the Painefree Coaching & Consulting Group, a change management and organizational performance improvement company in St. Louis Missouri.

    Anne Yurasek

    Board Chair

    Anne Yurasek is a principal consultant with Fio Partners in Connecticut. 

    Keith Timko

    Board Co-Vice Chair,

    Chair CBO - Member Affinity Group

    Keith Timko is the Executive Director with the Support Center / Partnership in Philanthropy in New York City.

    Carlo Cuesta

    Board Co-Vice Chair

    Carlo Cuesta founded Creation In Common in 2002 and he serves as the firm’s lead consultant. He is also an adjunct professor at University of Minnesota. 

    Annie Hernandez

    Board Co-Treasurer

    Annie Hernandez, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Frieda C. Fox Family Foundation based in the Los Angeles area.

    Christine Reeves-Strigaro

    Board Member

    Christine Reeves Strigaro is the Executive Director of Sapelo Foundation and based in Georgia.

    Terry Horton

    Board Member

    Terry Horton is Project Director at National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    Curdina Hill

    Board Member

    Curdina Hill is a consultant and leadership/life coach at Clearways Consulting in Boston, Massachusetts.

    John Brothers

    Board Member

    John Brothers, PhD is the President of the T. Rowe Price Foundation and the President of their Program of Charitable Giving out of Baltimore, Maryland.

    Molly Penn

    Board Member

    Molly Penn, MBA is a partner at Penn Flood Consulting in Irvington, New York. She is an experienced foundation and nonprofit consultant and leadership coach.

    Jeffrey Branch

    Board Member

    Jeffrey Branch, EdD is an Assistant Professor and Program Director for the Organizational Development and Leadership Graduate Program at the Philadelphia College for Osteopathic Medecine.

    Cindy Leonard

    Board Member

    Cindy Leonard is a Consulting Team Leader at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.

  • Terry McAdam Book Award

    The Terry McAdam Book Award serves the nonprofit capacity building field by making practitioners aware of high-quality books that share new knowledge and approaches.

    How to Get Nominated

    The Nomination Process

    The nomination window for the 2017 Award is now closed. Thank you to all those who submitted their favorite book!


    Finalists will be notified in mid-July and invited to the award ceremony at the national conference of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, which will be held in partnership with ARNOVA on November 16-18, 2017 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
    If you have any questions, please contact this year’s chair,

    Victoria Thurlow at terrymcadam@allianceonline.org.

    What Are Our Criteria?

    The Nomination Criteria

    To be eligible for the award, books must meet the following criteria:

    • Specifically address issues of nonprofit management, capacity building, management consulting, or advancement of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit sector.
    • Be a first edition published in 2016 or 2017. For a book published in 2016 to be eligible, this must be its first nomination (i.e., the book could not have been nominated last year).
    • Must be actively marketed to the national nonprofit community or a specific nonprofit community.
    • Academic textbooks, books authored by Alliance Board members and books authored by McAdam Book Award Committee members are not eligible and will not be considered.
    • Be available in print, electronic, and/or PDF form. 
    • Must have a price point (i.e., be available for purchase, not a free publication).

    Our Committee Process

    About the 2017 Terry McAdam Book Award Affinity Group

    The Terry McAdam Book Award process is coordinated and overseen by a committee composed of Alliance members, who are responsible for setting the strategic direction for the award program, in consultation with the Alliance’s board of directors. The committee uses stringent nominating and eligibility criteria to select and review works for consideration, and to determine the annual Terry McAdam Book Award winner. If warranted an additional honorable-mention recipient/other finalist may also be named. Committee members may be invited to take on additional roles on behalf of the committee, and are encouraged to attend the Alliance’s annual conference to support activities associated with the award ceremony and author liaison.

    Our History

    About the Terry McAdam Book Award

    The Terry McAdam Book Award program was established by the Nonprofit Management Association in 1987 to commemorate the work of an inspirational colleague and board member, Terry W. McAdam, who passed away at the age of 44 in 1986. The executive vice president and program director of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Los Angeles, Terry was also the author of Careers in the Nonprofit Sector (1986) and (with Judith Scherer) Technical Assistance in New York City: A Preliminary Examination of the Nonprofit Technical Assistance Process in New York City (1977). He devoted his professional life to improving the nonprofit management field and urged those of us in the capacity-building field to write about our experiences, because he considered our voices important in improving the sector.


    When the Nonprofit Management Association and the Support Centers of America came together to form the Alliance for Nonprofit Management in 1998, the Alliance took responsibility for continuing this important award. The Terry McAdam Book Award continues to recognize outstanding printed works in the capacity-building field. For almost 30 years, many dedicated volunteers have shepherded the award program, which has evolved to include both print and electronic books that cover the nonprofit sector and aspects of nonprofit management and capacity building.


    Approximately 12 Terry McAdam Book Award Committee members, all experts in the field, review nominated books against the awards criteria each year. The award program is aligned with the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s role as the premier professional community for capacity builders and its stringent standards assure exceptional quality. Many past winners have used the honor to bolster publicity for their work.