Connecting To Meet Today's Challenges


Welcome to Leading Nonprofit Organizations!

Leading Nonprofit Organizations (LNO) is a lively online newsletter that addresses the challenges leaders in the nonprofit sector face on a daily basis. It is written for and by practicing leaders at all levels of the nonprofit sector. The purpose is to help leaders of nonprofit organizations improve their capability to adapt and lead their organizations. LNO’s objective is to serve a “how to” and “how to better” function for practicing leaders of nonprofits with an affective and motivating approach. LNO covers a range of subject areas from governance to social innovation. 

Contributors include faculty, professional doctoral students and alumni from Case Western Reserve University’s Doctor of Management (DM) Program, the MNO and Mandel Center Certificate Program, and the PhD in Management Program at the Weatherhead School of Management, as well as other practitioners from around the world.

Learn more about LNO by reading the stories, providing comments, listening to podcasts, viewing video casts, or contributing as an author. Join our community of readers by subscribing to our online magazine and invite friends and colleagues to do the same. The subscription is free! Feel free to post content you would like to share with colleagues on your LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media accounts.

General Submission Guidelines

What is Leading Nonprofit Organizations?

Leading Nonprofit Organizations is a free, online newsletter for leaders at all levels of nonprofit organizations. We provide relevant, pragmatic thinking on important issues facing leaders of nonprofits. LNO originates from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  It is written for nonprofit leaders in the United States and internationally. LNO covers a range of subject areas from governance to social innovation.

LNO’s readers desire access to useable information that is derived from best practices and lessons learned by researchers and colleagues in the nonprofit sector, not academic jargon or narrow technical writing.  In addition, they appreciate a resource that provides a space that allows for the generation of new knowledge or a creative solution that is generated through collaboration with colleagues in the sector.   

Who reads Leading Nonprofit Organizations?

When writing a submission, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the reader. LNO’s readers are CEOs, presidents, executive directors, senior executives, and volunteer leaders. They are likely to be actively engaged in philanthropy, academia, social enterprise, and many other areas of the nonprofit sector. Readers are involved solving small to very large scale issues in society.

What submissions are solicited for Leading Nonprofit Organizations?

LNO seeks to publish the most interesting, original, and important practical concepts and observations about the nonprofit sector for leaders who can use this information to address the challenges they face in their organizations. While many submissions are written by practitioner scholars and faculty at Case Western Reserve University, we invite external authors to submit stories, interviews, podcasts, video casts, blog posts, and commentary for our online magazine.

We are looking for content that addresses the following questions:

  • Would the submission be interesting to leaders at various levels within nonprofit organizations? Or is the submission narrowly focused?
  • Does the submission provide compelling stories or examples of the application of new ideas or new perspectives that leaders can use to address challenges they face in their organizations?
  • Is the submission about a novel idea, innovative organization or person, or a story of change?
  • Is the submission based on evidence-based information or substantial thinking or experience in the subject?

What types of submissions are written by external authors?

Several types of submissions will be reviewed by our editors: Feature stories, Case Study, Video cast, Podcast, and the Blog Post (that is published on the website) – in other words, anything that is appropriate for an electronic submission.

Feature Story

  • Introduces a new, creative, or more complete explanation of a solution to a social, environmental, or organizational problem, or a compelling story of change.
  • This may explain the story or example with related research findings or models that can be put to use by practitioners.
  • Logically discusses the explanation or solution, addressing its possible shortcomings.
  • Explains the general implications of the explanation or solution for a diverse audience.
  • Between 2,500 words long (equates to approximately 8 double-space pages of text).


  • Can be presented in various ways: written, audio, or video. (See audio and video guidelines for length.)
  • A written interview should be kept to 1,000 words or less.
  • Consider presenting the interview in a series with the story that continues with editions of the LNO newsletter over a course of several months.

Case Study

  • An in-depth analysis of a management challenge faced by a nonprofit organization.
  • The submission must provide a detailed narrative history of the organization, recounting how its mission, strategy, structure, etc. evolved to address the challenges it faced. It should include quotes from the principles involved.
  • The submission must answer three to four principal questions, which raise high-level strategic issues that the case addresses. These questions show how a case is relevant and applicable to other organizations.
  • Between 3,500 and 4,500 words long.

Video cast or Podcast

  • Relates the experiences and the lessons learned by someone actively engaged in the nonprofit sector
  • Includes a brief introductory paragraph inviting the reader to listen or watch – About 250-500 words long.
  • Video cast – About 6 minutes
  • Podcast – can be longer than video cast – Up to 15 minutes long

Blog Post

  • A stimulating offering on a timely subject written by someone actively involved the nonprofit sector.
  • Should be written in a clear, engaging, and accessible first-person style.
  • About 600 words long.

Please see the attached Style Guide for suggestions on margins, photos, and general format recommendations.

If you have any questions or would like to offer an idea with any of the submission styles in mind, please contact Marilyn Chorman, Managing Editor, by email at or by telephone at 216-368-3638.

Style Guide for Leading Nonprofit Organizations (LNO) Articles

Recommended Basic Formatting for Text Submissions

  1. Set one inch (1”) margin at the top, bottom, and on each side.
  2. Left justify (align) margins.
  3. Pages should be numbered consecutively in Arabic (not Roman) numerals.
  4. Font type should be Times New Roman and type size should be twelve-point throughout the entire manuscript, including notes, tables, figure captions, etc.
  5. Double space should be used throughout the manuscript.  This includes cover sheets, text, extracts, captions, figure legends, notes, references, etc
  6. Articles are brief and authors should avoid footnotes to the extent possible, using parenthetical insertions in the text instead.  (References always are required, of course—see below for reference styles.)  Should footnotes absolutely be required, please use the automatic footnote function in Microsoft Word (not a specialty citation program).

Stylistic Formatting

  1. Spell out the first instance of all acronyms (afterwards the acronym itself is sufficient), e.g. Doctor of Management Program (DM Program).
  2. Spell out numbers one through ninety-nine, unless these refer to percentages (e.g., “fifteen countries,” but “15 percent”).
  3. Include first and last names with first mention of proper names (e.g., "Augusto Pinochet," but later, "Pinochet…") unless speaking to a work itself (e.g., "Mainwaring and Shugart (2000) argue that…").
  4. Use “United States” rather than “US” or U.S. in the case of the noun; “U.S.” is employed as an adjective, as in “U.S. policy.”
  5. Each author is required to head her or his submission with name, institutional affiliation (only), and email address.



Please use footnotes. According to YourDictionary the definition is as follows:

  • A footnote is additional information or references that are printed at the bottom of the page, or something that is an afterthought. (noun)
  • When you include a note at the bottom of a page of text indicating where someone can get more information about the subject you are discussing, this is an example of a footnote.
  • When you add an additional detail to a story you have finished telling, this is an example of a footnote.
  • To footnote is to include additional information or references at the bottom of the page. (verb)
  • When you put a notation in the text that tells the reader that more information is found at the bottom of the page, and then you include a little note with information or references at the bottom of the page, this is an example of a time where you footnote.

Author Bio and Picture to Accompany Submission

  1. Provide a short bio of approximately 150 words or less. If you want to include your email and/or web address, that would be fine.
  2. Provide a picture of yourself with your bio and submission.  The picture criteria are as follows:
    1. The picture should be square so that it can be adjusted for LNO.
    2. Send color pictures in .jpg format
    3. The dots per inch (dpi) should be at least 150.
  3. A picture paints 1,000 words. Therefore, if you have a photograph that relates well to the content of your submission, we encourage you to submit that as well for our review.  We will let you know if we will plan to use it in the newsletter.