Sociocracy in nonprofits (presentation)


Non-profits do double-duty – they are running an organization with operations and (sometimes) staff and volunteers but they also put their time, resources & passion into serving a purpose.

Despite best intentions, many non-profits still copy the hierarchical structures of corporate businesses and replicate the power systems that are contributing to the societal issues we see. They have top-down chains of command, often a lack of clarity and transparency between board and operations, and they often struggle to include the voices of volunteers in the decision-making.

One way in which nonprofits can step out of that pattern is by systems like sociocracy. A flexible system, sociocracy is inherently inclusive because it runs on consent. Sociocracy also improves the flow of information between the board and the staff, it can help spread the workload, unleash self-organization, and provides clarity of who decides what.

This webinar recording showed how sociocracy works, gives real-life examples and circle structures from nonprofits, and highlights some of the tricky interfaces of self-organized self-governance work and nonprofit contexts, for example:

  • how does one divide up the work?
  • the interface between operations and the board
  • collaboration between staff, Executive Director, volunteers


Links and resources mentioned