Peter C. Brinckerhoff is an expert on nonprofit management, award-winning author, trainer and consultant. Throughout his career he has promoted the concept that a not-for-profit organization is a mission-based business, in the business of doing its mission.


After a two year stint as a VISTA volunteer, followed by graduate school, Brinckerhoff served as a staff member and Executive Director of the West Central Illinois Health Systems Agency. In 1982, he formed Corporate Alternatives, Inc., the first consulting and training company in the United States dedicated exclusively to the management concerns of 501(c)(3) organizations. His work as a consultant, trainer and author on nonprofit issues has reached thousands of nonprofits throughout the world. From 1979 to the present, Brinckerhoff has served on boards of directors of many local, state, national and international nonprofits.


Brinckerhoff is most widely known for his work as award-winning author, with seven books and two workbooks in print, and over 60 articles published in the not-for-profit press. Three of his books, Mission-Based Management (1994), Financial Empowerment (1996) and Generations, The Challenge of a Lifetime for Your Nonprofit (2007), have been awarded the Terry McAdam Award from the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.[1] The award is given for "The Best New Nonprofit Book" each year. He is the only author to win the award multiple times.[2] Brinckerhoff's books are used as texts in courses at undergraduate and graduate nonprofit management programs in over 100 colleges and universities worldwide.

Brinckerhoff is also a speaker and lecturer, presenting his ideas on how to make not-for-profits more mission-effective to audiences throughout North America, Europe and Asia each year. He publishes the Mission-Based Management Newsletter[3] online monthly, and maintains the Mission-Based Management blog.[4]

From 2003-2007, Brinckerhoff served as Adjunct Professor of Nonprofit Management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He taught the core graduate course in the Nonprofit Management program at Kellogg. In addition, Brinckerhoff has guest lectured at the graduate level at Boston University, University of Colorado, University of Illinois, and Vanderbilt University.


Brinckerhoff received his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Master's Degree in Public Health Administration from Tulane University. Raised in Connecticut, Brinckerhoff and his family lived in Springfield, Illinois from 1977-2007. He and his wife now call Union Hall, Virginia home.


  • Mission-Based Management: Leading Your Nonprofit in the 21st Century. New York: John Wiley & Sons (1994). 2nd Edition, 2000, 3rd Edition due out late 2009. ISBN 978-0-471-39013-8
  • Financial Empowerment: An Essential Financial Guide for Not-for-Profit Organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons (1996). ISBN 978-0-471-29692-8
  • Mission-Based Marketing: Positioning Your Not-for-Profit in an Increasingly Competitive World. New York: John Wiley & Sons (1997). 2nd Edition, 2003. ISBN 978-0-471-23718-1
  • Faith Based Management: Leading Organizations That Are About More Than Just Mission. New York: John Wiley & Sons (1999). ISBN 978-0-471-31544-5
  • Social Entrepreneurship: The Art of Mission-Based Business Development. New York: John Wiley & Sons (2000). ISBN 978-0-471-36282-1
  • Mission-Based Management: An Organizational Development Workbook. New York: John Wiley & Sons (2001). ISBN 978-0-471-39014-5
  • Mission-Based Marketing: An Organizational Development Workbook. New York: John Wiley & Sons (2003). ISBN 978-0-471-23717-4
  • Nonprofit Stewardship: A Better Way To Lead Your Mission-Based Organization. St. Paul, MN: Fieldstone Alliance (2004). ISBN 978-0-940069-42-8
  • Generations: The Challenge of A Lifetime for Your Nonprofit. St. Paul, MN: Fieldstone Alliance (2007). ISBN 978-0-940069-55-8


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