New quality management for the nonprofit sector

by Guido Cuyvers (Thomas More University College, Belgium)

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For a long time, quality has been the center of attention in the nonprofit sector, influenced by all kinds of developments in society. Due to, among other things, the interference of the government and the increasing competition, all divisions in the nonprofit sector are obliged to work systematically with their quality. Quality has become necessary. However, as more people gain experience with quality assessments, visitations, and accreditations, so does the criticism. This has to do with how quality is assessed and with the criteria that are used. We will examine this critically in this book. Many questions remain unanswered, and contradictions have not been resolved. Moreover, it is no easy task to have all noses pointing in the same direction. In short, there is still work to be done.
This book broadens the traditional vision of quality and quality assurance to a vision and approach that is compatible with the support of the organization’s missions in the nonprofit sector. Incidentally, we will speak of quality development rather than quality assurance. The use of the term ‘quality development’ hopes to inspire people to look differently at quality and how their organization deals with it. Furthermore, this book provides nonprofit organizations with methodologies and tools that can help in the process of permanent quality development.
The pursuit of quality for nonprofit organizations is approached from a development perspective and a broader social context. This distinguishes it from the traditional quality management manuals. It offers a constructive and appreciative approach that is compatible with the specific mission of various nonprofit organizations (such as education, health care, social work, and government). The approach is also integral because everyone in the organization, as well as the external partners, is involved.

List of figures

List of tables

About the author


Part 1. The fundamentals of quality development

Chapter 1 Quality

Chapter 2 Worrying about quality management, a critical reflection

Chapter 3 Quality development: Our principles

Chapter 4 Integral quality development

Part 2. Integral quality development: Practice

Chapter 5 Basic methodologies

Chapter 6 To measure is to know, or not?

Chapter 7 Quality models

Chapter 8 Quality tools

Chapter 9 A new perspective on quality

Appendix. Key thinkers and ideas



Guido Cuyvers studied criminology, sexology and philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven and obtained a doctorate in criminology with a study on the secondary victimization of victims of crime. During his professional life, he was lecturer, researcher and head of department at Katholieke Hogeschool Kempen (now Thomas More), Department of Social Work. He taught psychology, psychopathology, organizational science and quality management. His research has mainly focused on the field of gerontology, with a focus on the social inclusion of older people. As coordinator of the research domain of gerontology, he founded the Flemish Research and Knowledge Centre Third Age (VONK3). He also stood at the cradle of the new program Coaching of Ageing Adults (bachelor after bachelor). He is currently involved in civil society, policy on the elderly and research into the social participation of older people in society.
For thirty years, he has guided organizations in their quality development. Moreover, he gave many lectures to professionals. As a lecturer in higher education (department of social work), he presented the problem every year in his Organizational Studies course. For twenty years he was a member, secretary and chairman of assessment committees in higher and university education. By applying the principles and the new approach learned during this experience, his own department received the best assessment report of all social work programs in Flanders.
He is also committed to the Vlaamse Ouderenraad as a board member and independent expert and chairman of the committee Participation and Inclusion. As a representative of Belgium, he is a member of the Administrative Council of Age Platform Europe. As an author, he publishes on all kinds of social themes. He is strongly involved in the problems experienced by socially vulnerable groups in society, such as human trafficking and slavery.

Quality development, quality management, relational practices, appreciative approach, quality culture

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title

New quality management for the nonprofit sector





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


36 B&W

Publication date

January 2024