Nonprofit organizations and voluntary action are critical to the development and strengthening of democracy and civil society throughout the world. Universities are central institutions for understanding and promoting the structures essential for democratic life. University-based programs that perform research, teaching and public service to strengthen nonprofit/nongovernmental organizations, philanthropy, and voluntary action are critical to helping universities and their communities meet this need.
The Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) was founded in 1991 by leaders of university-based nonprofit academic programs who wanted to share information and ideas to strengthen their programs and advance the field of philanthropic and nonprofit sector education within their institutions and beyond. Central to building the field is recognition and support by institutions of higher education that philanthropic and nonprofit sector studies are a vital component of the education, research and community engagement that they undertake. NACC member programs are committed to the advancement of nonprofit and philanthropic studies programs that are recognized by their host institutions as a focal point of nonprofit sector activity.
NACC’s newly revised criteria for membership maintain a commitment to the advancement of fully realized academic centers focused on the nonprofit sector while also recognizing the increasing diversity of programs and institutions both within and outside the academy that participate in our field.
A Revised NACC Membership Model
In 2019 NACC’s members and board discussed membership for organizations interested in NACC membership, who do not meet all the current criteria for membership as members of accredited colleges or universities. At the 2019 membership meeting we voted to create affiliate membership for these types of organizations.
NACC offers two main categories of membership:
- General Membership: programs with an academic affiliation that can demonstrate a focus on at least two of the three programmatic areas outlined below (education, research and community).
- Affiliate Membership: for organizations, entities, etc. that have an interest in affiliation with NACC that do not meet our criteria for full membership as part of accredited colleges or universities.
Why Join NACC?
Member benefits include:
- Direct access to a network of top leaders from among the most prestigious and innovative programs, centers, and institutions focused on a shared commitment to philanthropic and nonprofit sector studies, research, and service. NACC does not distribute email addresses for NACC members or those subscribing to its monthly email newsletter (NACC News). Members may request information be distributed to NACC News recipients or NACC member representatives.
- The opportunity to have a voice in shaping nonprofit academic center resources (such as curricular guidelines and indicators of quality).
- Meetings, forums, and conferences that blend hands-on field-building work and peer information exchange.
- Visibility of each member center within the field and with the larger public.
- Legitimacy with host academic institutions and local communities through association with a respected international organization.
- Free advertising for job posting on the NACC website and in the NACC news. At this time, only NACC members may advertise job postings via these outreach mechanisms.
- Discounted registration fees for NACC conferences.
“NACC is the forum that encourages me to think more deeply about teaching and research in our field. It is an essential reference point for understanding how we can better assist our students and strengthen the organizations they work in.” — John Casey, Ph.D., Baruch College
“As we’ve grown our nonprofit programs to include a graduate certificate, an undergraduate minor, and a full master of nonprofit management, NACC has been our source for nonprofit-first curricular and administrative innovation. The camaraderie among NACC members is both fun and valuable.” — Renee A. Irvin, Ph.D., University of Oregon
“NACC provides the space where we can think about collaboration and social capital as solely nonprofit studies concepts.” — Stuart C. Mendel, Ph.D., NACC Fellow
“NACC is the rudder that keeps me mindful of the field we love so dearly. Besides, I truly enjoy the professional people who represent the institutional members.” — J. Patrick Murphy, Ph.D., DePaul University
“NACC provides an instant network of people with similar concerns and issues; I have learned more from interacting with people in the NACC network than I have from any other source.” — Robert Donmoyer, Ph.D., The University of San Diego
“NACC helps me find best practices in the field of nonprofit education. I can see what courses make up a relevant program that will be attractive and helpful to students.” — Theresa Ricke-Kiely, Ed.D., University of Notre Dame