Message from the President
We are going to London!!! We are going to London!!!! We are going to London!!!!!
It is with a great deal of excitement that after a great deal of thought and consideration, the NACC board has voted to hold the 2019 NACC Conference in London, England with The Cass Business School as the host institution.
We will establish a conference committee at the beginning of 2018 and would welcome volunteers to help with the conference planning process. So if you are interested please let Erin (firstname.lastname@example.org) know as soon as possible.
There are many reasons why this decision represents a great leap forward for NACC as an organization, but two seem to be at the forefront. First, by holding a conference outside the U.S. we are establishing NACC as a global player in the nonprofit/philanthropy space. Second, a conference in London will be an opportunity for NACC and conference participants to innovative ideas and conceptions of the nonprofit/philanthropy enterprise than we might otherwise have. The preliminary discussions we had with institutions and scholars in Europe about the possibility of NACC going to London has already led to some interesting ways of thinking about international partnerships.
Much more information will be coming shortly in 2018 as the conference planning committee begins its work. Again, if you have the ability to volunteer for this committee please step up and let us know.
We got Stuart!!! We got Stuart!!! We got Stuart!!!
The next bit of exciting news for NACC is the board has voted to hire Dr. Stuart Mendel, former NACC president and current NACC fellow as the NACC Accreditation Launch Director.
As everyone who has ever worked with Stuart knows, his calm and steady manner and ability to map out and plan projects, is quite extraordinary. We are very lucky that we agreed to help launch our accreditation program in 2018.
As with London, we will be forming a new committee on this. The accreditation committee will work with Stuart on the details, planning and execution of the NACC accreditation. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please let us know.
So with that quick look forward to exciting things for 2018, I want to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season and Happy New Year.
On My Mind
Representatives of NACC Member Institutions Speak
NACC News offers brief articles contributed by representatives of member institutions. This column offers an opportunity to the faculty of member institutions to present their thinking and begin an exchange of ideas about issues that affect the nonprofit sector.
David Renz is the Beth K. Smith/Missouri Chair in Nonprofit Leadership and the Director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, an education, research and outreach center of the Department of Public Affairs in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
As I see it…
Like many of you, I recently had the privilege of participating in the mid-year graduation ceremony as the graduates of the UMKC MPA/Nonprofit degree and Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Innovation programs marched across the stage to receive their diplomas and certificates. While sitting there, considering where our students are likely headed as they pursue their careers. I was reminded of the unique and special niche that NACC programs occupy and serve in civil society and our communities, and how our work will need to change. And at risk of being overly dramatic, I will say I think the coming year represents a key inflection point for us as a field and a community of academics – one that warrants careful and critical consideration of the alternatives that lie ahead for us.
One dimension of our work that has to change involves our support for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations and their leaders and managers and volunteers in this time of fundamental change in the work of civil society in the US and in many other nations of the world. As the fundamental nature and roles of government are challenged and renegotiated, the nature and roles of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations will necessarily change. And this, to me, mandates that the work of the typical NACC member will have to change too. Among the most basic will be the need to expand and refine our programming (credit and noncredit) to help students and leaders better understand and prepare to lead and manage in this increasingly complex and dynamic environment. Some of this will be knowledge and skill development. But a more sophisticated element of our education and professional development will need to help leaders discern how their organizations must change to address the needs and (at least for some) opportunities that this new era will offer. Of course, this means we must develop our own capacity to deliver such programs to help them address such change.
Yet another element of our support for the nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations and our communities involves our research. It seems to me that, for better or worse, we’re on the verge of some incredible “natural experiments” that offer both an opportunity and an imperative for research – research that assesses dynamics and impacts in a myriad of domains and fields and governmental policy and practice change. We as centers will be well advised to consider where and how we can help people at all levels in organizations and communities understand what is changing and, importantly, the results and implications of these changes – especially for those who have little or no power to assess or articulate the impacts and implications of these changes in their lives.
There is another aspect of our world, as NACC centers and programs, I think we need to prepare to address, and address with some sophistication and sensitivity. It has huge implications for our collective futures, especially for those of us whose centers and programs are based in public institutions.
Working as we do at the intersection of higher education and the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies affords us special opportunities to serve each. But it also presents some significant challenges. The growth in the nonprofit sector and the expanding student interest in our field and our programs is attracting greater interest and opening new doors for us. Once a struggling movement of what I like to consider academic entrepreneurs and innovators who were blazing new paths, the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies today has gained significant legitimacy and credibility within many parts of the world of higher education. Indeed, it appears dozens of new nonprofit programs are being approved by institutional leaders every year! And yet ironically this legitimacy, for a couple of reasons, is not an unmitigated blessing.
First, higher education itself is experiencing a growing crisis of credibility and even legitimacy as it is perceived by many as elitist, irrelevant, and out of touch with the lives of citizens (taxpayers) and our communities – the very constituencies so many of us are dedicated to serve. NACC centers and programs often have been highly valued by communities, and they often are the programs that our institutions publicize in their community relations as examples of how the institution is in fact serving the larger community. But the more closely we are identified with conventional higher education and begin to look like just another department in the university, the greater the threat to our credibility with the communities and leaders we seek to serve and strengthen.
And this brings me to the second reason. As those of us engaged in nonprofit and philanthropic studies research continue to develop and sustain our standing as a scholars in a field that has secured credibility in academe, we are called upon to adopt and enforce norms, expectations, and standards of rigorous scholarship. This mandate has significant potential to pull us further and further from the community-oriented values and core principles that were central to the early days of our field. Improved sophistication and rigor in our research certainly is positive. And yet, the more we pursue the path of conventional scholarship in an effort to assure the legitimacy we need in academe, the more we run the risk of being pulled (seduced?) away from the substantive engagement that enables us to truly and effectively understand and support our core constituencies. Again, I have to say, I find this particularly ironic because so many of us in NACC centers and programs are highly engaged in and committed to serve civil society and the nonprofit sectors of the communities our colleges and universities were founded to serve. But the pressures of isomorphism, intentional and not, are real and they do have a cost.
Thus, we as NACC centers and programs have a fascinating set of tensions to address as we continue to plan for and develop our programs, our centers, and the field. I say address rather than resolve because there is no real resolution to be achieved as we work to reconcile these kinds of tensions. Each has merit and each has consequences, so it seems to me that we must take care to ensure that we are not unknowingly drawn too far one way or the other. To provide the unique value and impact that benefits both our institutions and communities the most, we must achieve a balance. Thus, it seems to me, the imperative for each of us as NACC members is to discern the appropriate balance for our center or program – the balance that enables us to serve our various stakeholders and constituencies without going too far one way or the other. In reality, this is a classic governance question – and it is the kind of central question that all too often gets overwhelmed by the press of ongoing business and the stress of meeting day-to-day deadlines. (For those of us who follow the governance literature and use the book, Governance and Leadership, I might note that is the kind of time in the life of a field and organization that calls for generative thinking and, for our centers and programs, generative governance.)
And this raises a key question that I pose to you (just as I must to our own leadership team at the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership) as we all as NACC members make our way in the new year. Are you taking care to make time to consider and discern the appropriate balance among the competing tensions that will define the future of your center and program?
Happy New Year to you and your colleagues! It is a privilege to work with all of you as we make our way in this fascinating (and sometimes scary) new environment. As we often say as we conclude Midwest Center team meetings: go forth and do good work!
The NACC Board
The Nonprofit Academic Centers Council Board and staff wish you a 2018 full of hope, progress, and inspiring glimpses of the possible. We are pleased to include a few of the NACC Board’s thoughts about the sector with all good wishes for the new year.
“It is encouraging to see the size, scale and impact of NACC grow these past few years. In 2018 (and beyond), I see nothing but continued success of NACC’s strategic direction in leading the accreditation of our field, in refreshing its curricular guidelines, and in otherwise guiding the nonprofit and philanthropic studies through its array of programs and services; all with a goal of advancing the leading centers and programs around the world to achieve even greater levels of reach, achievement and impact.”
Robert F. Ashcraft, Ph.D. Executive Director and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise Arizona State University | Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation
“On behalf of the team at UT Austin's RGK Center, I wish everyone peace, joy, and prosperity in 2018. Happy Holidays!”
David Springer is Director of the RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and a Fellow to the Sid Richardson Chair of Public Affairs in the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin
I am very thankful to be a new NACC board member; 2018 will be an exciting year with the pilot programs starting accreditation, another special issue from JNEL that includes papers from the 2017 NACC conference. I hope to continue to spread the good word about NACC through word of mouth and social media!
“A scholar from Germany once remarked to me that she thought it was a bit of a shame that students are flocking to nonprofit leadership, eschewing elected public service for a life within a narrower slice of service to humanity or to the planet. In 2017, there were calls for greater attention to advocacy skills in the nonprofit sector, as people understood with greater clarity how their nonprofit mission requires more than a passive response to changing funding streams and market demand for services.
I see that developing further in 2018, as nonprofit sector professionals analyze their personal and organizational role in a democracy, and become involved in upstream policy formation and change. In essence, I see our nonprofit students and professionals broadening their public service skills and involvement, becoming the public servants that the German professor thought we had lost.”
Below is a link to four short essays written this year at the request of The Conversation on different aspects of tax reforms and the impact they are likely to have on philanthropy.
In the meantime, I want to send all best wishes for the holidays to all of our NACC friends and colleagues and the happiest of New Years!
Link to the articles for The Conversation about taxes and giving https://theconversation.com/us/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=Patrick+Rooney
The looming tax reform marks the winding down of a year that has been challenging for the nonprofit sector. After submitting my final grades for the semester, however, I am reminded of my undergraduate students' passion and genuine desire to change the world for the better. With renewed optimism, I wish all NACC institutions and students a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I am excited to announce the establishment of the Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Bush School. The Center carries forward the founding principles of the school and President Bush to prepare principled leaders in public service. Nonprofits and voluntary action are the foundation of our society and informed and capable leaders make a difference. The center will support a vibrant nonprofit and philanthropic sector in Texas and beyond, through high quality research, professional outreach and engaged learning. Building off of the 20 year history of the Bush School and nearly 15 years of the Nonprofit Management Program, we are ready for continued development and expansion of our work. See for more information http://bush.tamu.edu/nonprofit/
A Happy New Year to All
Nu Lambda Mu
The talent and zest for innovation that members of the NLM society represent are in clear evidence in brief profiles of NLM members. This issue we offer two profiles of students from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy.
“As graduation from the Milano School approaches this spring, I’ll be hard at work finishing my graduate studies in Nonprofit Management, cultivating consulting clients, and working as a finance Teaching Assistant.,” says Jody Adams. Jody’s academic focus at the New School is in finance, leadership and gender. “My studies tie to my current work with a budding nonprofit in New Hampshire that focuses on girls’ leadership development and with another, more established nonprofit, CoSAP. Based in Ethiopia, CoSAP facilitates self-help groups amongst women.”
Jody has worked for other nonprofits while pursuing her degree. The most notable being the Sustainable Port Chester Alliance based in Westchester, NY. Her primary role as intern for the Alliance was to research funding sources from foundations. According to Jody, “when first introduced to the Alliance, I was searching for funders that were looking to affect change as it pertained to equitable property development. Over the course of several months, the Alliance’s goal shifted toward a need for voter awareness. This shift offered me the opportunity to adapt, adjust and learn how to fine-tune strategies to be in sync with an organization’s formation.”
Much of Jody’s expertise in finance and leadership grew from her early years on Wall Street as Vice President in the international management division of an investment banking firm. “My passion for nonprofit work, however, stems from years residing in Montclair, New Jersey where I was extremely active in a variety of nonprofits and local political efforts. My most demanding role was as the first female President of the Montclair Baseball and Softball Club of New Jersey (MBSC),” says Jody. While president, Jody oversaw the development and expansion of the organization’s efforts to provide recreational and elite club baseball and softball to over 1,000 players annually. After leading MBSC and just prior to pursuing graduate studies in New York City, Jody, along with her family, moved to London. While overseas, Jody considered her time as being experientially fulfilling. As she states, “it was an undertaking that expanded on my past professional international experiences by adding a more intimate focus on cultural adaptation.”
Alexandra (Axi) Walker graduated from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School, with a Master’s in Nonprofit Management and a certificate in Organizational Development this December.
“The Nonprofit Management program at The New School focuses on leadership, self-awareness, and applicable theories. The professors encouraged my classmates and me to use the lessons learned in class at work during the following days and weeks. Attending school part-time and working full-time, enhanced my learning experience as I could apply what I was learning in real time,” says Axi.
Axi works at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research as a Team Fox Officer. Team Fox is the Foundation’s grassroots community fundraising division that to date has raised over $70 million dollars for Parkinson’s research. In her role as a Team Fox Officer, Axi supports Team Fox members as they create and host a variety of events across the East Coast. She works to ensure that each member has access to the tools and support that they need to make their community fundraiser a success.
“Working as a Team Fox Officer is a truly inspirational experience every day. Our Team Fox members use their passion, time, and drive to raise critical dollars toward Parkinson’s research. They are awe-inspiring and I am honored to work with such a great community,” reports Axi.
Prior to joining The Michael J. Fox Foundation, Axi worked for the Council for Economic Education. In her position as Associate, Events Planning and Coordination, Axi organized the annual 500 person teachers’ conference, all donor and advocacy events, and the National Economics Challenge. Before working at the Council for Economic Education, she worked for the Robin Hood Foundation. Axi says, “As a new graduate, I am excited to use the outstanding experience and knowledge I gained from The New School and apply them to all my undertakings in the nonprofit sector. The New School has surely provided me with invaluable tools.”
“I am looking forward to the network that Nu Lambda Mu provides and learning from leaders in the field,” concludes Axi.
University of Central Florida Sponsors Community Partners Nonprofit Conference
The UCF School of Public Administration sponsored the 16th annual Central Florida Community Partners Nonprofit Conference, which took place on Nov. 9 at the UCF campus.
The school’s nonprofit advisory board hosted the conference, which boasted the theme “Nonprofit Advocacy in a Changing World.” The keynote speaker was Richard Maladecki, the president and CEO of the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association. Other speakers included Jane Callahan of Dean Mean, Dave Krepcho of Second Harvest Food Bank and Cynthia O’Donnell of Central Florida ACLU.
The afternoon session consisted of a panel discussion on “Building Collective Power: How to Influence Your Elected Officials.” Among the panelists were Anna Eskamani, the director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, and an alumna of the nonprofit management program at UCF.
More than 100 professionals from the Central Florida nonprofit community were in attendance.
Texas A&M Welcomes Dr. Kenneth Anderson Taylor
Dr. Kenneth Anderson Taylor is an Assistant Professor of the Practice, the Director of Outreach and Professional Development within the Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy in the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University and Holder of the Younger-Carter Endowed Practitioner-in-Residence. He routinely leads a Public Service and Administration Consulting Capstone Seminar, has taught a variety of nonprofit management courses, and has developed and delivered several workshops on the study of leadership. He earned his MBA from Bellarmine University’s Rubel School of Business and also holds a BA in Sociology from the same institution. His PhD in Leadership Studies is from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio and dissertation research investigated leader behavior and job satisfaction within nonprofit organizations.
Before arriving in College Station, Dr. Taylor founded and launched the Nonprofit Leadership Studies (formerly Youth and Nonprofit Leadership) program at Murray State University, and held the appointment of Academic Program Director & Assistant Professor within their College of Health Science & Human Services.
As a true practitioner, Kenny has more than 20 years of leader experience inside and working on behalf of nonprofit organizations. His self-defined career highlights include the 12 consecutive years he served the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the five years he spent as a self-employed consultant. Kenny is also a State of Texas Credentialed Mediator.
Years ago when Dr. Taylor set his sights on transitioning into academia with a vision of developing tomorrow’s social sector leaders, he put The Bush School at the top of his list. He defines landing at Texas A&M as an “honor”, and is “simply here to mightily contribute to the school’s commitment to President George H.W. Bush’s philosophy of educating principled leaders for public service.”
The Milano School Welcomes an Associate Professor
Dr. Latha Poonamallee joins the Milano School faculty at the new school as associate professor of management and social innovation in January 2018 as Associate Professor of Management & Social Innovation. She previously served as tenured Associate Professor in the School of Business and Economics at Michigan Technological University. During her time there, she founded and directed the university’s Center for Social Innovation.
Dr. Poonamallee’s scholarly work is focused on examining and enabling alternate forms of organizing exploring how, when, and why people come together for collective action to challenge dominant paradigms and create alternate models of human endeavor, especially in the margins. She is passionate about creating, nurturing, and supporting new organizational alternatives that promote a just, sustainable, and prosperous society using interdisciplinary approaches to innovation. To facilitate such interdisciplinary collaborations, she founded the Participatory Action Research Network for Social Innovation (PAR-SI) that brings together scholars and practitioners from various disciplines, world regions and substantive areas of interest to learn more about how to solve social and environmental problems using an interdisciplinary approach to social innovation.
As an action researcher, Dr. Poonamallee’s work bridges the divide between research and practice, with community and organizational engagement becoming the crucible for knowledge creation and change towards collective advancement. Her theory-to-practice translation approach has been acknowledged by the Academy of Management with the Robert Chisolm Award. She has built several partnerships between US and Indian community and academic entities in community organizing for social innovation and environmental sustainability.
Dr. Poonamallee is also a social entrepreneur. Her social venture, In-Med Prognostics L3C is working on bringing affordable brain health prognostic tools to emerging markets. In-Med was selected as the global finalist in the Falling Walls Science-Based Venture Competition in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Poonamallee received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University, M.B.A. from Pondicherry University, and B.A. from University of Madras.
Arizona State University Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation - - Developing the next generation of nonprofit leaders
Chester Spellman, the Director of AmeriCorps for the Corporation for National and Community Service, visited the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation where he learned about our Center's offerings and our Public Allies Arizona program, which has included AmeriCorps members for 12 years. He currently leads AmeriCorps and its network of Governor-appointed State Service Commissions and grantee organizations. AmeriCorps, including AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA, engages 80,000 AmeriCorps members annually across the nation to solve local problems, expand economic opportunity, strengthen the nonprofit sector, and provide workforce skills and educational opportunities for those who serve.
Several NACC affiliated centers and programs are known for providing knowledge, tools and education for next general leaders in service to the nonprofit and philanthropic sector. This is certainly the case with the ASU Lodestar Center, which is home to Public Allies Arizona, one of 24 affiliates of the national network. The program has a long history of engaging young emerging leaders in Arizona, many of whom are attracted to the year of service provided by AmeriCorps funding and the subsequent use of the Segal Education Award that is available after the end of their service year. Serving across Greater Phoenix in more than 100 nonprofit organizations, over 350 alumni have participated in Public Allies Arizona since its inception to advance PA’s mission, “To create a just and equitable society and the diverse leadership to sustain it.”
The ASU Lodestar Center added Public Allies to its portfolio of programs in 2006, aligning with the Center's focus to build the capacity of those who lead, manage and support nonprofit organizations. As part of a portfolio that includes the center’s American Express Leadership Academy. The campus affiliate of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, among other programs, the ASU Lodestar Center exemplifies NACC’s commitment to advancing the field through research, education and service.
IUPUI Lilly Family School of Philanthropy 2017 Annual Report, FY17 Annual Report
The report focuses on:
- accomplishments in expanding international engagement
- increasing understanding of global philanthropy
- international learning opportunities available now and in the future for students and faculty.
In the coming year, the school will build upon these achievements by:
- unveiling the first global philanthropy index, which measures the “ease of giving” within countries or across their borders
- developing new academic courses and executive training on the changing landscape of global philanthropy
- expanding the school’s research to convene country and regional experts for the global indices by utilizing the IU network of gateway offices around the world
- welcoming more students and visitors to Indiana, like the ten fellows Ford Foundation funded African nonprofit leaders who will join us in the spring semester.
Murray State University Graduate Student Receives Honor
Miranda Bivins, a graduate student in the nonprofit leadership studies program at Murray State University, has received the highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky: the title of Kentucky Colonel, presented by the governor to individuals who have made significant philanthropic contributions to the greater community, state or nation.
This prestigious accomplishment largely comes in recognition of Bivins’ work with the United Way of Murray-Calloway County as part of her involvement with the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program, which involves working with local community members to find solutions aimed at eradicating poverty.
“As a VISTA, I developed and coordinated a first-time financial literacy program for United Way of Murray-Calloway County,” Bivins said. “Over the first year, the program helped 187 individuals and families start on a pathway to improved financial success.”
Bivins received her bachelor’s degree in youth and nonprofit leadership through the Murray State College of Education and Human Services in December 2015. She is currently working toward earning a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership studies and is expected to graduate in December 2017. With such momentum, Bivins shows no signs of slowing down.
“This is quite an achievement for a such a young person and great evidence of our students’ impact on the community,” said Dr. Peter Weber, director of the University’s nonprofit leadership studies program.
After completing one year of service with AmeriCorps, Bivins chose to serve a second year with the organization. Her current AmeriCorps experience involves working with the Pennyrile Area Development District in Hopkinsville to improve the overall well-being of local senior citizens. The goal is to help provide a quality of life that enables the seniors to continue living in their own homes for as long as possible.
“The Kentucky Colonel award was a complete honor and surprise for me to receive,” Bivins said. “And it means that I was able to do a small part to help individuals gain skills and knowledge that will forever improve their financial future.”
“I look forward to the opportunity to use the education I received at Murray State to be able to give back to my hometown,” said Bivins, who is originally from Cerulean, Kentucky.