NACC News: February 2018
Message from the President
Back in 2011/2012, NACC was in search of a home. In all honesty, there were not a lot of places interested in becoming NACC’s home. Luckily, Cleveland State University under the leadership of Stuart Mendel stepped up to the plate and become our new home.
It is difficult if not impossible to overstate how important our relationship with CSU has been to NACC over the last 5 years. However, I do think it is safe to say that without Cleveland State NACC would not have had the financial stability needed to host our first international conference (London, 2019!!!) let alone to start a brand new accreditation process. In essence, the fiscal and back office support provided by CSU is a fundamental reason NACC is a leader in the nonprofit/philanthropy education space today. It is that simple. The list of people affiliated (past and present) with CSU that we need to thank is long. It starts, of course, with Stuart and our fabulous executive director Erin Vokes and NACC News Editor Linda Serra but it also includes many people you may or may not know. People who have worked tirelessly for NACC behind the scenes to help us grow over the last five years. People like: Daila Shimek, Dennis Young, Karen Decker, Leah Foucault, Nina Antonik, Sharon Bliss, Dave Eaton, Robert Donmoyer, and of course our current and former board and committee members.
Because of the great work done by all of these people, there is a tinge of sadness mixed with an enormous amount of excitement in the next sentence.
NACC IS MOVING TO TEXAS A&M!!!
Our current contract with CSU is up in June of 2018. The board under the leadership of Arizona State’s Robert Ashcraft and John Casey from Baruch College undertook an RFP process over the summer of 2017. The proposal from Will Brown at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, the Center for Nonprofits & Philanthropy at Texas A&M stood out for its comprehensiveness and clear commitment to the nonprofit/philanthropy enterprise. On behalf of the board and the entire membership, I want to thank Will for his hard work and leadership both in making this move possible. There is a lot of work ahead as we make the transition but our goal is to make it as seamless as possible for NACC members.
We are also hopeful and incredibly grateful to both Erin and Linda for their flexibility and willingness to find creative ways that they can stay with NACC and not move to the Lone Star state. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months. But for now please join me a big thank you to CSU and a big welcome to Texas A&M.
Luckily, I have a great way for all NACC members to do both. YOU CAN PAY YOUR UPCOMING NACC DUES VERY PROMPTLY! Very shortly, you will receive your annual NACC dues invoices from Erin and Cleveland State. For a variety of reasons, these are going out a little bit later than in years past. However, because we are transitioning at the end of June we are really hoping that everyone can put the pressure on your accountants, deans, check writers, to well… get the checks written and sent back to CSU ASAP. We are once again very lucky and happy that CSU will be taking care of this important business this year and hopeful that we can start the transition to Texas A&M with all our 2018 dues collected.
Thanks everyone, if you have a spring break please enjoy it. If you don’t; (wait why don’t you have a spring break?) hope the semester keeps rolling along well.
Greeting from the Executive Director’s Desk
Here at NACC we’re always looking for more ways to bring value to our members. One of my more recent projects has involved an update to the NACC website that draws attention to the many publication opportunities we have to offer our members.
As I’m sure most of you know, we have a really wonderful partnership with the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership (JNEL), and together we’ll soon be producing our next Special Issue which features papers from this past summer’s NACC Biennial Conference. JNEL provides a forum for authors interested in nonprofit education and nonprofit leadership to exchange information via quality, peer-reviewed articles.
In addition to JNEL, NACC is also pleased to endorse Nonprofit Policy Forum (NPF) as well as the Journal of Ideology (JOI). NPF is a double-blind refereed international journal that publishes original research and analysis on the intersection of government and the nonprofit sector and the public policy process critical to the work of nonprofit organizations and social enterprises. It serves as a forum and authoritative and accessible source of information, for scholars, leaders, and policy-makers worldwide.
JOI is a juried interdisciplinary publication intended to serve as a forum of critical high quality scholarly research and theory development. JOI encourages the publication of essays that promote innovations of ideology that run counter to conventional theory and premises across the social sciences.
All three journals are actively seeking submissions, so we hope you’ll take advantage of these special publication opportunities for NACC members. You can check out our new webp age that provides you with additional details about all three here: http://www.nonprofit-academic-centers-council.org/publication-opportunities/.
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.
The Dearth of Funding for Nonprofit Research and a Call to Work Collaboratively to Increase Support
I continue to be deeply concerned about the lack of funding for the nonprofit research field and ask for your suggestions and collaboration in trying to address this important challenge. At a time when policymakers, the press, and the public are showing significant interest in the capacity of philanthropy and nonprofits – rather than government – to address public needs, it is truly disturbing that funding for research in this field is so limited.
Through the 1980s and 1990s and into the early 2000s, foundations made a significant investment of funds in research about the nonprofit sector and philanthropy. The results of these investments are impressive. As NACC members know very well, many universities now have one or more faculty members – and even entire research centers – focusing on the study of the nonprofit sector and philanthropy. And there are currently hundreds of university courses available for students, especially at the graduate level.
Unfortunately, however, this extensive groundwork remains quite fragile, in large part because of the lack of adequate funding. Many of the foundations that were once generous funders of nonprofit research have left the field, and few new foundations have come in to take their place. Moreover, some funders currently supporting nonprofit research are focused on important but relatively narrow issues, such as how to increase philanthropy.
Having good research available on nonprofit and philanthropic activities is critical. Policymakers who regulate nonprofits and foundations and those who work in these organizations need high-quality, research-based information to do their jobs effectively. Foundations and other donors considering grants to nonprofits also need good information about the nonprofit sector to inform their funding choices. Without expert research, policymakers, nonprofit staff, donors, and others risk making bad decisions about institutions they care deeply about. Furthermore, the quality of university-based education on nonprofit issues in management, law, public policy, and other disciplines depends on the knowledge base developed through research.
There is plenty of evidence about how the lack of understanding of nonprofits and philanthropy can lead to ill-conceived policy proposals. In the early 1980s, drawing on incomplete or faulty information, the Reagan administration made exaggerated claims about the ability of charitable giving to make up for government budget cuts. And I fear we will hear similar faulty assertions in the years to come. The George W. Bush administration pushed ahead with its faith-based initiative program seemingly without information about the limited capacity of faith organizations to take on major new responsibilities. During the Great Recession in the Obama years, the problems – and potential – of nonprofits seemed to be largely ignored. For example, at a time of significant unemployment there was little attention given to the fact that nonprofits are important employers in this country and could, with some assistance, have put many Americans back to work. Similarly, health care reform was enacted with little consideration to its impact on nonprofits.
Even with the increased research activity of recent decades, the nonprofit research field is still in its adolescence, with theory about the nonprofit sector underdeveloped and many important policy and practice questions still unanswered.
I invite you to think with me about steps that could be taken to strengthen the still-fragile nonprofit research field so it can truly deliver on its potential and avoid backsliding on the gains that have been made in recent times.
In particular, I believe that work needs to be done by the nonprofit research community on two fronts. The first front is to make a better case for support of nonprofit research and to identify elements of the research field that are especially in need of additional investment. As a start, I would offer the following suggestions regarding priority needs:
- Providing additional support for students writing doctoral dissertations focused on nonprofit and philanthropic issues to insure a continued flow of high quality, young scholars into the field. While ARNOVA and others provide a useful service by convening doctoral students focused on nonprofit topics, there has been little dedicated funding available to support nonprofit research since the closing of the nonprofit doctoral programs at the Aspen Institute and the Social Science Research Council more than a decade ago.
- Supporting the further development of data bases with information about the revenue, spending, employment, program activities, impact, health, and other aspects of nonprofits and philanthropy that researchers can tap to conduct their studies.
- Highlighting the need for continuing elaboration of theories about nonprofit and philanthropic activities.
- Providing incentives for researchers to speak to the important public policy and management issues of the day and ensuring the availability of research-based information that can help inform the work of policymakers and practitioners.
Once we have better elaborated the case for increased funding of nonprofit research and identified where this additional support might go, a second front of activity involves rolling up our sleeves and making our case to potential funders. I believe all types of funders – foundations, individual donors, government, and universities themselves – have a role to play. Foundations have a responsibility for supporting knowledge-building about the sector they inhabit, and ultimately are a major line of support for research and education. Most importantly, foundations need good information about the field to make smart funding decisions. Wealthy individual donors can provide leadership roles in supporting this field through scholarships, fellowships, endowed professorships, and other institutional endowments. Government should also be devoting substantially more resources to nonprofit research, especially since government relies heavily on nonprofits to deliver government-funded services.
Unless thoughtful funders bring new resources to sustaining and advancing the progress that has been made in nonprofit research, the field risks stagnation. Many university-based nonprofit centers will continue to struggle, and policymakers and practitioners will lack good research and information. We will remain too ignorant about how to govern and manage nonprofits and how to regulate them.
Moreover, we have only begun to engage in scholarly research about the role of the nonprofit sector in preserving and advancing the arts and humanities and in preserving and advancing democracy. Knowledge about these and other issues gets to the heart of a liberal education. In the end, it is the people served by nonprofits – which includes all of us – who will suffer if we do not continue this effort that has brought so much progress over the past few decades. All of this would be especially unfortunate for the U.S., which takes justifiable pride in being among the global leaders in charitable activity.
In the funding arena, I believe that what is missing is any kind of collective effort to push for increased support. While individual researchers make the case for support of their own projects, there have been few collaborative efforts to increase the size of the overall funding pie. How about NACC and ARNOVA joining forces to make the case to foundations and government for increased support. It seems, for example, that every public and private interest association that comes to Washington, DC has a day on Capitol Hill to make the case to policymakers about the importance of their field or industry. What if the next time NACC and ARNOVA meet in Washington, they join for a nonprofit research field day on the Hill.
In addition, the nonprofit research community should be working much more closely with nonprofit leadership organizations, including Independent Sector, the National Council of Nonprofits, the Council on Foundations, and others. Working together in coalitions, research and leadership organizations will be stronger in advancing the interests of all parties.
I know that others will have much better ideas about how to increase support for nonprofit research. Feel free to be in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas and expressions of interest in working together on this important issue for our field.
The Nonprofit Community:
This past December, the NACC board gave the green light to my proposal offered in response to their RFP for launching the NACC Accreditation pilot. I want to thank the NACC board for its vision, and confidence in this project. I wanted you to know where NACC is with the Accreditation Project.
As we take preparatory steps to begin the work, I will ask organizations that indicated interest in serving as participants in the pilot to confirm their interest and provide the contact information most appropriate for this project. I also will ask the same of the advising committee to assist in this process. I plan to be inclusive and exhaustive in our efforts to produce a model that serves the field in the best traditions of kits traditions.
This is the beginning. We will bring you along with us as NACC’s accreditation takes form and grows. We’d like to hear from you and include your thinking in the development of a NACC accreditation. Next month we will share a Framing Memo with you.
Nu Lambda Mu
A passion for making the world a better place, an innovative spirit, and a dedication to excellence are evident in the brief profiles of NLM members NACC News will continue to publish.
“I love to camp with family, and along with spending time with my two sons, I love spending time with my three dogs, two of which are rescues. I also belong to the Windsor Locks Women’s Club.”
Kathy Shaw Vice President of Programs & Operations at My Sister’s Place, Inc. in Hartford, Connecticut has been with the organization 14 years. My Sisters’ Place is dedicated to ending homelessness by providing housing and support services.
“I’ve held various positions providing a wide range of services in the nonprofit field for over thirty years. My degree in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path University helps me now in my present career to look at the overall responsibilities of my job from a new and different perspective,” said Kathy. “The on-line forums and interaction with other professionals, who were also furthering their education, made this a rewarding experience and drove me to do my best with the encouragement of fellow students and professors.”
Prior to her current position, Kathy served as Executive Director at Trust House, which was a family learning center serving mainly women and children in the Sheldon Charter Oak area of Hartford. “We provided an array of services including GED preparation, Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, and school readiness, early childhood, family literacy, parents as teachers, nurturing teen and computer literacy programs,” said Kathy.
At Lutheran Social Services of New England Kathy was Regional Program Director in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts for Refugee and Immigrant Programs, U.S. and International Adoption Programs, and Asperger’s Syndrome Employment Support Groups. She was integral in starting the Good New Garage in Connecticut. Kathy also worked as Chief of Staff at United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) in Hartford for over 10 years managing and directing all activities for over 1000 program participants a year. At UCP, she was responsible for the day- to-day operations of the agency’s four sites that served 52 towns in Connecticut as well as supervising over 100 staff.
Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, and was a Dean’s List graduate. She holds a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy from Bay Path University, Longmeadow MA and is a member of Nu Lamda Mu.
Brad A. Watkins sits on two local boards, Big Canvas, an improv comedy nonprofit where he serves as the Development Committee Chair and Nebraska Writer’s Collective where he serves as the president of the board.
Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Brad Watkins currently serves as the Digital Marketing Specialist at Nebraska Methodist Health Systems.
Brad grew up in Illinois and attended the University of Illinois – Champaign/Urbana where he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Stage and Theatre Management. “After working as a stage manager for various opera companies around the Midwest, I began working in operations and marketing for Opera Omaha in 2006,” said Brad.
“My interest in development and fundraising began while at Opera Omaha with my work as the lead project manager and super user of the Tessitura customer relationship management database,” said Brad. In 2011, Brad joined the staff of Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue, Nebraska as the Director of Communications. He added the role of Director of Development in 2015 when he assumed the lead for both the marketing and fundraising departments. “I had always worked closely with the development departments as part of the collaborative and team approach to fundraising. At Fontenelle, I had the opportunity to lead a great team of people who were passionate about making connections to both donors and customers.”
“My current work at Methodist Health Systems focuses on engaging consumers through social media and web writing. I recently oversaw the launch of BestCareToday.com, a daily news and video site featuring original content created by the marketing team, including 200+ articles, videos, and patient stories to promote Methodist services and providers across the Omaha metro area.”
In November of 2017, Brad completed his Master’s degree in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy from Bay Path University in Longmeadow, MA. He joined Nu Lambda Mu that same month. “Bay Path appealed to me because I was able to complete my entire Master’s online. To be able to access a program that was so strong without leaving Omaha had such a huge appeal to me. I feel like I got a world-class education from Bay Path and would recommend it to anyone looking to gain the needed skills to work in today’s nonprofit industry.”
While Brad loves the work he does with Methodist Health System, he looks forward to the day he works directly in fundraising and development again. “My passion is always with the arts, especially the performing arts. I hope to take my degree and work with an organization that emphasizes the importance of the arts to the public.
Space Coast Animal Rights, run by UCF nonprofit student Alycia Corpiel.
For Alycia Corpiel, becoming an animal rights activist and a vegan wasn’t planned. She often teased her vegan husband and rolled her eyes at circus protesters, not knowing that she would soon follow in their footsteps.
Corpiel, who is working toward her Master of Nonprofit Management degree, is the founder of Space Coast Animal Rights, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring communities to treat animals with respect. Although she didn’t intend to become an activist, her passion was sparked after speaking with members of the nonprofit Animal Rights Florida.
Corpiel realized that many local communities may not be aware of animal rights issues, so she set out to educate them.
The UCF student launched a national campaign, #NotJust4Easter, to save bunnies and chicks from ending up in children’s Easter baskets. The campaign garnered attention from USA Today and was funded by a grant from LUSH Cosmetics. This year, SCAR is launching the campaign again. Find out more about the campaign, SCAR and Corpiel by reading the full article here: http://bit.ly/2DFCtNp
Mark Hager Presents a Study of Volunteer Administration
On February 9, 2018, the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University welcomed Dr. Mark Hager of Arizona State University. Dr. Hager met with nonprofit management students and faculty at the school and also presented a colloquium entitled, “Fielding a National Study of Volunteer Administration.” He shared the status of his work with his co-author, Dr. Jeff Brudney of UNC Wilmington, in the replication of the 2003 national study of volunteer administration they conducted. Hager is also the Editor-in-Chief of Nonprofit Management & Leadership, the journal sponsored by the Mandel School.
Did the Tax Overhaul Create a Spike in Donor-Advised Funds? Well, it’s complicated.
Ruth McCambridge and Patrick Rooney, February 7, 2018, Nonprofit Quarterly.
Donor-advised funds, or “DAFs,” are funds set up with “charitable sponsors” to allow donors to get a charitable deduction at the point of their funding while charitable grants are made from them over time at the donor’s direction. The effects of the new tax bill on DAFs remain uncertain. The bill nearly doubles the amount taxpayers must itemize before deducting their charitable contributions.
The authors interviewed three types of DAF charitable sponsors and discovered little consensus. However, they did agree on possible trends.
Our interviews reveal a complex picture with a number of active trends—the state of the stock market, the preexisting steep upward trajectory of donor-advised funds as a preferred vehicle, the interest of those at lower income levels to make use of them, and the tax overhaul, among others. So, in the end, considering the many dynamics at work, we’ll have to wait to see exactly what the effects of the tax cut will be, both immediately and over the longer term. We will also need to wait to see what kinds of organizations will experience the brunt of any reductions in giving.
In the meantime, nonprofits should understand that increasing amounts of money are hosted by the donor-advised funds, which, in the end, are a vehicle for individual giving—much of which is not in any way anonymous. Thus, if you want a bigger portion of that rapidly growing pot, there are no shortcuts: You must treat the donor as you always have, or as you should have treated them in the first place. The check will just look different!”
To access the article in NPQ please go to:
Grand Valley State University’s New Online Format
Grand Valley State University is pleased to announce that its Graduate Certificate of Nonprofit Management is now available in an online format! Students who enroll in the 15-credit program can complete the program online or in person on the Grand Rapids campus!
The Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership is specifically designed for the experienced nonprofit manager who has an advanced degree or an undergraduate degree and several years of professional experience. It is intended for those holding or seeking executive positions who wish to further their education without pursuing the full requirements for a graduate degree. However, courses and workshops taken in the certificate program may be applied toward the Master of Public Administration degree.
Murray State Nonprofit Connections Hosts 60 Nonprofits
On Tuesday, February 6th, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, high school students, community members and nonprofit leaders gathered in the Curris Center Ballroom on the campus of Murray State University for the spring Nonprofit Connections Event. It was a sight to see!
Close to 60 nonprofits from the region and beyond were in attendance to share information about their missions, volunteer opportunities, internship positions and jobs. Each semester, the event serves as west Kentucky's opportunity for nonprofit leaders to gather in one location to network, share ideas, develop partnerships and work together on important causes.
Celebrating 25 years of Cass CCE’s Charity Talks
In celebration of its 25 years of hosting the popular Charity Talks series, on February 21 The Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness (Cass CCE) presented Professor Ian Bruce CBE, President of the Centre for Charity Effectiveness and the founder of Charity Talks. Bruce reflected on how the charity sector has evolved in a talk entitled, ‘Good Practice Now – what have been the effective changes to running charities over the last 25 years.’ Professor Bruce has chaired over 150 Charity Talks with charity chief executives and responders. He gained unique insight into the changes and progression in nonprofit management and leadership over the past 25 years.
Professor Bruce says, “The talk drew on listening to many charity leaders discuss how their charities were run in front of over 10,000 charity staff and trustees over the years.
As well as fascinating insights from the past 25 years, Professor Bruce looked at growing concerns about government outsourcing services and how outsourcers, such as non-profit organisations, (NPOs) including charities, could offer more.
All talks take place at Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8TZ, starting at 6 or 6.30pm. Tickets cost £35 for individual talks including a buffet reception. For information, please go to The Cass Centre for Charity Effectiveness (Cass CCE).
The Centre for Charity Effectiveness (CCE), was officially launched on 1st December 2004 but had been created some ten years earlier as VOLPROF. Since then we have grown to be the leading nonprofit and philanthropy centre in the UK and Europe, promoting and creating real change in the effectiveness of charities.
The Masters Programme consists of five courses, the first of which was the PgDip/MSc in Voluntary Sector Management, set up in consultation with seventeen leading non-profit organisations in 1995.
The range of courses offered increased in 2004 with the PgDip/MSc in Charity Accounting and Financial Management, the PgDip/MSc in Charity Marketing and Fundraising and the PgDip/MSc in Grantmaking Management (now Grantmaking, Philanthropy and Social Investment). For the latter we also offer a Postgraduate Certificate option which was set up in consultation with the advisory board made up of members of Foundations and umbrella bodies.
The final course offered in the programme, the PgDip/MSc NGO Management was introduced in 2007/8.
The Masters runs over two years, and is offered on a part-time modular basis, requiring students to attend classes for two days per month. The format allows students to continue working in their full-time roles while undertaking the academic study. This enables students to not only base their coursework assignments around their professional experience, but also for the learning to be taken back into their professional role – so the benefit is to both the student and their organisation. This was one of the aims of the original programme set up, and remains to be one of the important benefits and motivators for students on the courses. Completion rates are in excess of 95%.
The second year students re-join in January, and have a choice between the taught masters option where they join first year students on the specialist modules in term 3, or completing a dissertation.
Students are selected on their professional experience, as much as on their prior academic qualifications but all have at least a first degree with the exception of 10% of the intake each year who may be admitted at the course directors discretion if they can demonstrate aptitude for the course.
The average age of the cohort varies between late 30s and early 40s, with the youngest students in their mid-20s and a few student in their mid-60s to 70s. The gender distribution is between 60 to 65% female to 35 – 40% male students.
The majority of students to date have been from the UK (and EU), with a small number of overseas students. These students are either working in the UK already, or travel from overseas to attend the teaching sessions each month. We may in future have a larger number of overseas students attending, as the Tier 4 study visa was opened to part-time study in January 2018. Students on part-time course are not eligible to work (paid or as a volunteer) at all.
Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management, “Nonprofit Leadership Club
Nine students from North Park University attended the Alliance Management Institute (AMI) 2018 in Kansas City this year along with Campus Co-Directors Samantha Widemon and Gianfranco Farruggia. This year’s theme was “Hyperlinked”. Students were given the opportunity to network with nonprofit leaders across the nation, attend workshops that focused on innovation within the nonprofit sector, and serve as consultants at local nonprofit organizations. They also learned how to remain linked to the causes they are passionate about, and how to turn those passions into careers that benefit themselves and society at large.
Looking for a job in a nonprofit academic institution? Go to the Job Opportunities tab on the NACC website for the latest job postings from NACC institutional members.
Please, members, take note: job postings can be added to NACC News and posted on the NACC website. This is a free service and exclusive to members. Email a link to the job posting along with a briefdescription of the position to Linda Serra.
Do you have news or event notices to share? Please send to Linda Serra.
If you no longer wish to receive NACC News, please send an email to Linda Serra with your email address and the words “unsubscribe NACC News” in the subject line.
Linda Serra, Editor, email@example.com. Nonprofit Academic Centers Council, 2121 Euclid Avenue, UR120, Cleveland, OH 44155