Presentation Abstracts

Social Justice Leadership at Nonprofit Organizations

Kenneth Taylor, Texas A&M University

Session will introduce participants to a social justice framework within nonprofits focused on accelerating racial diversity at the executive and board level. Discussion will also explore how nonprofits can take an internal inventory of potential systemic and structural biases they may have which negates higher levels of equity in hiring practices, advancement opportunities, and policies aimed at combating discriminatory practices. Presentation will also cover topics ranging from cultural competency to social justice policy and advocacy as an avenue for nonprofits to plan around and incorporate performance requirements to, in efforts to institutionalize at their organizations.

Nonprofit Resilience in Times of Crises: Virtual Governance, Crisis Communication and Trauma Informed Approaches

Moderated by Marco Tavanti, University of San Francisco

Panel joined by Theresa Hurley, Anna Tait, and Owen Thompson-Lastad

California and the University of San Francisco have experienced emergencies even before the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the recurring fires and its earthquake prone area, many nonprofit organizations, including our very own University have implemented numerous approaches and strategies to cope with these crises. The Covid-19 has accelerated disruption and pivoted nonprofit organizations to find remedies and solutions to adapt to these emergencies and find solutions for continuing their missions. Like most nonprofit organizations, nonprofit academic programs have also learned important lessons from virtual teaching and learning, crisis policy responses, and trauma informed pedagogies. This panel explores the resilience strategies and priorities emerged in the last few years and solidified during the covid-19 pandemic around three main subjects:

1) Virtual Governance: Numerous nonprofit resolved to shift their board of governance meetings to remote video conference connections. The pandemic shelter in place order necessitated a shift from a person to virtual meetings for boards of directors for local regional state and national profits. This was the biggest change in how nonprofits are governed in Century. What have we learned from these shifts? What are the lessons, strengths and weaknesses of these approaches? Will the post pandemic be “a return to normal” or some approaches will be integrated? The analysis and reports of several Bay Area nonprofits indicates the implications of the use of Zoom and other video conference technologies.

2) Crisis Communication: With Covid-19 many nonprofits who did not have an integrated emergency preparedness realized the importance of business continuity plans (BCP) and disaster recovery plans (DRP). How can nonprofit learn organizational resilience from these last emergencies and from the less well-known but insightful literature of Continuity of Operation Planning (CoOP) and Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT)? This study proposes a model for best integrating organizational and communication approaches in pre-crisis and post-crisis situations.

3) Trauma Informed: Many nonprofit organizations, including hospitals, universities, human services and even arts organizations are becoming more aware of the importance of integrating a trauma-informed approach into their operations, policies and cultures. The Trauma Informed Approach (TIA) has been instrumental for advancing nonprofit organizations’s awareness of mental health, neurodiversity, healthy workplaces, and resist re-traumatization. Trauma-informed is an approach also relevant to pedagogy and the promotion of inclusive, respectful and caring campuses and classrooms.

The panelist will share some of the main findings from their literature reviews in the respective fields and as emerged in their capstone project analyses with nonprofit organizations and nonprofit leaders who participated in these projects. The panel will serve as a conversation with the audience in the evaluations of nonprofit sector overall adaptation and resilience in adversity times and disrupting crises as during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Learning to Give: Student Philanthropy in a UK Context

Alison Body, University of Kent

Whilst literature suggests that the reliance on philanthropic activity is increasing in education (Drezner, 2019), a specific focus of philanthropy education in universities draws on a phenomenon, almost exclusively found in the US, known as ‘student philanthropy’. Student philanthropy is a process by which students receive professional training and gain direct experience of real grant-making, with programme evaluations showing multiple short and long-term positive outcomes for students, communities, and universities alike. Nonetheless, student philanthropy has not yet significantly infiltrated UK universities. Indeed, Keidan et al., (2014) concluded that ‘student philanthropy courses would be welcomed in Europe as an innovative approach to teaching, but there is scepticism about their fundability’ (p.5). Taking up this challenge I secured a small amount of funding and developed one of the first known UK student philanthropy modules, to be delivered at the University of Kent. This paper reflects on the learning and practical delivery of teaching student philanthropy in a UK context.
The module was based upon a comprehensive literature review on student philanthropy programmes, which was carried out to understand ‘what works’ in developing students’ philanthropic behaviours and inform the structure, pedagogy and evaluation of the new module, to ensure the pilot module was robustly developed and evaluated against previous research. The aim of this was to both ensure a high-quality experience for students and to help secure future funding to ensure the modules longer-term sustainability. Adopting a social justice pedagogy, the module was run as a pilot with a small group of third year undergraduate students. Students heard from different charity leaders each week, critically explored local social issues, undertook training and support regarding philanthropic learning, and engaged in ideas about how they may make a meaningful difference (McDougle et al, 2017). Supported by advice from philanthropists and grant making foundations, the module concluded by students making practical, real-life giving decisions, distributing a funding pot of £1,500 to local community organisations.

The evaluation of this module highlighted it as a ‘transformational’ experience for students which was significantly different from their ‘traditional’ forms of university engagement. In conclusion I consider how student philanthropy as a learning experience offers up an alternative experience of giving and community engagement within an educational context and allows student to actively and critically consider issues concerning social justice. Finally, I consider what the future of student philanthropy may look like in the UK context, and the possibilities for new alliances between universities, students, philanthropists and funders to facilitate transformational experiences for all.

Nonprofit Management Resilience Education Panel

Stuart Mendel, National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise

This panel will outline and share a sample of the best thinking by academics on how nonprofit organizations can protect themselves from sudden and unanticipated (yet increasingly common) crises by pursuing a multi-faceted resilience strategy, including reexamination of cost and revenue structures, human resource policies, collaboration, and organizational learning. This reexamination requires a change in focus and mindset from short term efficiency to long term resilience. Several members of NCNE’s resilience management program faculty drawn from its Research Advisory Network will offer new ideas for nonprofit managers to transform their management strategies to emphasize resilience.

We propose each panelist will offer one key idea, such as transforming fixed to variable costs, diversifying revenues, or building safety nets through collaboration.

Nonprofit Research Across the Disciplines Panel

Jeannie Fox, Hamline University

This panel invites participants to share nonprofit research and theory that comes from fields outside of economics and political science, which currently dominates the field. Nonprofits often function in the arts, education, health, and animal welfare in their focus area. All are encouraged to participant in this discussion to expand our scope of work and welcome interdisciplinarity collaboration!

To What Extent are Prosocial Behaviors Enhanced When Service-Learning is Combined with Endurance-Based Activities Among College Students?

Gabrielle Rossi, Rutgers University

Prosocial behaviors are actions intended to help someone other than one’s self (Batson & Powell, 2003; Eisenberg, 1982; Padilla-Walker & Carlo, 2014). These behaviors can take the form of volunteering, charitable giving, or general acts of benevolence. In every society, prosocial behaviors are important because they help members of that society develop and maintain harmonious relationships with one another and contribute to overall societal well-being (Padilla-Walker & Carlo, 2014). Many types of prosocial behaviors can be formally learned using experiential education techniques such as service-learning (Astin et al., 1999; Bowman et al., 2010; Bringle & Steinberg, 2010; Olberding, 2009). Service-learning is the practice of combining traditional classroom experiences with practical philanthropic investment, volunteer work, and/or opportunities to apply textbook lessons toward helping worthy causes. Students formally learn how to use their resources to actively engage in efforts to solve social problems in their communities (Batchelder & Root, 1994; McDougle et al., 2016; Yorio & Ye, 2012).

Prosocial behaviors can also be informally learned through involvement in endurance-based activities (EBA) such as sports, fitness, and adventure (Cooper, 1982; Joseph Doty, 2006; Kleiber & Roberts, 1981). These activities allow participants to learn how to take responsibility for their actions (Hellison, 2003), work together toward a common goal (Kavussanu & Boardley, 2009), and build moral character (Duquin & Schroeder-Braun, 1996).

While prosocial behaviors can be both formally and informally learned through service-learning and endurance-based activities (EBA), respectively, there have been no studies examining the effect of interactions of service-learning and EBA on prosocial behavior. The purpose of this presentation is to gain insight into whether prosocial behaviors might be enhanced when service-learning is combined with EBA among college students. This is intended to provide the first step toward our understanding of whether, what I refer to as, physical endurance-based (PEB) service-learning in higher education might act to enhance (or attenuate) prosocial behavior in students. PEB service-learning is academic instruction with either a volunteer or donation component and including a fitness/endurance/challenge. PEB service-learning bridges the gap between the measured positive effects of physical activity with volunteerism and philanthropy’s measured positive effects.

Interviews conducted with past participants of PEB service-learning programs will ascertain their level of understanding, attitude towards, and any future intent in regards to prosocial behavior based on their past participation. The major themes gleaned from these interviews will help us understand the extent to which PEB-service-learning influences prosocial behavior. Purposeful sampling will be used to ensure for information-rich interviews that are the most effective use of limited resources (Patton, 2015).

Research shows that an emphasis on service and civic involvement during one’s undergraduate years can predict similar engagement during adulthood (Astin et al., 1999; Bowman et al., 2010; Olberding, 2012). Moreover, given downward trends in volunteerism and charitable giving among sub-group populations in the United States, some have argued that it is imperative for educators to begin developing and teaching practices aimed at increasing prosocial behaviors (Astin & Sax, 1998; Boyer, 1994; Yorio & Ye, 2012). Efforts to increase prosocial behavior among this population are crucial for sustained long-term community engagement through volunteerism and philanthropy into adulthood.

Video-Making as High Impact Practice: Integrating Videos in Nonprofit Management Education

Congrong Ouyang (Auburn University) and Peter Weber (Auburn University)

Over the past decade, high impact practices (HIPs) and service learning emerged within higher education as ideal teaching methodologies able to facilitate student learning (Kilgo, Ezell Sheets, & Pascarella, 2015). The recent special issue on HIPs of the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership (vol. 10, no. 2) testifies to the long-standing interest of nonprofit management education in experiential learning opportunities combining active learning, reflection, and interaction with practitioners (cf: Carpenter, 2014). Our pilot study assesses the impact on student learning from an assignment requiring students to produce short videos profiling local nonprofit organizations and professionals.

The instructional use of videos has a long tradition in nonprofit management education (NME). Scholars have found mixed results of instructors using videos in NME and related disciplines (Alaimo & Shinyoung, 2018; Holland, 2014). In NME’s case, scholars show that the instructional use of videos improved student creativity, increased students’ engagement levels, and stimulated meaningful reflections (Alaimo & Shinyoung, 2018). However, these studies focus on the learning impact of videos used for instructional purposes (that is, streaming videos) rather than, as in our study, videos as product of students’ work.
Students in two undergraduate courses offered in the spring semester of 2021, which are part of a philanthropy and nonprofit studies program, were required to interview local nonprofit leaders and produce videos profiling these organizations. We rely on both direct and indirect assessments to evaluate the impact of producing these videos on student learning. As part of regular course assignments, direct assessments include the evaluation of professional interactions with nonprofit professionals, knowledge content of the videos, and technical quality of the videos. These assessments are structured around overall program learning outcomes (gaining foundational knowledge, gaining applied/technical knowledge, professional development) allowing to assess impact data across diverse courses.

Surveys and reflections serve as indirect assessments of student learning. A reflection paper is used to assess students’ perception of their learning experiences and reflect on the impact of videos produced by peers on their learning of the course content materials. The goal is to provide instructors and academic administrators with a range of tested pedagogical models to improve effectiveness in nonprofit and philanthropic studies in higher education.

Developing Context-Specific Curricula in Nonprofit Education and Capacity Building: A methodological approach informed by action research

Peter Weber (Auburn University), Kelly Ann Krawczyk (Auburn University), and Felicia Tuggle (Auburn University)

The paper proposes a methodological approach to incorporate multiple stakeholders in the development of a global curriculum in nonprofit management. As part of a broader research project assessing capacity building programs for civil society organizations (CSOs) in Liberia, the authors aim to develop a replicable process to engage local CSO networks in developing participatory capacity building programs addressing the place-based needs of local CSOs in non-Western contexts. Research on networks of international NGOs in building capacity of local partners is extensive, highlighting the emphasis on Western managerial culture (Jordan Smith, 2003; Roberts, Jones, & Fröhling, 2005). The extant literature on nonprofit management education in a non-Western context, however, is primarily exploratory and limited by the disconnect between Western practices and local needs (Mirabella, 2007; Mirabella, Hvenmark, & Larsson, 2015). We advocate for a bottom-up rather than top-down strategy for accountability and capacity building in the third sector. Action research informs our approach in that it provides an analytic framework and reflective process to investigate real-life issues that have an impact on people’s lives and threaten their well-being (Stringer & Aragón, 2020). We propose a three-pronged approach:

1. Selection process: we select focus group participants through a systematic sample (we use the publicly available National Elections Commissions list of registered CSOs in Monrovia, Liberia as an example). We engage practitioners as co-researchers. In action research, the term researcher refers to everyone involved in the iterative cycle (Shani & Pasmore, 1985).

2. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups: the semi-structured interview protocol helps identifying local-level needs and focus groups provide opportunity for a bi-directional exchange between academics and practitioners over capacity building needs for sustainable development.

3. Method of analysis: we propose combining reflexive analysis conducted in partnership with focus group participants and qualitative data using NVivo software.

The paper is of interest to the NACC community at a time when our field is striving for developing a more inclusive a global framework for nonprofit studies, moving beyond its artificial Western-centric origins, and reflecting the diversity of meanings, behaviors, and practices typically subsumed under the term nonprofit sector.

Utilizing High-Impact Pedagogical Practices Inside the Nonprofit Classroom…and Beyond

Kelly Ann Krawczyk (Auburn University), Felicia Tuggle (Auburn University), and Peter Weber (Auburn University)

Creating students capable of embarking on careers as change-makers in the nonprofit sector increasingly means they must be active, engaged global citizens (Appe, Rubaii, and Stamp 2016). One way to accomplish this is through the use of high-impact pedagogical practices such as service learning, internationalization of the curriculum, and study abroad experiences including international service learning (ISL) (Appe, Rubaii, and Stamp 2016). This paper brings together these three high-impact practices within a graduate-level course offering in the Auburn University MPA and Ph.D. programs.
Service learning is “an educational methodology that combines community service with explicit academic learning objectives, preparation for community work, and deliberate reflection” (Gelmon, Holland, Driscoll, Spring, & Kerrigan, 2001, p. v). Service learning allows students to link theory to practice, helps them gain critical thinking and communication skills, and creates students that are more likely to be engaged citizens throughout adulthood (Basinger and Bartholomew 2006).

Service learning takes a variety of forms. One is when students complete a tangible project for a community partner. Another is international service learning (ISL), where students participate in organized service activity that addresses an identified community need, while allowing students to learn from direct interaction and cross­cultural dialogue with others, and reflect on the experience in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a deeper understanding of the global and intercultural issues, a broader appreciation of the host country and the discipline, and an enhanced sense of their own responsibilities as citizens, both locally and globally. (Bringle & Hatcher, 2011, p. 19).
We utilize a graduate course in our program, “INGOs and International Development,” as a space to implement these high-impact practices. In line with NACC’s Curricular guideline “Comparative Global Perspectives on the Nonprofit Sector, Voluntary Action and Philanthropy,” Masters and doctoral students enrolled in the course will engage in the following activities:

1. Desk review and analyses of a) trends in donor funding to Liberian civil society and b) availability of capacity-building programs for Liberian civil society.

2. Needs assessment that identifies the actual capacity-building needs of Liberian civil society, implemented via Skype interviews with select Liberian CSOs.

3. Creation of actionable strategies and recommendations that will help develop future capacity-building training programs that fully incorporate Liberian CSOs’ perspectives in bottom-up educational strategies.

Students will undertake #1, #2, and #3 above as service learning assignments inside the classroom and during the course. Students will then have the opportunity to be involved after the course has ended. They can be selected to participate in field research in Liberia that expands on the needs assessment, implemented through focus groups with Liberian CSOs. Students can also work with faculty researchers as they continue to refine and develop #3.

Entreprenuers Needed: Revenue Diversity for Nonprofit Academic Programs and Centers

Alicia Schatterman, Northern Illinois University

Nonprofit academic centers and programs are facing tough economic conditions, as many universities face financial challenges, and program directors must compete with other academic units for scarce resources. Often that means hiring freezes or shrinking instructional budgets or less office support or maybe all of these things. Academic units receive most, if not all, of their operational budgets from the college/central administration but program directors should assess all of their revenue options to sustain and grow their programs. Much like nonprofit organizations, academic units have other forms of funding available beyond their central budget. These include grant funds, philanthropy, and earned revenue. Entrepreneurial leaders are needed to assess the revenue potential of these other sources, develop those sources, and steward those resources to gain even more resources. Grant funding may come from indirect grant funds from faculty grants, or direct grants to the nonprofit program or center. Many of our nonprofit programs were founded using foundation seed funding for example, and some have sustained that funding over time. A second area to develop is philanthropy, working closely with university fundraising efforts such as online giving days or crowd funding campaigns. Earned revenue has great potential for more programs. Join me in this session to discuss some entrepreneurial ideas to expand your funding sources in a time of great resource constraints.

A Content Analysis of the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership

Hunter Phillips Goodman, University of Arkansas

Panel joined by Michael Taylor (Senton Hall University), Heather Carpenter (Notre Dame of Maryland University), Norman Dolch (Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership), Roseanne Mirabella (Seton Hall University), Stuart Mendel (National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise), and Claudia Petrescu (Kansas State University)

We will report an update of our in-progress content analysis research project of the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership, the preeminent and only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to nonprofit and philanthropic studies education. JNEL was founded in 2010 to improve nonprofit education and leadership by disseminating peer-reviewed manuscripts centered on professional practice, research, and theoretical discussions. As NPSs education scholars, we understand the complexities of this multidisciplinary field and have considered previous content analysis studies conducted in NPS in designing our study (Ma & Konrath, 2018; Marberg et al., 2019; Minkowitz et al., 2020). Driven by a content analysis spreadsheet, with the following categories, Title, Keywords, Theoretical Framework, Conceptual Framework, Methods, and Data Sources, research team members coded a pilot article. We worked collaboratively to generate inter-rater reliability, resulting in a codebook used in analyzing the empirical and theoretical articles into the first ten volumes of the journal (2010-2020). After our hand-coding for keywords, methods, themes, and data sources, we scraped the keywords using a PDF search package in R and then plotting results onto a Sankey Map.

We report on the progress of the project, which began in 2020 and will be completed in 2022. We’ll report on the preliminary keyword results sort them into main categories. We will report on our preliminary results compared to the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council curricular guidelines and academic disciplines closely aligned with NPS, such as public administration education, social work education, business education, and other applicable areas of study.

Nonprofit Education in Wisconsin: Utilizing the strengths of academic centers

Carol Brunt, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Additional Presenters: Douglas Ihrke (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and Bryce Lord (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

There are multiple benefits to inter-institutional collaboration between academic centers. Inter-institutional collaboration between research and training centers expands program access and reach (Cass Business School 2012), between research centers in academia and industry presents a solid model for overcoming institutional barriers in emerging economies (Salles-Filho et al. 2021). Through affiliation with university research centers, academic researchers have benefited both in terms of productivity and collaboration (Ponomariov and Boardman 2010).

In Wisconsin, an example of successful inter-institutional collaboration has emerged between NACC members in the University of Wisconsin System over the past five years. The Helen Bader Institute (UW-Milwaukee) and the Institute for Management Studies (UW-Whitewater) have utilized the existing statewide educational infrastructure to create a collaborative network that addresses the needs of the nonprofit community across the state. In the absence of a state association, this network fills the information void by conducting research that addresses questions related to policies and practices in Wisconsin’s diverse nonprofit sector (HBI 2019). Our Wisconsin framework of nonprofit sector support led by academic centers presents a mutually beneficial model with replication potential.

In this presentation, we discuss current inter-institutional collaboration between academic centers. We highlight a collaborative network that is leading state-wide research on multiple topics including studies of nonprofit compensation and benefits as well as COVID-19 impacts (HBI 2020), both issues of importance for nonprofit workers. The results of these surveys have been and continue to be instrumental in sector rebuilding as nonprofit organizations seek to attract both human and financial resources essential to reconstruction efforts. Moreover, the mentoring engendered in these relationships has enhanced both researcher productivity and collaboration.

The development of these co-sponsored initiatives are underpinned by a strong affiliate relationship between institutes at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Despite system-wide funding cutbacks, these academic centers have continued to identify innovative methods to deliver quality nonprofit education programs that meet the needs of nonprofit professionals as well as growing student demand (Weber and Brunt, 2020).

Giving and Receiving: Creative Approaches to Resource Accumulation and Distribution

Emily Nwakpuda, University of Texas at Arlington (UT Arlington)

Panel joined by Karabi Bezboruah (UT Arlington), Holly Hull Miori (UT Dallas), and Joshua Newton (UT Arlington)

Resource accumulation and distribution are typically seen as disparate issues, but they occur concurrently. In this panel, practitioners and researchers illuminate the constant connectivity between resource demands and resource dispersement in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Nonprofits, foundations, corporations, and universities are highlighted as major stakeholders in this cycle of resource demands. Panel attendees will garner two learning outcomes. First, the development of creative fundraising efforts and techniques are essential to support good outcomes for organizations and the communities they serve. Second, organizational learning and community impact are important considerations for resource accumulation and distribution. This panel explores these multi-dimensional learning outcomes using different lens by:

• Reviewing how nonprofit organizations seeking support from corporations cope with the major giving strategies of corporations. In order to engage in philanthropic giving, corporations choose nonprofits strategically. This discussion also covers the fundraising strategies that are utilized by nonprofits. Nonprofits that provide high-quality programs and services are assessed through their reputation, age, size, level of interaction, fundraising experience, and rankings by external rating agencies are often selected as recipients of corporate funds.

• Identifying fundraising techniques to support innovation and discovery. Universities are known to utilize professional fundraisers who are tasked with supporting a variety of topics. These fundraisers often draw in donors by emphasizing universities capacity to be innovative. Specific tactics used to support advanced science are discussed to emphasize a unique type of innovation capacity that universities, unlike other nonprofits, possess.

• Investigating foundations shift away from funders to community developers using place-based approaches and solutions. Place-based collaborations between foundations and multiple types of partners (other nonprofits, communities, government agencies, and the private sector) for community development are discussed. Lessons learned from the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Greater New Orleans Foundation, and the Leichtag Foundation further investigate the relational shift between foundations and their partners.

• Challenging the role of the millennial generation, the largest generation, in the rise of philanthropic dollars. Nonprofits play a role in engaging millennials, what should they expect in return from this generation? A professional CFRE qualified fundraiser shares practical advice on this phenomenon using a mix-methods case study.

The Future of Nonprofit Management Education

Nathan Dietz, University of Maryland-College Park

Panel joined by Josh Casey (City University of New York), Katlin Gray (University of Maryland-College Park), Mary Kay Gugerty (University of Washington), Renee Irvin (University of Oregon, NACC President), and Pier Rogers (President of ARNOVA)

Nonprofit education and careers are often recognized as the most popular area in NASPAA, as hundreds of universities now offer nonprofit programs. What is the future of nonprofit education at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and what lessons have been learned from the past? A forthcoming book, Preparing Leaders of Nonprofit Organizations (eds. William Brown and Matthew Hale), brings together experienced nonprofit management education scholars – including the Presidents of two leading nonprofit academic associations – to answer that question. The panelists will share their reflections and research on the future of nonprofit education and models of nonprofit education.

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