Conference Schedule

This page will be continually updated as the conference approaches. More specific details about rooms for each session, etc, will be added shortly before the conference.

A PDF version of the printed program is available here.

Wednesday, July 19
Arrival Day

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

NACC Board of Directors Meeting (room to be announced closer to date)

12:00 PM to 1:30 PM

1:30 to 5:00 PM

These groups are open to all, but you can help us prepare for the best sessions possible by completing the RSVP form here.

Group A: Continuing Education in Third Sector Higher Education Programs

Group B: Social Justice and Supporting Historically Marginalized Communities in our Communities and the Classroom

Group C: Recruitment and Marketing for Nonprofit & Philanthropic Education Programs

Group D: Emerging Leadership in Nonprofit & Philanthropic Education Programs

6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

Welcome Reception | Legacy Ballroom II

Hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available

Thursday, July 20
Conference Programming Day One

8:00 AM to 9:00 AM

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Welcome and Opening Plenary | Auditorium

10:45 AM to 12:00 PM

Session One

Session 1- | Terrace I

Heather Carpenter
Institute for Nonprofit Administration and Research, Louisiana State University Shreveport

Brittany Spillman, Ed.D.
Director of Community and Collegiate Programs
Cary Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies
College of Human Sciences-Auburn University

Jeff Brasher
Council Executive, Boy Scouts Norwella Council
MSNPA Student, LSU Shreveport

In 2006 the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council created indicators of quality for NACC centers and programs. One of those indicators of qualities is:

A.2. Centers value and emphasize community engagement, which entails:

  1. Centers seek to involve members of various stakeholder groups in the programs and activities of the center, including efforts to bring practitioners and faculty into dialogue about current issues in the field.
  2. Centers can demonstrate strong relationships with local and related organizations.
  3. Centers provide opportunities for participation by community leaders.
  4. Students are involved in community-based internships, community-based research, applied research and/or project consulting.

However, to what extent nonprofit academic centers and programs are truly engaged in the community is still being determined. Therefore, this panel focuses on two NACC centers and two NACC programs and a discussion of their activities that fulfill the A.2. NACC Indicator of Quality.

During this presentation you will hear from a NACC center advisory board member who is highly engaged in the community and then decided to pursue a nonprofit graduate degree. He will discuss the challenges and opportunities of NACC centers and programs to be more connected to community organizations. You will also hear from several NACC center and program directors from across the United States and their efforts to fulfill A.2. NACC Indicator of Quality. We hope that participants will leave this session with new ideas and collaborative opportunities to increase community engagement, applied research and consulting, and increased participation by community leaders.

Session 1-B | Terrace II

Megan Matthews
College of Business & Economics, Management, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

A study and experience in the theories, practice and art of management from a creativity and problem-solving perspective.  The session covers topics on how to foster innovation and pursue creative problem solving in organizations, addressing leadership, planning, organizing, measuring performance, motivation, teamwork, and intrapreneurship.  Consider how to create a workplace environment that fosters curiosity, innovation and problem solving for organizations of all sizes, in a variety of industries.

12:15 to 1:45 PM

Lunch | Oak Room

2:00 PM to 3:15 PM

Session Two

Session 2-A | Terrace I

Angela Logan University of Notre Dame

Session 2-B | Terrace II

John Casey Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management, Baruch College, City University of New York

Signe C Bell Biden School for Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware

Margery Daniels ISTR Executive Director

While a few early initiatives in the USA for education and training for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations can be traced back to the late 1800s, our “modern history” began in the 1970s with the dramatic growth in the number of both organizations and education programs. In the 2020s we are in effect celebrating the 50th anniversary of the rise of nonprofit education.

For those 50 years colleges and universities have been at the forefront of education for a sector primarily defined by its nonprofitness. But now the panorama is changing, with two major shifts:

  • While there have always been alternative providers of education and training for the sector, in the last few years there has been a dramatic expansion in offerings by social media platforms, professional associations, publishers and consultants, and the emergence of “microcredentialing” approaches that eschew the more traditional degree pathways.
  • The sector we work with is being redefined in ways that don’t necessarily fit comfortably into the labels we currently use for our programs. As one example, in 2021 an organization that had previously published an annual list of the global Top 100 NGOs rebranded, declaring that: “[t]he terms ‘nongovernmental’ and ‘nonprofit’ have reached their limits in being able to accurately articulate today’s reality. With the emergence of social enterprises and social impact outlets, there was a need for coining a new term: after years of reflection, we’ve decided to label it the ‘Social Good Sphere’.”1

So do colleges and universities have any future with programs listed as degrees focusing on the nonprofit sector and philanthropic organizations? Will we lose out, or have to adapt, to the microcredentialing approach? Will we have to rebrand our programs and centers?

This Roundtable will be an open conversation exploring the future of education in our sector focusing on both WHO (WHICH providers) will teach and WHAT will be taught in programs.

  1. net (2022). Welcome To The World 200 Top SGOs. https://thedotgood.net/ranking/world-200-sgos/

Session 2-C

Office of Research & Graduate Education, Baldwin Wallace University

The NACC accreditation process relies on the 2015 NACC Curricular Guidelines (Ashcraft and Mendel, 2015).  Those familiar with the Guidelines recall that they were developed non-proscriptively, less as an imposition for theoretical best model for instruction or knowledge transfer for the field, and more toward endorsement of nonprofit specific or nonprofit first pedagogy.  In placing the Guidelines as central to the NACC Accreditation, the organizers envisioned the purpose of reviews to be one of validating nonprofit management degree content fidelity; adherence to nonprofit first in the teaching and learning approach to the materials; and that nonprofit management program design, promotional literature and knowledge transfer to students reflect a truth in advertising. This last aspect of the Accreditation purpose is a necessary “field of its own” (2014) concept such that the degrees conferred are not rebranded business or public management programs (Irwin, 2017).

As we look forward to the next generation of NACC Guidelines and the Accreditation which relies on them, these same purposes are points of importance to parse.  There are several reasons.

  • First, to confirm, rebut or suggest adjustment that NACC’s approach to accreditation centered on “truth in advertising” is sufficient grounding for past and continued endorsement of programs and degrees.
  • Second, to test the field-building concept of program branding and sorting of those brands as might be discerned and whether such a condition is good for the field of nonprofit management. For example, would such practices – banding and sorting – advance and benefit the field of nonprofit management education and truth in advertising for consumers of nonprofit themed education or fragment, atomize or somehow diminish nonprofit management as a field of its own?
  • Third, in reflecting on all the participating NACC Accredited programs, we observe that a three mission principle is present and pedagogical entrepreneurialism of faculty and instructors exists to accommodate those three missions. Such a condition raises interest in a nonprofit-management degree program taxonomy of programs with specialties – conceptually similar to the IRS’s categorization of nonprofit institution types.  Would this also be a desirable tool to build the field?

It is the purpose of this paper to discuss these concepts, backed by summary comparison data collected from the period 2018-2022 of the 14 graduate and three undergraduate program participants.  The intention of the paper is to inform the discourse as the NACC Curricular Guidelines are updated and the NACC Accreditation process evolves.


Ashcraft and Mendel eds.  2015 NACC Curricular Guidelines

Goddard, W. & Melville, S. (2004) “Research Methodology: An Introduction” 2nd edition, Blackwell Publishing

Irvin, R. (2017)

Mendel, S.C (2022). Chapter 11 in Brown and Hale, 2022

Mendel, S.C. (2014).  A Field of Its Own. SSIR.

Peter Weber
College of Human Sciences, Auburn University

Brittany A. Branyon
Auburn University

Angela D. Seaworth
Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Bush School, Auburn University

Robert Long
Murray State University

Nonprofit academic centers have been instrumental in driving the growth and evolution of nonprofit studies. Weber and Brunt (2022) articulate nonprofit academic centers’ influential role in institutionalizing nonprofit studies as a legitimate field of studies. Indeed, academic centers are crucial in connecting research to practice, and bridging the divide between academic programs and the nonprofit sector (Prentice & Brudney, 2018).

In late 1990s, as part of the Kellogg Foundation’s Building Bridges Initiative, Larson and Long (1998) articulated a definition of sustainability that combined academic credibility and financial performance, thus linking the survival of centers to the institutionalization of the broader field. However, as both Weber and Brunt (2022) and Moody (2022) recently noted, some of the most prominent centers building the field of nonprofit studies closed or seriously downgraded its operations. The growth of nonprofit studies and centers’ crucial role in this process moved the question of centers’ sustainability to the forefront.

The study uses case studies to explore the sustainability of nonprofit academic centers. Case studies will include both centers that are currently successfully operating and that either changed institutional form or closed its operations. We rely on interviews and printed material to draft the case studies.

The study aims to identify factors the affect the sustainability of nonprofit academic centers, and thus propose a new “sustainability framework” updating Larson and Long’s framework 25 years later in the context of a field of nonprofit studies that has reached a degree of academic recognition and stability. The study thus offers practical implications for academic entrepreneurs and center directors charged with ensuring institutional stability, financial sustainability, and prolonged impact.


Larson, S., & Long, R. (1998). Nonprofit Management Centers: Moving beyond the Periphery. CenterPoint Institute, 114 Church St. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED460658.

Moody, M. (2022). Philanthropy 1992–2022: What difference can 30 years make? Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University.

Prentice, C., & Brudney, J. (2018). Are you being served? Toward a typology of nonprofit infrastructure organizations and a framework for their assessment. Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, 4(1), 41-58. https://doi.org/10.20899/jpna.4.1.41-58

Weber, P., & Brunt, C. (2022). Building Nonprofit Management Education in the US: The Role of Centers in Supporting New Academic Disciplines. Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, 8(1), 96-121. https://doi.org/10.20899/jpna.8.1.96-12

Elizabeth Searing
School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas

Alasdair Rutherford
University of Stirling

Nathan Grasse
Carleton University

3:15 PM to 4:00 PM

Coffee/ Tea Break

4:00 PM to 5:15 PM

Session Three

Session 3-A | Terrace I

Peter Weber
College of Human Sciences, Auburn University

Erin Casolaro
Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Auburn University/College of Human Sciences

Portia Johnson
,Auburn University/College of Human Sciences

The study analyzes the impact of student philanthropy on community partners, a perspective often not included in current studies of this emerging teaching methodology. Student philanthropy is “an experiential learning approach that provides students with the opportunity to study social problems and non-profit organizations, and then make decisions about investing funds in them” (Benz, Piskulich, Kim, Barry, & Havstad, 2020). Through grant-making practices, students learn about the dynamics that shape funding relationships in the nonprofit sector. Yet, although an important stakeholder for nonprofit studies programs, the perspective of the nonprofit community is often not considered in student philanthropy courses – except for a reference to the benefits that it brings to community-university partnerships or the conceptual impact that increased funding in the community can have (Kagotho et al., 2017; Mao, 2021).

The study relies on a survey with nonprofit organizations submitting a grant proposal to an experiential philanthropy course and focus groups with both nonprofits that participated in the course and agencies that did not. The survey was completed in the spring of 2022 and captures information on how participating organizations view the grantmaking process, including the complexity of participation for the organization, expectations in the application, outcomes, benefits, costs, and rationale for participating, and desired outcomes. Survey responses indicate overall satisfaction with the process, information and type required from organization in RFPs, time commitment to the process through site visits, and interactions with students/faculty. Respondents, however, recommended greater detail in providing feedback on proposals and expressed interest in developing closer relationships with the academic institution and the academic unit in charge of the student philanthropy course. We build on these findings and will conduct four focus groups with 4-6 participants each in the spring of 2023.

Nonprofit studies programs and courses were created to equip the incoming workforce to serve the community, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of the third sector today. This study points to how we can improve the student philanthropy course while also enriching the experience of participating nonprofits.

Benz, T. A., Piskulich, J. P., Kim, S.-e., Barry, M., & Havstad, J. C. (2020). Student Philanthropy and Community Engagement: A Program Evaluation. Innovative Higher Education, 45(1), 17-33.

Kagotho, N., McClendon, J., & Lane, S. (2017). Student Philanthropy: Connecting BSW Students, Schools of Social Work, and Communities. Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, 22(1), 75-91.

Mao, H. (2021). Experiential Philanthropy: A Systematic Review of Peer-Reviewed Literature. Philanthropy & Education, 5(1), 72-86.

William Brown
Center for Nonprofits & Philanthropy, Texas A&M University

This project was established to promote social innovation by supporting interactions between University students, international Artisans, and the local community. It is supported by the Texas A&M University Global Engagement Grant with the aim of creating multi-collegiate initiatives that provide students with significant international experiences.

This program consists of two main facets referred to as ‘Bring’ and ‘Take.’ Bring focuses on international Artisans’ visit to Bryan/College Station. This stage creates an opportunity for international Artisans to expand their market reach, educate the local community and university on their products, and exchange knowledge with local Artisans. The ‘Take’ phase focuses on students’ travel to the Artisans’ country. This aspect involves utilizing research and entrepreneurial techniques in collaboration with international Artisans to address societal issues in their communities.

The Artisan sector is the second largest path out of poverty in the world, behind only agriculture (Raphaele et al., 2020). Combining an Artisan market with an international leadership experience for students creates an opportunity to break down silos on campus and encourage collaboration across stakeholder groups. The program allows students to not only take part in a poverty reduction mission, but to create social value among local and international artisans and their communities.

The session summaries the project after 3 years of operation, which includes two artisan markets and one international fieldtrip, and distills key learning for students, community members and program development implications.

Session 3-B | Terrace II

Signe C Bell
Biden School for Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware

Do you currently offer professional development programs for practicing nonprofit professionals? Join our round table discussion to share ideas, data, and observations on how we can best serve this unique population.  Post pandemic our audiences are struggling to reinvent their organizations and themselves as leaders. How have your found that their needs have changed and how are you meeting the new needs and expectations?  What delivery methods are you utilizing and how have they been received?  What new programs are your audiences requesting and are/or are you delivering?  We look forward to lively conversation about current trends and how to best meet the needs of our unique audience in a changing landscape.

Session 3-C | Terrace III

Dr. Heather Carpenter
Institute for Nonprofit Administration and Research, Louisiana State University

Dr. Roseanne Mirabella
MPA, Seton Hall University

The Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership (JNEL) was founded in 2010 to improve nonprofit education and leadership by disseminating peer-reviewed manuscripts centered on professional practice, research, and theoretical discussions. The mission of the journal has been to “publish quality manuscripts to disseminate the latest knowledge related to nonprofit education and leadership to help develop theory and practice. The journal seeks quantitative and/or qualitative research findings; conceptual or theoretical discussions; or program best practices” (JNEL, n.d.). With Norman A. Dolch was the inaugural editor the journal published two volumes a year for the first few years of its existence until Sagamore-Venture started publishing the journal in 2015 and switched to four issues a year.  In January 2023, Roseanne Mirabella and Heather Carpenter took over as co-editors-in-chief of the journal.

A recent content analysis conducted by the new co-editors confirmed the focus of the JNEL being nonprofit and philanthropic studies education, leadership, and the emerging area of democracy. Second, the content analysis study confirmed JNEL’s purpose and connection to nonprofit practitioners. Third, as JNEL’s mission focuses on both education and practice, this research also confirmed JNEL is not intended to duplicate but stand apart from other nonprofit and philanthropic journals. Last, the content analysis found the use of mixed methods, setting JNEL apart from other journals in the field and confirming that the journal is practitioner friendly (by publishing numerous qualitative studies written by practitioner-scholars).

This session will reflect on where JNEL has come from since 2010 and give participants the opportunity to shape the future of the journal with its content, review process, citation indexing and more.

Friday, July 21
Conference Programming Day Two

8:00 AM to 9:00 AM

Breakfast Available

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM

Morning Plenary Session | Auditorium

Meet the Panelists

Dr. Peter Weber is an assistant professor of philanthropy and nonprofit studies at Auburn University. Their research focuses on how private actors exercise an influence in public life through associational and philanthropic vehicles in times of political, cultural, and economic crises. This approach guides their investigation of civil society and international philanthropy in building democratic practices of governance from both a historical and a contemporary perspective, as well as the analysis of philanthropic innovations through the lenses of program-related investments (PRIs). This broad-based approach and reliance on historical methods aims to track changes over time in associational action and philanthropic strategies, to better understand today’s philanthropic practices. As a multidisciplinary scholar, they have published extensively in edited volumes and peer-reviewed journals, including diverse disciplinary outlets such as VoluntasNonprofit and Voluntary Sector QuarterlyJournal of Civil SocietyGlobal SocietyCentral European HistoryJournal of Public Affairs Education, and Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership.

Peter Weber has taught graduate and undergraduate courses at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Murray State University, and Auburn University.

Dr. Weber’s teaching interests focus on grant-making practices, nonprofit management and governance, nonprofit advocacy and public policy, and community engagement. in their teaching, Dr. Weber places the discussion of best practices in nonprofit management in a broader understanding of the role of civil society and nonprofit sector in a democratic society. Dr. Weber has found that service learning and student philanthropy are ideal approaches to emphasize the combination of skills, knowledge, and disposition at the center of their teaching.

Dr. Robert F. Long is dedicated to the development of the next generation of community leaders, focusing on strengthening the capacity for such success among vulnerable youth, those living in poverty and challenged by a range of risk factors.

Bob retired in 2016 after serving as the Visiting Distinguished Professor of Nonprofit Leadership at Murray State University.  Prior to joining Murray State University in 2008, Bob served for sixteen-years with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where he served as vice president for programs. His portfolio included the areas of philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, civic engagement, and traditions of giving. Before joining the Foundation in 1993, Bob served as the endowed McElroy Professor of Youth Leadership Studies at the University of Northern Iowa, where he also directed the graduate program in Youth and Human Service Administration. Bob started his career as a youth development specialist with the Cooperative Extension Service in Illinois and Nevada.

Throughout his career, Bob has helped develop creative programs and conducted research in the areas of leadership and philanthropy. After years of direct service work in youth and community development, Bob was given the opportunity to step into the national arena when he was appointed to the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development in 1990. This began a journey to support the development of community leadership on an international stage, illustrated by a decade of engagement with the Salzburg Seminar on Global Civil Society Development from 1994 to 2004. During his years at the Kellogg Foundation, Bob led major funding initiatives to advance diverse philanthropic transitions across age, race, and gender, while providing leadership to the Building Bridges Between Practice and Knowledge Initiative


Bob and his wife Patricia live in Murray, Kentucky. They have a daughter and two sons working in the areas of behavioral health, higher education technology development, and college student affairs. They are all partnered with remarkable people who enrich the family in many ways, including the recent addition of the first grandchild, Maya Jane, who lives nearby in Paducah. Real retirement now involves sharing our passions for reading, hiking, gardening, and nature with Maya Jane.

Angela R. Logan, Ph.D. is an Associate Teaching Professor and the St. Andre Bessette Academic Director of the Master of Nonprofit Administration in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. In her role as Academic Director, she provides leadership to the team that oversees both formats of the Master of Nonprofit Administration degree, and as a member of the College’s Department of Management and Organization, she teaches core courses for both programs as well. Professor Logan’s honors and distinctions include the inaugural Notre Dame Faculty Black Excellence Award (2023) and the MNAR Outstanding Professor Award (2023). Prior to joining the College in 2013, Angela has over 25 years of experience in higher education and philanthropy, with a particular focus in the areas of education and diversity.Over the course of her career, she has served as the Program Officer for Education at The Harvest Foundation (Martinsville, VA), the Director of the Bonner Scholars Program at Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH), and the Director of Multicultural Affairs and the Admissions Counselor/Coordinator of Multicultural Admissions at Defiance College (Defiance, OH).

Angela’s research focuses on the intersection of gender, race, and nonprofit and philanthropic leadership. A trained facilitator of Anti-Racism Study Circles, she also provides training on leadership, conflict resolution, stress and time management, and cultural sensitivity, both nationally and internationally, including to the IBM Research Global Internship Program in Beijing, China, and at the Young African Leadership Initiative Regional Leadership Centers in Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana. She has a movie credit to her name, appearing in the documentary The Business of Good: Young Africa Rising. She currently serves as President-elect for the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership. In her civic life, she serves as a board member of the Alumni Board of The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, is a board member of The CASIE Center and CDFI-Friendly, and is a Life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, immediate past president of the South Bend Area (IN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated and a sustaining member of the Charity League, an affiliate of the Association of Junior Leagues International. She is also an active member of South Bend City Church, serving as the Senior Advisor to the Lead and Executive Pastors, and as Communion Coordinator. She loves good dinner parties, traveling, and football. Angela is the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Philanthropic Studies from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Robert F. Ashcraft, Ph.D. is the executive director of the Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University (ASU), the Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development (SCRD) and a Senior Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory. In 2017 he was named the Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise, the first named Foundation Professor in the history of SCRD, in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, in recognition of outstanding contributions to ASU’s values and commitment to social purpose enshrined in the University Charter; awarded through the ASU Provost’s Eminent Scholar fund for Endowed Chairs/Professors.

Founded in 1999, the ASU Lodestar Center has emerged as a global leader in advancing effective philanthropic and nonprofit practice as a distinctive community development strategy. Through research, education, technical assistance and convenings, the Center advances nonprofit leaders and philanthropists to solve problems, to realize a community’s highest aspirations and to accelerate social impact. As the Center’s founding executive director, Dr. Ashcraft has a global reputation for his pioneering work to advance the understanding of and effective practice for leaders of nonprofit/philanthropic organizations. Under his leadership, the ASU Lodestar Center is considered one of the world’s leading nonprofit academic centers, renowned for its research, education, leadership programs, technical assistance and conference activities, helping to build the capacity of the social sector for those who lead, manage and support nonprofits.

Dr. Ashcraft teaches courses in nonprofit management and philanthropy, along with the capstone course for students in ASU’s graduate degree program. His research interests have resulted in numerous publications on topics such as nonprofit and social entrepreneurship education models, collaboration strategies and volunteer management. His efforts have resulted in successfully securing more than $50 million in external resources from individuals, foundations and corporate and government entities that, along with earned income strategies through an enterprise model, have bolstered the range of nonprofit and philanthropic programs at ASU.

William A. Brown is a professor at the Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University and holds the Mary Julia and George Jordan Professorship. He serves as the Director of the Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy. He teaches Nonprofit Management, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, and Capstone courses. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Northeastern University with a concentration in Human Services. He earned his Master’s and Doctorate in Organizational Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. He has worked with numerous organizations in the direct provision of services, consulting, and board governance. He served on the board of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) from 2007-2012 and chaired the Education Committee from 2009-2011. His research focuses on nonprofit governance, strategy, and organizational effectiveness. He has authored numerous research articles, technical reports, and several practice-oriented publications. Examples of his work include exploring the association between board and organizational performance and developing the concept of mission attachment. Publication outlets include Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Nonprofit Management & Leadership, International Journal of Volunteer Administration, and Public Performance and Management Review. He has completed an edited volume entitled Nonprofit Governance: Innovative Perspectives and Approaches (Routledge, July 2013) with Chris Cornforth. A textbook entitled Strategic Management in Nonprofit Organizations was published in March 2014 (Jones & Bartlett).

10:45 AM to 12:00 PM

Session Four

Session 4-A | Terrace I

Dr. Deborah Kerr
Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University

Dr. Will Brown
Bush School, Texas A&M University

Despite the scholarly interest expressed over the last three decades, little consensus has emerged about how to measure performance in charities. The gap exists in an environment of continuing demands for nonprofit effectiveness data that extend beyond financial measures (Boateng, Akamavi & Ndoro, 2016). This project is exploratory in nature and it responds to the measurement needs of nonprofits and their funders by testing a set of common measures of nonprofit measures that focus on developing organizational strengths, understanding operational effectiveness, and improving outcomes.

In general, nonprofit performance measurement includes widely different measures as well as units of analysis, with measures often focusing on financial measures (Goodman, Atkins, & Schoorman, 1983; Sowa et al., 2004). In this phase of an on-going study, the authors evaluate the desirability and the feasibility of adopting a common set of 13 nonprofit performance measures, both financial and non-financial, designed to provide decision makers with performance information at the organizational level.  Using a two-round Delphi method, a group of 15 mid-sized nonprofit executives will help gain consensus about the proposed measures through collecting their expert opinions.  Using a four-point Likert scale, the experts will individually rate each performance measure on (1) desirability (does the measure appear to be useful for organizational management and decision making?) and (2) feasibility (is the measure relevant and can data be collected?).  Using open-ended follow-up questions for each measure, modifications needed for successful implementation will be identified.

The common measures are divided into five organizational categories: mission, client focus, internal operations, organizational knowledge, and financial management. The measures were developed in collaboration with executives in four mid-size nonprofits. The measures have been further refined using these executives as well as the research literature.

To meet client needs, nonprofits require results data not only for mission achievement and impact, but for the operational systems that support successful mission achievement through organizational efficiency and effectiveness. There is “…a clear relationship between performance measurement and organizational excellence” (Moullin, 2007, p. 181) so, using the proposed framework nonprofits kickstart the adoption of a measurement system and supports the move away from ad hoc measurement and toward structured, regular data collection and analysis.

Prince John Oricha
Political Science, Auburn University

This review offers a synthesis of modern research about marketing in nonprofit research and practice. Nonprofit work has been ongoing since at least the 18th century, but formal marketing theory within the field started around the early 1970s. Most of the literature on the advance of marketing activities within nonprofit work discusses the benefits of marketing to their financial performance or emphasizes its importance in promoting civil society awareness. However, little is said about whether and how nonprofit marketing efforts spurn increased engagement. Beginning with the early catalysts that drove the application of business marketing principles and tools in nonprofit fundraising, this study explores the link between nonprofit marketing efforts and donor engagement and its overall impact on nonprofit research and practice in modern times. I explore these themes using a systematic review of over 100 cited academic papers and books. Preliminary findings show that marketing in nonprofit research and practice has transcended soliciting or advertisement into a tool for exchanging ideas and driving performance and mission targets. Indeed, the move to the “new philosophy” of quantitative data in nonprofit organization publicity efforts was partly inspired by the push for clear performance metrics and return on investment (ROI) for which marketing supports. The present discussion also illuminates issues of marketing influence on fundraising and donor engagement which is crucial to raising awareness and funds for expansionary activities.

Reagan Myers
Political Science, Auburn University

The greatest function of a philanthropic foundation is arguably its capacity for innovation (Reich, 2016). Despite this, many organizations tend to pursue the status quo rather than social change (Hammack & Anheier, 2010). The non-profit sector is an environment that fosters innovation but may not be meeting its organizational innovation potential. This study systematically reviews existing literature to identify how scholars have analyzed innovation in philanthropy. We searched three academic databases for empirical, peer-reviewed articles focused on philanthropic innovations at the organizational level. Using various keywords, we identified  2,048 peer-reviewed articles in the initial search. After removing duplicates and hand-screening abstracts, 111 articles were included in our study.  Most exclusions were made because a search term is used in a completely different context. Given the rigidity of the search criteria, in the next phase, we expanded the search to include the citations and references of our initial corpus of 111 articles, adding other 85 articles to our corpus.  The preliminary analysis of 85 included articles shows venture philanthropy, participatory philanthropy, and impact investments as common forms of innovation within organized philanthropy. Among academic articles, we find a high reliance on case studies, whereas the analysis of references of our initial corpus led to the inclusion of a noteworthy number of practice-oriented publications (grey literature). This study highlights gaps in the extant literature, as most scholarship focuses on foundations funding innovations rather than developing innovative funding practices and is therefore of interest to scholars and practitioners.

Session 4-B | Terrace II

Robert Ashcraft, Ph.D.
Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation, Arizona State University

Rob Fischer, Ph.D.
Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development, Case Western Reserve University; Jack, Joseph, & Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Nathan Grasse, Ph.D.
School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University

Lesley Slavitt, Ph.D.
Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University

Nonprofit academic centers are vital resources to their regions in a variety of ways. Research capacity and expertise is one area that centers often offer to their regional partners. Often taking the form of needs assessment, program planning, program evaluation, and social science research, these capacities are vitally important in supporting the growth of effective social sector initiatives. In this panel, representatives of four academic centers will share their experiences in engaging in nonprofit research with local collaborators and recommendations for others seeking to pursue more work in this domain.

12:15 to 1:45 PM

Lunch | Oak Room

2:00 – 3:15 PM

Session Five

Session 5-A | Terrace I

Kelly Krawczyk
Political Science, Auburn University

Keralitoe Mogotsi
Centre for African Philanthropy & Social Investment, University of Witwatersrand

Bhekinkosi Moyo
Centre for African Philanthropy & Social Investment, University of Witwatersrand

Peter Weber
Consumer & Design Sciences; Nonprofit & Philanthropy Undergraduate Program, Auburn University

From individual and family, to institutional philanthropy and community fundraising, philanthropy occupies a key place across the continent of African as a sustainable mechanism for change, mobilizing grassroots resources to meet critical public needs and to respond to societal demands (Fowler & Mati, 2019; Moyo, 2011). Grassroots organizations, for example, as members of civil society, are instrumental in facilitating development, democracy, and social justice (Obadare, 2004, 2010). Yet, many civil society practitioners in South Africa lack formal training in nonprofit management, which reduces their capacity to support democracy, development, and social justice (Fowler, 2017). Indeed, most studies on African philanthropy focus on either external or Western-based philanthropy directed towards the continent, excluding many elements that make up the practice in Africa (Mati, 2017). The field of African philanthropy is therefore at a distinctive disadvantage in relation to its global counterparts in terms of knowledge, data, infrastructure, human resources, and research. Institutionalizing education in the sector is of paramount importance to South African society.

The Promoting Philanthropy for Social Justice (PPSJ) program addresses this gap by strengthening nonprofit management education in South Africa. Through a collaborative partnership between Auburn University and the Centre for African Philanthropy and Social Impact (CAPSI) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa, the PPSJ program provides academic education via partnership between the two institutions that promotes the innovative use of philanthropy and nonprofit management education (NME) to facilitate equity and social justice. As part of the PPSJ program, we implement a student exchange program, co-create and pilot a course on “Philanthropy, Advocacy, and Social Justice in Comparative Perspective” at CAPSI, and ultimately institutionalize NME in South Africa through creation of a joint certificate program between Auburn and CAPSI. The PPSJ program has three main goals: 1) strengthen the university partnership between AU and Wits, by 2) facilitating a student exchange that includes co-creating and piloting a course on “Philanthropy, Advocacy, and Social Justice in Comparative Perspective” at CAPSI, and 3) ultimately institutionalizing NME in South Africa through creation of a joint certificate program.


Fowler, A. (2017). Profile of the Chair in African Philanthropy at the Wits Business School. A           platform for Practical Progress. Johannesburg, South Africa: The University of the       Witwatersrand.

Fowler, A., & Mati, J. M. (2019). African Gifting: Pluralising the Concept of Philanthropy. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 30(4), 724-737. doi:10.1007/s11266-018-00079-z

Mati, J. M. (2017). Philanthropy in Contemporary Africa: A Review. Voluntaristics Review, 1(6), 1-100. doi:https://doi.org/10.1163/24054933-12340014

Moyo, B. (2011). Transformative innovations in African philanthropy. Brighton: IDS for The Bellagio Initiative.

Obadare, E. (2004). The alternative genealogy of civil society and its implications for Africa: Notes for further research. Africa Development, 29(4), 1-19.

Obadare, E. (2010). Civil Society and Social Capital in West Africa. In H. K. Anheier & S. Toepler (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Civil Society (pp. 320-324). New York, NY: Springer US.

Roseanne Mirabella
Political Science & Public Affairs, Seton Hall University

Dr. Wendy Chen
Political Science, Texas Tech University

Dr. Ibrahim Shafu
Public Administration, Texas Tech University

This paper critically examines the education programs for individuals who will assume leadership roles as either NGO managers, social movement leaders, or both through a review of curricular offerings of nongovernmental education programs in universities in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The paper argues that the development of future leaders in the nongovernmental field in Sub-Saharan Africa through these programs, who will face the dual demands of improving the effectiveness of civil society organizations while at the same time grappling with inequality, injustice, and violation of rights, may potentially be enhanced through the synthesis of programmatic concepts into new curricular forms.

Dr Helen Abnett
Social Policy, University of Birmingham, UK

This paper explores the contemporary construction and dissemination of knowledge on nonprofit organizations, seeking to understand whether and how different approaches and frames of nonprofit studies are represented in the nonprofit studies and development studies literatures. As such, the paper responds to Lewis’s (2015) call to open up the field of nonprofit studies to a less ‘parochial’ position, that engages with wider global experiences.

There is a divide in geographical focus between those studying nonprofits and publishing in development studies journals (which largely focus on the countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific) and those publishing in nonprofit studies journals (which primarily, although certainly not exclusively, consider countries in Europe and North America). Yet the validity of such a division is increasingly analytically questionable; the socially constructed boundary between ‘North’ and ‘South’ fails to recognize both the interconnectedness of the regions, and that many countries face similar challenges – in scope if not in scale. This difference in geographical focus, argues Lewis (2015) and others, has led to a lack of knowledge exchange between nonprofit and development studies. This hinders cross-learning and theory development.

As a first step in understanding how the nonprofit and development studies disciplines generate, share, and teach knowledge on nonprofit organizations, this paper asks the question: what academic knowledge on nonprofit organizations is shared between development and nonprofit studies? To answer this question, first, the paper uses bibliometric analysis to examine journal cross-citation practices across 54 development and nonprofit studies journals for the years 2018-2022, exploring the extent to which authors publishing in the different disciplines reference across literatures. Second, the paper conducts a thematic analysis to generate insight into the major research topics present in the cross-referencing literature.

By exploring whether knowledge creation is linked across these two academies, this paper will increase understanding of how learning on nonprofit organizations is shared, and allow us to consider the opportunities for greater cross-learning and cross-fertilization between the two disciplines.

Session 5-B  | Terrace II

Andy Davis
Education and Outreach, BoardSource

Dani Robbins
BoardSource, Education and Outreach, BoardSource (formerly John Carroll’s Nonprofit Administration Program)

The way nonprofit board leadership was envisioned and has evolved is, in many cases. incongruent with current needs of communities. Too many boards are populated in a way that limits their ability to provide the kind of values-driven, strategic leadership and oversight that organizations need.

We believe it is time for real change in the way we teach about how board can and should understand and embody their leadership. If boards represent and govern our organizations on behalf of communities then who is on the board can drastically change how the board operates and what role the board plays. The “purpose-driven board” was first outlined in an SSIR article by BoardSource in 2021, and challenges boards to reimagine their most essential board roles, focusing on equitable social outcomes, broad-based impacts, community representation, and inclusive listening to accomplish its mission and vision. In this session, we will explore these key principles:

  • Purpose Before Organization
  • Respect for Ecosystem
  • Equity Mindset
  • Authorized Voice and Power

Purpose-driven board leadership makes explicit what is different about social sector governance (as opposed to corporate governance), as well as how traditional ways of thinking about nonprofit governance fail to acknowledge the unique charge of social sector organizations and the boards that lead them.

3:15- 4:00 PM

Coffee & Tea Break

4:00 – 5:30 PM

Closing Session | Auditorium

Will Brown
NACC President

Angela Logan
NACC President-Elect

Nicole Collier
NACC Executive Director

Join us as we reflect on the conference and how we can continue these conversations in the future. Additionally we will discuss what is on the horizon for NACC.

6:00 – 8:00 PM

Closing Reception | Legacy Ballroom II

Light snacks and a cash bar will be available

Saturday, July 22
Optional Excursion & Departure Day

  • 8:00 AM: Depart Auburn Hotel and Conference Center
  • 9:15AM-1:30 PM: Self-Paced Tour of Legacy Museum and Memorial
  • 2 – 4:30 PM: Guided Conversation and Tour of Key Civil Rights Sites with Wanda Battle of Legacy Tours