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News & Events

Nonprofit Leaders for Today and Tomorrow

The United States’ nonprofit workforce is the third largest, trailing retail and manufacturing with more than 1.4M tax-exempt organizations – or roughly 100x greater than the number of Starbucks in the United States. [1]

These organizations are the community backbone, working on issues ranging from human services to the environment, animals, culture and humanities. And, the individual and collective impact is powerful.

To meet the growing demand, the School of Human Ecology is pushing a tripartite effort to expand the capacity of current and future leaders in the nonprofit sector. This effort includes a new course launched this fall, an online course available summer 2018, and a partnership with the 2018 Fundraising and Development for Nonprofits Conference.

SOHE’s Tripartite Effort Launches with Campus Course

The new course, Fundraising and Development for Nonprofit Organizations, taught by Don Gray, retired vice president of the UW Foundation, and Michael Maguire, SoHE faculty associate, was immediately at capacity with undergraduate students in the Community and Nonprofit Leadership major alongside graduate students from the La Follette School of Public Affairs and the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture.

In this innovative class, leaders, practitioners and experts linked rigorous curriculum to practical application, from community building and cultural diversity to communications and brand management. “This class has solidified my decision to go into the nonprofit sector,” states Calli Hughes, a UW-Madison sophomore. “It radiated positivity, creative thinking, and learning directly from professionals in the field, which was critical.”

Junior Sam Schneider notes, “This course really made me appreciate how working for a nonprofit that holds similar values, beliefs, and dreams as you, can create maximum impact through fundraising. Development work is about creating relationships.” He goes on to say, “If I am representing an organization I am personally excited about, I am going to share that excitement with potential donors. They will notice this passion.”

The on-campus class dovetails into SoHE’s online course that arrives in 2018. “Fundraising and Development prepares our students to graduate with skills and knowledge for careers ranging from program officer to communicator to prospect manager, “explains Dean Soyeon Shim. “The online course connects alumni and other  leaders in Wisconsin and around the globe in partnering on this critical work.”

Both the campus and online courses are meant to meet the interest and demand among current students, alumni, business leaders and those working in the nonprofit field who are seeking more education and professional development opportunities. School representatives report that there has also been significant interest in professionals in the for-profit sector who are looking to launch second careers with nonprofits.

The Fundraising and Development for Nonprofits Conference

The forthcoming conference completes SoHE’s 2018 trifecta. “Although management and leadership skills gained on the job are transferable, successful nonprofit leadership can require substantial retooling. Attending the Fundraising and Development for Nonprofits Conference should be In every leader’s professional development plan,” states Shim. The conference takes place May 30-June 1, 2018, at the UW-Madison campus.


For more information about the summer course or conference contact:

Michael Maguire, Faculty Associate
School of Human Ecology

[1] http://www.independentsector.org/

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