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PA 4101: Nonprofit Management and Governance

Strategic Communication students interested in careers in nonprofit may be interested in PA 4101: Nonprofit Management and Governance, offered for 3 credits this fall semester. View full details on One Stop.

As civil society organizations, nonprofit agencies have a long and important tradition within American democracy. Yet as the current fiscal environment makes clear, a compelling mission alone is insufficient to assure these organizations survive and thrive; professional and innovative nonprofit management, leadership and governance is essential. In this course, we examine real world examples and review theories and practices that apply to them. There are many unique issues nonprofit managers and leaders face, including tensions between the nonprofit mission and the ever-changing funding markets, participation in policymaking, professionalism of the sector, accountability demands and the challenges of part-time volunteers as board members providing governance, oversight and leadership to increasingly complex organizations.

This course is offered in a mixed on-line and face-to-face format (4 meetings throughout the term). It begins by exploring the nonprofit sector and examining what make nonprofits unique. From that foundation, we will examine governance and accountability of nonprofit boards, the funding challenges and program evaluation, strategic management theory and practice, the role of nonprofits in policymaking and the unique aspects on nonprofit finance. Making generalizations about nonprofits can be difficult because of the size and diversity of the sector and therefore the types of organizations in it. We will endeavor to be sensitive to that challenge by drawing upon examples from the many subsectors including, health, religious institutions, performing arts, human services and advocacy organizations.

The teaching method will be an interactive model drawing upon readings, asynchronous discussion boards, presentations from practitioners from the local nonprofit community, online presentations of material with podcasts and video casts, teaching cases, and collaborative projects.

Students may contact the instructor, Julia Classen, for further information at julia@auroraconsult.com.