Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Winter 2003Kellogg School of Management
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Capacity building key for nonprofits

by Liz Livingston Howard, associate director of the Center for Nonprofit Management

One of the concerns leaders in the nonprofit sector face is building their organization’s capacity. This agenda includes enhancing the ability to deliver strong programs, to attract outstanding staff and volunteers, to manage the organization effectively and to measure performance accurately to meet goals.

Capacity building is important for large and small organizations as the sector becomes increasingly competitive and resources increasingly scarce. Funders particularly want to ensure that organizations have the strength to withstand a variety of challenges while remaining sufficiently flexible so they can meet demand.

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To build capacity, many nonprofit leaders are looking to top-tier educational programs to help them develop skills to grow their organizations.

Staying true to the social “mission” is a hallmark of a strong nonprofit; however, it is no longer sufficient simply to “do good.” Organizations must “do good well” to survive and thrive. Common business principles — including finance, marketing, organizational change, governance and leadership — are increasingly applied to the nonprofit sector.

Through its Center for Nonprofit Management, the Kellogg School is harnessing the thought leadership of its faculty to benefit the nonprofit sector. Nonprofit leaders are taking advantage of new Kellogg courses offered at the school’s downtown Chicago campus to expand their skills and enhance the effectiveness of their organizations.

“ Demand for our programs has been very strong,” says Professor Donald Haider, who directs the Center for Nonprofit Management. Through lectures, classroom discussion and case analysis, nonprofit executives and senior-level volunteers learn specific theories and practical examples that help them make sound decisions leading to continued success in this challenging and exciting field.

For more information, see the center’s Web site, or call Jane Hoffman at 847-467-5969.

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University