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Mendoza expands nonprofit program

Laura McCrystal | Monday, December 7, 2009

The Mendoza College of Business is expanding its non-degree Nonprofit Executive Programs, which began in 2006, to offer more specialized training for people who work with nonprofit organizations, Marc Hardy, director of the Programs, said.

These programs are part of the Nonprofit Professional Development department of Mendoza, which includes both non-degree programs and a master’s degree in nonprofit administration, Hardy said.

“All of our programs … are really focused on helping leaders in nonprofits become better at what they do,” he said.

The master’s degree is a two-year time and financial commitment, Hardy said, but the non-degree programs offer crucial training opportunities without the commitment of the degree.

“Our [non-degree] program is really geared toward people who are working in the sector and just need to know specific information,” he said. “Nonprofit organizations are becoming so complex and so large that people need to be constantly updated and retrained on this information.”   

The current expansion of the nonprofit offerings is a result of a grant that the program received to create an endowment and offer programs to nonprofits at a low cost, Hardy said. Nonprofit organizations cannot always afford to send executives to educational and training sessions, but there is a constant need for education and training in this field, he said.

Two new training programs are scheduled to begin during the summer of 2010, Hardy said.
“We are going to be doing a program for alumni of the ACE program,” he said. “So they can better serve Catholic schools and organizations.

The Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) is a program offered by Notre Dame in which participants teach for two years in Catholic schools and earn their Master’s degree in Education. Hardy said the new four-day training session for graduates of ACE will teach them how to be better board members and leaders in Catholic schools. 

The University will also launch a new 10-day program this July “specifically for Catholic nonprofit organizations,” Hardy said.

“The program is to help educate leaders of Catholic organizations learn how to become better nonprofit leaders,” he said.

In addition to these philanthropic programs, the University is looking to expand the training programs it offers to specific organizations for a fee, Hardy said. For example, the nonprofit professional development faculty already provides specialized training for Volunteers of America.

“Our goal is to add three national partners in the next three years,” he said. “We are currently in negotiation with two national partners … We partner with nonprofits to create programs that fir their needs.”

Currently, the nonprofit executive programs include Leaders in Transition, an annual program that guides its participants in a transition from a year of post-graduate volunteer service into the rest of their lives as they look to enter the workforce, Hardy said.

“How to maintain that philanthropic spirit even through you’re entering the marketplace,” is a major theme of the Leaders in Transition program, Hardy said.

He said the University also offers a 10-day training program in Cicero, Ill., in partnership with the Cicero Youth Task Force, which works with nonprofits serving the Hispanic population.

Also included in the current programs is the Civic Sector Leadership Fellows Program, for rising stars nationwide in nonprofit organizations, Hardy said.

Hardy said Nonprofit Professional Development is currently working on a new marketing strategy in addition to expanding the non-degree programs.

“We’re planning on a major marketing push in the next six months to a year,” he said.
Mendoza College of Business’ Dean Carolyn Woo and Thomas Harvey, the Luke McGuinness Director of Professional Development, have been instrumental in reinventing Notre Dame’s offerings to nonprofit organizations in the past several years, Hardy said.