On the Side: Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Service

About one in every four jobs offered to a graduating Baylor student is with a nonprofit organization. The new Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Service in the Hankamer School of Business has been established to prepare these graduates to be leaders in the nonprofit world, whether it is leading an organization or serving on a board of directors.

Undergraduate students are provided course sequences that can be added as minors to both business and non-business majors. A major in Marketing with a Nonprofit and Development track is offered to students in the business school.

The Center will also contribute to the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations by focusing research efforts on critical problems facing the nonprofit community, and by offering nonprofit managers access to best practices among such organizations.

“In the 164 years of Baylor University’s existence, no other single effort has captured the heart of the institution more than that of preparing citizens for service to their communities through nonprofit organizations,” said Charles S. Madden, the Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing and also director of the Center. “Baylor’s deep historical commitment to organizations that are driven by ideals of service makes Baylor a perfect candidate to be the site for a concentrated center to research, teach and extend the body of thought concerning how nonprofit organizations effectively serve people.”

As director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Service, Charles S. Madden provides us with some insight into future trends affecting American nonprofit organizations, which further substantiates the importance of our newly created Center in properly educating the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

American nonprofit organizations are in great flux, largely because of a convergence of social, economic, and cultural factors. The following future trends demonstrate how nonprofits are responding to those environmental changes:

In the period from 2000 to 2030 our society is experiencing the greatest intergenerational passage of wealth in American history.

  • Fundraising is refocusing on long-term relationship building with potential givers from ad hoc “hunting and gathering” of gifts
  • More giving to the solutions of problems, rather than to organizational missions
  • Giving that focuses on the roots of problems rather than symptoms of those problems
  • As Baby Boomers retire, they aspire to start nonprofit organizations, especially through family foundations

Several organizational “experiments” will evolve in response to a societal demand for accountability.

  • Government funding of “faith-based ” organizations will be broadened to support “merit-based” organizations that deliver impact on problems
  • Privatization of some governmental and quasi-governmental organizations, such as major state universities
  • Tax exemptions of nonprofits will be increasingly questioned as some large and successful nonprofit organizations draw attention

More nonprofits exist today, per population, than ever before in the history of the U.S.

  • Competition among nonprofits for financial gifts, members, volunteers, and institutional grants will result in the demise or merger of an increasing number of organizations
  • To even attract awareness among the heavily populated nonprofit world, individual organizations will have to focus on showing their “value proposition” and the impact on their chosen problems
  • The past fears of “mission drift” will be replaced by an active effort to manage “mission adaption” and “mission evolution”

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Baylor Business Review, Spring 2009

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