By Todd Cohen
Like the nonprofits it aims to serve, the Institute for Nonprofits at N.C. State University faces big challenges.
With a $1 million challenge grant from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, publisher of the Philanthropy Journal, the institute has spent two years developing its programs.
It has made big strides, creating a nonprofit minor, graduate certificate courses, and research and community projects, and begun planning a graduate degree.
Now, turning to the critical job of fundraising, the institute can model the lessons it wants to teach.
With its nonprofit focus and home in a major research university dedicated to public service, the institute is ideally positioned to create that model.
It can move beyond business as usual, engaging donors, nonprofits and philanthropy professionals and advisers to help shape its development strategy and ensure its teaching, research and community outreach address market needs.
Innovative and continuing engagement of prospective and existing customers, partners and investors in strengthening its own capacity also will help secure their business and the long-term investment the institute needs to survive and grow.
Through a continuing partnership with nonprofits and donors, the institute can do a better job helping nonprofits do a better job.
That is continuing education.
Todd Cohen is the Editor and Publisher of the Philanthropy Journal.