Nonprofit institute hires fundraiser

By Todd Cohen

RALEIGH, N.C. — Sherry Dutton, former vice president for development for Lutheran Family Services in the Carolinas, has been named director of external relations at the Institute for Nonprofits at N.C. State University.

Dutton will be responsible for building networks with nonprofits, particularly in the Triangle, and for fundraising for the institute, says Toby Parcel, dean of the College at Humanities and Social Sciences at N.C. State.

Dutton, who also has worked for the American Red Cross, Durham Technical Community College and Mothers Against Drunk Driving, says she also will be working to connect nonprofits and faculty members at N.C. State who are affiliated with the Institute for Nonprofits.

Created with a $1 million grant from the Raleigh-based A.J. Fletcher Foundation, which publishes the Philanthropy Journal, the Institute supports an undergraduate nonprofit minor and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management, says Rick Kearny, director of the School of Public and International Affairs at N.C. State and interim director of the Institute.

Roughly 15 students this semester are expected to graduate with the minor, now in its second year, while 15 to 20 students are expected to receive the certificate, now in its third year, Kearny says.

This semester, he says, two sessions of the minor program’s “Introduction to nonprofits” class are filled, attracting a total of 70 undergrads.

The minor is integrated with a range of academic disciplines, including political science, psychology, sociology, social work and business.

“There is a lot of potential here for this minor,” Kearny says.

The Institute also conducts research on the nonprofit sector and offers activities designed to engage and serve nonprofits.

Parcel says the Institute’s progress is the focus of a program review that should be completed by the end of the summer and will include recommendations to further focus its work.

While no formal plans are in the works to develop a graduate degree in nonprofit management, she says, development of a nonprofit graduate degree is “an idea I do want to consider.”

She also says no search is currently underway to recruit a new director for the Institute to succeed Barbara Metelsky, who resigned in December, reportedly after declining Parcel’s offer to remain as the institute’s fundraising officer.

Parcel says Kearny and Dutton will be the officials who “will be focusing on the Institute for a while.”

In addition to $1 million from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, Kearny says, the Institute has received $50,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich., for curriculum development; $15,000 from North State Bank for engagement activities with nonprofits; and $5,000 in individual gifts.

The Institute also has generated revenue through contracts, he says.

Dutton, a Vermont native, received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1998 and a master’s degree in organizational management from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vt.

She previously served as associate director of emergency services for the Durham-based Central North Carolina chapter of the American Red Cross; one of the first eight delegates in Macedonia for the American Red Cross who handled online refugee-processing during the Kosovo crisis; a member of the Armed Forces Emergency Services Division for the American Red Cross; program director of continuing education at Durham Technical Community College; and North Carolina state executive director for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.,

At MADD, she says, she found her “true passion was in development.”

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