Nonprofits learn from each other

May 15, 2012 5:43 AM

Michaela Gibboni

Technical skills are useful, but strategy and critical thinking are what determine success. This is exactly the idea that spawned the first-ever Nonprofit Strategy Institute, presented by the Tulane Center for Public Service (CPS).

Janet Johnson

Representatives from New Orleans-area nonprofit organizations learn management strategies from Janet L. Johnson, associated fellow with the Nonprofit Strategy Institute. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Since September, 14 CPS community partners have met monthly to tackle important issues, asking not just “How?” but “Why?”

The Nonprofit Strategy Institute provides critical analysis skills to current and emerging nonprofit leaders to strengthen management of their organizations, including defining a mission, gathering financial support and determining future outcomes. The institute helps to initiate peer relationships within the nonprofit community to promote networking and collaboration. It also establishes Tulane as a partner and resource for the organizations.

The knowledge provided at the institute is “pretty unique outside of a graduate program,” says Janet L. Johnson, associated fellow with the Nonprofit Strategy Institute. The institute allows each of the locally focused nonprofits to work together and learn from each other as much as they learn from the formal presentations.

The networking opportunities are what attracted Charlotte D’Ooge from the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana to the institute. A 2003 Newcomb College graduate, D’Ooge has long appreciated the relationship her nonprofit organization has with CPS, having reaped the benefits of both Tulane undergraduate public service and law school interns.

What D’Ooge enjoys most about the institute is that it provides “an opportunity for local community organizations to network with one another while enjoying the benefits of a professional development experience.”

The Nonprofit Strategy Institute culminated on May 9, but the community leaders who participated will surely use the connections they have made and the knowledge they have acquired to build a stronger nonprofit community. For more information about the Nonprofit Strategy Institute, contact Amanda Buberger

Michaela Gibboni is a senior at Tulane, majoring in communication and Spanish.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000