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Fordham Launches Center for Nonprofit Leaders PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fred Scaglione   
Thursday, 01 July 2010 12:24

Fordham University has recently launched its new Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders, reportedly the first training center in the country to be jointly-sponsored by a university’s graduate schools of business and social service.

“We created The Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders to especially elevate small nonprofits, by far the bulk of the nation’s nearly one million charities, to feel comfortable taking on large challenges,” said Dr. Elaine Congress, Associate Dean for Continuing Education of Fordham’s School of Social Service.

The program was initiated by Allan Luks, who serves as its director.  A charity executive for three decades, Luks most recently served as Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City for 18 years.  He received the New York Nonprofit Leader of the Year award from Crain’s New York Business Magazine.

“I wanted to reverse the pattern of nonprofit agencies not being seen as or actually having a wide-range of knowledge and skills and ongoing backup,” said Luks,

The first class of 30 participants, which met for three Saturdays in April, received 18 hours of instruction in courses ranging from finance and management to doing proposal writing, fundraising and board development to support major mission goals.  After the classroom training ended, each participant received a Mentor--a present or past executive director--to contact about problems and issues over the next year.

“I focused for many years on perfecting my clinical skills and neglected the business side of social work practice,” said Ibet Hernandez, Director of Social Work Services at Bronx Lebanon Hospital.  “In these tough economic times it becomes increasingly important to know how to utilize business principles to push social agendas.”

“I am taking over a small agency with only ten staff,” said  Margarette Tropnas, recently named Executive Director of Dwa Fanm.  “The program is helping me determine how I stabilize services with limited resources while going out to secure new funds.  I am especially happy I will have a Mentor to call on with any problems over the next year.”

The Mentors, whom participants can call on about any problem over the next year, are: Plinio Ayala, executive director of Per Scholas; Philip Coltoff, past executive director, Children’s Aid Society; Kenneth Knuckles, president and CEO, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; Daniel Kronenfeld, past executive director, Henry Street Settlement, and Dolores Swinn, CEO, Girl Scout Council of Greater New York.

The tuition has been kept at $485 to accommodate all-size nonprofits.

The next Fordham Center for Nonprofit Leaders’ training will be on October 30, November 6 and 13.  For information, contact Dr. Elaine Congress: Congress@fordham.edu or 212-636-6667.

 

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