Athens, Ga. – Eighteen leaders of nonprofit organizations from throughout the Southeast recently participated in a joint training effort between the University of Georgia Fanning Institute, Georgia State University’s Nonprofit Studies Program, and Georgia Tech’s Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship. The Executive Leadership Program for Nonprofit Organizations, which was held at UGA’s Fanning Institute in June, provided participants with necessary skills to manage their groups during difficult economic times.
Nonprofit organizations continue to struggle for funding, while the need for the services they provide is at an all-time high. The Charity Navigator estimates that charitable donations to the 1.6 million registered nonprofit groups declined 11 percent during a four-year period between 2007-2011. Yet, job losses and reductions in household incomes forced millions to reach out for help.
Such organizations as the Asian American Legal Advocacy Center in Atlanta, the Future Foundation in East Point, Raintree Children’s Services in New Orleans, Hope Haven of Northeast Georgia in Athens and the Cancer Foundation of Northeast Georgia in Athens were represented in the weeklong program. Class topics included leadership, revenue generation, governance, ethics and stewardship. Faculty and presenters at the program were drawn from a national pool of experts in resource development and financial management, strategic leadership, and the nonprofit sector. Along with classwork, participants networked in order to share their perspectives and work experiences in the nonprofit field.
“ELPNO is a wonderful demonstration of the power of partnership in creating a top quality learning experience,” said Janet Rechtman, senior fellow at the Fanning Institute. “Each of the three universities brought something different to the table. GSU’s Nonprofit Studies Program created access to the best minds in the field. Our colleagues from Georgia Tech brought strong strategic and entrepreneurial perspectives. The UGA Hotel and Conference Center at the Georgia Center and the Fanning Institute were the perfect home-away-from-home for this intensive weeklong immersion in a fast-paced learning community.
“While the teachers were an important part of the experience, we also allowed plenty of time for ‘buzz’ sessions that invited participants to reflect and share insights from the previous day’s work,” she said. “The magic of ELPNO was that by the end of the week, people learned as much from each other as they did from the faculty.”
In its sixth year, Rechtman said of the program, “We envision ELPNO to be one of the primary educational resources for nonprofit leaders in the Southeast and, eventually, the nation.”
For more information about ELPNO, see http://www.elpno.org/.
About the Fanning Institute
The Fanning Institute is a unit of the University of Georgia Office of Public Service and Outreach that helps develop leaders for stronger communities and organizations while strengthening the capacity to develop sustainable solutions for critical issues. For more information, see http://www.fanning.uga.edu/.