The latest in the new set of Social Enterprise courses, Board and Executive Management of Nonprofits, was introduced in the fall term. The course represents a material change in the purpose of the School’s nonprofit curriculum.
“In the past, we focused on the relatively small share of students who sought careers in nonprofit management,” explains Professor Ray Horton. “The new approach recognizes that today’s students, who are tomorrow’s alumni, will also contribute to the nonprofit sector by serving on nonprofit boards and by donating money to the nonprofit sector.”
“We need to prepare our students for all three roles,” Horton says, “because a large share of our alumni during the course of their careers will contribute to the nonprofit sector as board members, donors and top executives.”
The new course was offered as a six-week course in the second half of the fall term and drew strong evaluations from the 26 students who took it. Half of them plan nonprofit management careers, mostly in New York City, but others are planning to work in the private sector.
“I don’t plan on working directly in the nonprofit sector after graduation,” says Gwen Shufro ’06, “but I plan to be actively involved in the sector, and I wanted to learn how I could contribute to nonprofits that share my concerns.”
The course drew on a number of nonprofit leaders and alumni, including Paul Guenther ’64, (pictured, photo credit: Chris Lee, New York Philharmonic), chairman of the New York Philharmonic; Frances Hesselbeim, chairman of the board of the Leader to Leader Institute (formerly known as the Peter Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management); and Mary McCormick ’78, president of the Fund for the City of New York.
“I was pretty pleased with the first iteration of the course,” Horton says, “but we would like to continue improving the course, particularly by developing cases that explore the complicated relationships among chief executives, board members and donors. I want to offer it as a six-week course one more time before elevating it to a full-term course.”
The course is the third developed under the auspices of the Social Enterprise Program in the last three years. The first two were Business and Society and Finance and Sustainability, which were developed and are taught by Geoff Heal, the Paul Garrett Professor of Public Policy and Business Responsibility, and by Professor Bruce Usher, respectively.