A certificate program offers courses for participating nonprofit organizations.
In an effort to bolster the impact North Philadelphia nonprofit organizations have in the community, 90 people have enrolled in Temple’s Non-Profit Management Certificate Program so far.
The program, organized in Fall 2010 by the Center for Social Policy and Community Development and the School of Social Work, which are under the College of Health Professions and Social Work, offers 20 seminars over the course of a year for a total of 60 noncredit bearing hours.
The program is intended to offer nonprofits expertise and information to stay competitive and to successfully get financial support for organizations. The program covers topics including financial management, leadership development, grant writing and social media.
“I think one of the most important things is the connection to Temple so that the nonprofits know we’re a resource, and that we’re going to try to do whatever we can to try to help them,” Program Coordinator Trish Biedron said.
Funded in part by Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development and Learn and Serve America, the program is intended to assist nonprofits that serve low-income communities surrounding the campus, PHENND Director Hillary Kane said.
“A lot of nonprofits are understaffed, under-resourced and often times people are having to take on multiple roles that they may or may not have training for,” Kane said. “So it’s not uncommon, especially with the small nonprofits, for someone to be suddenly in charge of grant writing, and they’ve never written a grant before, or they just [don’t] quite have enough training for it.”
“It comes at a time when we’re having significant economic challenges and that means that nonprofits are having them, too. The environment for nonprofits is tough,” said Beverly Coleman, the assistant vice president for community relations and economic development. “There’s a more competitive environment for grant money.”
Senior social work major Alex McNeil said a not-for-profit student organization is similar to a nonprofit because it can also face budget challenges.
“Any training or education on outreach is extremely beneficial as it is arguably one of the most critical aspects to running an organization,” said McNeil, the founder and president of Project Education for the Development of Unity, a student organization that provides services for surrounding Philadelphia communities.
“I am appreciative of Student Activities’ efforts the past few semesters with the numerous workshops and resources [it is] affording student organizations,” he added.
According to its website, PHENND has distributed sub-grants to three other colleges this year that are instructing nonprofits within the region including Chestnut Hill College, La Salle University and the University of Pennsylvania.
The program plans to offer paid internships for selected students who assist with nonprofits in service-learning projects, Kane said.
Andrea Swan, the director of community and neighborhood affairs, said she is excited about the internship opportunity.
“We have a number of student who will walk in [the office] to make us aware of their majors and see how we can assist them in just developing their professional path by connecting them with an appropriate nonprofit that will allow them to hone their skills,” Swan said.
“For us, these workshops are almost like project incubators for campus community partnerships,” Kane said. “The next thing that I’d like to see is not just even our intern grant, but just to find how [the systems can] be set up so that the people running this particular program are connected to all the other entities at Temple that are involved with the community.”
Connor Showalter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.