WMU News

Brownbag series on nonprofit leadership offered

May 11, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Nonprofit leaders will be able to converse with experts on a variety of topics, including national trends, building partnerships and innovative corporate philanthropy, through a new series offered by Western Michigan University in collaboration with the Calhoun County nonprofit community.

The Western Michigan Nonprofit Leadership Brownbag Series will be an ongoing monthly noontime event designed to provide a forum for nonprofit leaders and those interested in issues involving nonprofits to exchange information and ideas. All session are presented free of charge.

The inaugural events in the series will focus on "Nonprofits in the New Millennium" and the first session of the series will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursday, May 13, at the United Arts Council Discovery Theatre in Battle Creek.

That session will feature Dr. Mark I. Wilson, research associate and associate professor of geography/urban planning at Michigan State University, who will address the unique challenges facing Michigan nonprofits as a result of "Economic Conditions for Nonprofits." Wilson, who is also director of the Alliance for Nonprofit Development, will talk about the changing economic climate and how it will impact nonprofit operations. An interactive discussion period will follow his presentation.

The second session in the series will feature WMU President Elson S. Floyd, who will talk about "Building Partnerships" from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Tuesday, June 15, also at the United Arts Council Discovery Theatre.

Floyd, whose presidency has been noted for its efforts to strengthen ties between the University and the municipalities it serves, will share his insights on building partnerships communities, governments, nonprofits and educational institutions. An interactive discussion will follow.

Additional workshops, including one on national trends among nonprofits and the other on innovative corporate philanthropy, will be scheduled for the fall.

"By bringing faculty and nonprofit leaders together, we will increase the understanding of the challenges that face today's nonprofits," says Dr. James C. Petersen, associate dean of WMU's College of Arts and Sciences. "It's a good chance for faculty who teach about nonprofits to be brought up to date with the changes that are going on in the nonprofit sector. There are issues that nonprofit managers deal with today that they didn't have to deal with ten years ago."

The workshops are coordinated by Dr. Wendy S. Zabava Ford, WMU associate professor of communication, and Catherine Christ Lucas of the Nonprofit Alliance. While the sessions are free, individuals interested in attending are asked to reserve a spot by calling Lucas at (616) 968-8166, ext. 548; by fax to (616) 968-3284; or by email to clucas@willard.lib.mi.us. Participants are encouraged to bring brownbag lunches.

The Nonprofit Leadership Brownbag Series is sponsored by Western Michigan University, with the support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Building Bridges Between Practice and Knowledge in Nonprofit Management program, and by the NonProfit Alliance, the Battle Creek Community Foundation, Kellogg Community College, the Miller Foundation, the United Arts Council of Calhoun County, United Way of Greater Battle Creek, Volunteer and Information Services, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

For more information, contact Lucas at (616) 968-8166, ext. 548; or Ford at (616) 387-3109.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 616 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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