Academics

Reinventing Nonprofits

Course Number: GAFL 511

Three nonprofit leaders walk into a bar. What's the conversation? Across fields, focus, size, and target audiences, nonprofits often face similar challenges: public policy changes, evolving stakeholder expectations, new modalities to service requiring investment, rising competition, fickle funders, and demographic shifts, all in a world where culture eats strategy for breakfast. Against this backdrop, nonprofits need to re-assess their mission, approach, position, organizational structure and revenue model. Why are some organizations able to pivot and reinvent themselves while others languish?  Through readings to frame the issues, speakers offering firsthand accounts of successes and disappointments, projects with practitioners wrestling with real-time issues, and group discussions to tie it all together, this course is intended to provide students with an intellectual construct, ideas, and experience to be better prepared to enter and advance in the field, and be part of the conversation.

Semesters Offered

Instructor: Don Kligerman
Course Section: 001
On-Campus Day(s): Thursday
On-Campus Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Course Description:

Three nonprofit leaders walk into a bar. What's the conversation? Across fields, focuses, sizes, and target audiences, nonprofits often face similar challenges. Public policy changes, evolving stakeholder expectations, new modalities to service requiring investment, rising competition, fickle funders, and demographic shifts, all occur in a world where culture eats strategy for breakfast. Against this backdrop, nonprofits consistently need to re-assess their mission, approach, position, organizational structure and revenue model. Why are some organizations able to pivot and reinvent themselves while others languish?  Through readings to frame the issues, speakers offering firsthand accounts of successes and disappointments, projects with practitioners wrestling with real-time issues, and group discussions to tie it all together, this course is intended to provide students with an intellectual construct, ideas, and experience to enter and advance in the field and be part of important conversations.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu