Nonprofit leadership courses available - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Nonprofit leadership courses available

University of Idaho - Coeur d'Alene classes start next month

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Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - Raising funds, working with board members, writing grants, coordinating services, developing programs, balancing a budget, sharing a message, caring for a community.

Those are just a few of the challenges faced every day by nonprofit directors.

"It's not just fundraising. There are audits, balance sheets," said Jeff Conroy, director of St. Vincent de Paul North Idaho, one of the region's larger nonprofits.

With more than 400 nonprofits in Kootenai County and limited opportunities for professional development for the organizations' staff members and boards, the University of Idaho-Coeur d'Alene began last year, offering the Professional Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program, a comprehensive, community-based educational effort targeting the issue.

Spring courses begin next month, and for the first class in the line-up, on financial management, Conroy is one of the instructors. He participated in teaching the first round of classes held last fall.

"It really is a nice, well-rounded education of what it entails to run a nonprofit," Conroy said.

Conroy's course runs one night a week for two weeks beginning March 5. Additional courses run through May, on board development; vision and leadership; and legal and ethical issues. Next fall, the courses continue with the program's "foundational course": Nonprofit Leadership, Making a Difference. The 8-week course digs into entrepreneurial leadership; fund development; marketing and more. Courses in fundraising, volunteerism, social media marketing, and conflict management will be offered next fall as well.

Participants can register in the certificate program, which requires 50 hours of classroom time.

Bob Over, director of the Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program at the University of Idaho, said the program benefits extend beyond the courses themselves.

"It pulls a community together, community being small businesses, the chamber, United Way, rotaries, nonprofits," Over said. "They're building partnerships and collaborations. We feel that through the courses, we're sharing and offering skill-building and networking opportunities."

The University of Idaho is a partner and the program is heavily subsidized by the university, Over said.

Richard Reardon, associate dean for UI's College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, said that as a land grant university, part of UI's mission includes a strong emphasis on service, and that's why they support the program.

It's not just for nonprofits.

"We believe the for-profit sector is part of this program. Their business leaders serve on many of the nonprofit boards. Their skill sets cross disciplines," Reardon said.

The cost of the courses ranges from $40 to $165 for the 8-week program.

Information: 970-764-7077, 208-292-4471 or bob_mtnspirit@yahoo.com.

Sign up for classes online at www.webpages.uidaho.edu/nonprofit

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