Courses in: Nonprofits

Strategic Communications for Advocacy

Organizational storytelling both effectively communicates an organization’s mission and builds empathy for its cause. A story is more than an exposition, climax, and resolution. Effective storytelling weaves a narrative that tells a systemic story about the social justice movement. The course will offer an overview on how to strategically use values-based communications, helping students understand how to move persuadable audiences to garner support for social justice issues.

The Practice of Adaptive Leadership

What does it mean to lead? This course is an exploration of the ideas and theories developed at Harvard University by Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky over the last 30 years about the work of leaders in mobilizing groups to act to solve complex and seemingly intractable problems. We will contrast Heifetz and Linsky’s notion of leadership with the more traditional theories of leadership.

Evaluating Efforts to Influence Public and Private Policy

This class explores the important evaluation area of policy advocacy evaluation. As development practice shifts to focus on the structural drivers of poverty around the world, and seek long-term social and institutional change, interventions increasingly involve shaping policies, programs and social norms. This class examines the theoretical and practical challenges of measuring influence on policy deliberation and implementation. It explores emerging approaches developed to provide rigor and actionable insights about what works and what doesn’t.

Leading on Disability in Public Service

Advancements in awareness and understanding have led to greater equity and inclusion in society for people with disabilities. Developments such as the establishment of Disability Studies as an interdisciplinary field in the 1980’s and the introduction of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) in 1990 are key milestones in this journey. However, these achievements alone do not guarantee the extent of attitudinal and behavioral change needed within our communities and organizations to remove the barriers and prejudices that remain.

Management Consulting for Public Service Organizations

Management consultants work in all corners of the public and nonprofit sectors on every imaginable topic—from organizational strategy to technology implementation, education to migration. But what is management consulting? Why do so many public service organizations rely on it? What skills and experience do you need to be a management consultant?  And how much good can management consulting really do for the public and nonprofit sectors?

The Intersection of Operations, Policy, and Leadership (EMPA)

Policy, operations, and leadership are inextricably linked. This course aims to expose students to policy formation in a highly political environment, to operations management of systems shaped by state and local policy, and to the requirements and pressures faced by leaders wrestling with difficult problems. The course aims to build a toolbox of specific skills to assess stakeholder environments; to support analysis and decision making in a wide variety of contexts; and to appreciate the role of leadership, consensus building, and conflict management in driving policy outcomes.

Religion, Policy, and Politics

This course will present in three different arenas.  The first is historical – what we know about the ways religion has been a central force in history with a focus on the United States while referencing other cultures and nations. The second element of the course will examine contemporary issues where religion plays a significant role in determining policy and impacting all aspects of political life. While our major focus will be on the US, we will also explore other societies as well.

Managing for Environmental Sustainability

This 7-week short course provides a general introduction to environmental sustainability and touches on the science, concepts, and strategies used to “green” businesses, organizations, and individuals’ lifestyles. Modern consumers are demanding sustainability from organizations where they utilize or buy goods and services and in which they invest. Modern management and policy leaders, then, need to know what environmental sustainability is and which tools are available to improve the footprint of their organizations and businesses. 

Advanced Financial and Impact Modeling for Nonprofit and Social Enterprises

Increasingly, as the field of impact investing develops worldwide, leaders in the social field are adopting selected tools from their counterparts in the private sector. One of the most widely used and useful tools is the spreadsheet-based, projection model of an individual enterprise. This course focuses on modeling tools used by nonprofit organizations, social entrepreneurs and other practitioners to develop business strategies and funding approaches, including market-based funding, to scale their work.

Financing Urban Government

This course explores the role of U.S. urban governments in the economy, their relationship to the state and federal governments, and the institutional parameters of devising and implementing sound public policy.  Both the sources and uses of funds will be considered in the context of different tax instruments, the relative merit of each tool and the implications for equity and efficiency of public policy.

Leading Values-Based Culture in Nonprofit Organizations (EMPA)

Organizational cultures are built either passively or intentionally. What kind of organizational culture would you like to work in or better yet, what kind of culture would like to lead? Successful leadership of not-for-profit organizations depends to a greater degree than is generally recognized on how closely institutional practice aligns with professed public values.

Leading Values-Based Culture in Nonprofit Organizations

Organizational cultures are built either passively or intentionally. What kind of organizational culture would you like to work in or better yet, what kind of culture would like to lead? Successful leadership of not-for-profit organizations depends to a greater degree than is generally recognized on how closely institutional practice aligns with professed public values.