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U Of U Introduces New Nonprofit Academy For Excellence


The Nonprofit Academy of Excellence at the University of Utah is a new, certificate-based program created to inspire excellence in nonprofit management and governance. This unique program is customized for managers, staff, and trustees of Utah’s nonprofit community. It will teach enhanced organizational capacity and effectiveness to professionals and volunteers seeking training and development in nonprofit management. Developed in collaboration with the Utah Nonprofits Association and the Utah Society of Fund Raisers, the Academy is guided by an Advisory Committee of distinguished professionals from the nonprofit sector, representing corporate giving to board members to nonprofit management roles (see end for list of Committee members). The new program will begin in fall 2007, with new classes and cohorts beginning each spring and fall thereafter. An Open House on June 28 will provide additional information to anyone interested in learning more about the program.

Nonprofit organizations have unique management, funding, human resources, and finance issues that require specialized training. Anne O’Brien, director of the Professional Education division at the University of Utah, says “After seeing lots of studies showing that very few managers and directors of social service organizations had formal training, we developed this program in order to fill a gap in professional development opportunities for local nonprofit staff, managers, and other constituents.” The program is designed for veteran nonprofit professionals, grant makers, staff members, board members, or anyone interested in making a career change to the nonprofit sector, and is designed to build on other nonprofit professional development opportunities currently available throughout Utah.

The fall 2007 cohort of students will select from five certificate programs: Leadership and Management, Finance, Fund Development, Human Resources, and a self-directed certificate. Participants who feel they don’t fit perfectly into an existing certificate may design their own to increase the specific skills and knowledge they feel they need to advance their careers. Participants will earn their certificates upon completion of the equivalent of seven full-day classes (some classes are half-day), and can take up to two years to complete the program. Curriculum has been designed to go beyond traditional classroom lectures, drawing from real-life examples of the program participants as well as the expertise of the subject-matter practitioners and academicians who will lead the classes. The hands-on classes will encourage participants to leave each class ready to implement new plans and ideas. Individual classes may also be taken without acceptance to the Academy, with a per-class fee.

According to Denise Winslow, VP of Community Relations for Wells Fargo Bank, NA, “Grant-making organizations look very favorably on organizations that engage in management training. This demonstrates a continuous effort to improve organizational capacity, and will absolutely help support whatever programs we fund. We highly encourage current and hopeful nonprofit professionals to learn more about this new opportunity.”

Applications for the fall 2007 class are due by August 28, and can be submitted online at The total cost of each certificate is $1,250, which includes instruction for seven full days of training and course materials. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Pathway Associates, CBIZ MHM, and Continuing Education at the University of Utah generously provided scholarships. Individuals may indicate their interest when they apply for the Academy. University of Utah benefits-eligible employees and spouses may also apply the standard tuition reduction to the cost of a certificate.

Anyone wishing to know more about the Academy should attend the upcoming Open House on June 28, from 8:00 am to 9:30 am at the U of U Murray Campus (5282 South 320 West, Suite D-110). Call 801-585-1780 or e-mail to RSVP for the free event.

For more information or to enroll in these or any other Professional classes, visit or call (801) 585-1780. Professional Education is part of the division of Continuing Education at the U of U.

Founded in 1906, Continuing Education at The University of Utah enriches the lives of people of all ages in the greater community and beyond by providing extraordinary learning opportunities from The University of Utah. The division encompasses nine programs: Academic Non-Credit, Lifelong Learning, Exam/Test Preparation, Professional Education, Technology Education, Youth Education, Distance Education, the Osher Institute for Lifelong Learning and the English Language Institute. For more information, visit


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