Research Project Identifies Needs of Nonprofits

11 Jun

A new study from Grand Valley State University’s School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration, and the Johnson Center for Philanthropy reveals trends in the kind of professional development programming nonprofit organizations in Michigan need.

Dr. Heather Carpenter, assistant professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration, conducted the study and released a report titled, 2013 Nonprofit Needs Assessment, A Profile of Michigan’s Most Urgent Professional Development Needs. The report identifies recommendations on future actions, and includes a detailed analysis of the current needs of nonprofit organizations.

Key findings of the study:

• The majority of respondent organizations offer professional development to their staff and board: 73 percent offer it to their staff, and 51 percent offer it to their board.

• The Johnson Center for Philanthropy is the second most frequently used professional development source. The first is the Internet.

• Program evaluation and data-based decision making is a crucial training need for many respondents. However, organizations are not currently taking advantage of this type of training due to cost and time constraints.

• Organizational type and location determines the most crucial training need, in some cases. Fifty-seven percent of respondent educational organizations and 60 percent of Muskegon County respondent organizations selected board of directors training as their most crucial training need.

Dr. Carpenter completes her year as the 2012-2013 Dr. Russell G. Mawby Fellow in Philanthropic Studies. Rachel Gregg and Alaina Clarke were selected as the undergraduate fellows.

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