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JULY 2013: NACC Conference 2013
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7/10/2013 to 7/12/2013
When: 7/10/2013

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Leading the Field: Innovation in Curriculum, Programming and Institution Building

July 10-12, 2013 - Chicago, Illinois

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Topic Categories

Note on Terminology:

Proposals from all nations are invited. For ease of expression in this Call for Proposals, terms predominantly used in the United States are used. As appropriate, terms such as NGO, civil society, civic engagement, Third Sector, etc. may be substituted.

Curricular Structure and Content

Proposals in this category will focus on nonprofit and philanthropic studies curricula, teaching materials, and sources of information.

Teaching materials and methods: Development of texts and teaching resources in nonprofit and philanthropic studies: what has been developed and what is still needed; key sources of information about nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and the sector: books, scholarly journals, specialized instructor training and engagement; periodicals, websites, infrastructure organizations, publishers, strategies for open knowledge sharing; etc.

Curricular structure in nonprofit management education: Subjects in current curricula and future possibilities; location of these programs in the university structure (free-standing vs. concentration in MBA/MPA; general vs. subsector-related); pros and cons of different models; users’ preferences and expectations; etc.

Statistical description of college and university based educational programs in nonprofit and philanthropic studies: Number of students enrolled; student characteristics; student demographics; student and graduate employment; student opinions about value of the program and value of the degree or certificate; number and characteristics of faculty; number and geographic location of programs; location of programs within the academy; specialties and foci; historical development; comparisons with the development of other multi-disciplinary programs, etc.

Descriptive overview of college and university-based programs in nonprofit and philanthropic studies at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels: What exists now, what should exist, what are the developmental possibilities; how undergraduate programs are linked to graduate programs; undergraduate education and service-learning; general education courses in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts majors; etc.

Extended, continuing, and executive education: Professional development; the role of continuing education; nonprofit management education needs from the practitioner's point of view; to what degree practitioners should have input into these programs; practitioners as educators/mentors; roles for alumni; etc.

Relationships with practitioners and other stakeholders: Volunteers; public policy; business; advocacy; professional associations; fund raising; accountants and financial advisors; lawyers; expectations and challenges of service learning; internships; organization placements, work shadowing; etc.

Relationship between liberal arts focus and practical management focus: Movement toward a unified field or movement toward several loosely affiliated fields; role of general education in nonprofit management education (history, philosophy, law); contrast nonprofit management education with business administration and/or public administration on this topic; etc.

Development of individual courses on nonprofit management, civil society, and/or philanthropy within different disciplines: Relation to mainstream nonprofit management and leadership programs; etc.




In the interest of creating a stimulating and engaging conference, various session presentation styles are invited (see descriptions below). Proposers should select the appropriate form for the session type they prefer. Alternate session types may be proposed and are encouraged: please contact Sean Shacklett, Executive Director, Nonprofit Academic Centers Council at to discuss your proposal.


Ø Two or three debaters should hold clearly differing points of view. The interaction is moderated by a chairperson with a prepared set of questions. Half of the formal presentation should be devoted to response to audience questions. The proposal should identify the topic, why the topic is of interest, and the contrasting positions of the debaters.

Ø What does a debate look like? Although there is no mandated format, in a typical debate the chair welcomes the audience, provides a brief overview of the topic, and introduces the debaters. Each debater is then given a few minutes to speak about his or her stance on the topic at hand. The chair poses pre-set questions or takes questions from the audience, giving each debater an opportunity to respond. Finally, the debaters are each given time at the end of the session to summarize and recap their stance.


Ø This thematic presentation focuses on an issue facing the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies. This format is used to explore various points of view on a theme or works in progress. The proposal should outline the general topic of the panel and how panelists, and possibly a discussant, will offer coordinated presentations. In addition, the proposal must contain separate summaries from each presenter describing his or her contribution to the session. The proposer is responsible for coordinating the presentations in advance. Panels should be interactive, allowing for questions and discussion following the formal presentations. Colloquia are comprised of multiple presenters/papers and will be reviewed as a set; the full set will be accepted or rejected together.

Ø What does a colloquium look like? A colloquium opens with the chair introducing the panelists and the topic. Some colloquia are highly structured with a set time for each panelist to speak. Others employ a more discussion-oriented format with the panelists responding to each other and to audience inquiries throughout the session. Many colloquia employ a discussant as an independent expert observer who listens to each presentation and then responds briefly to the session's content. Most colloquia end with an opportunity for attendees to raise questions or offer their own observations on what has been presented.


Ø Proposals for paper presentations are submitted individually. Paper presentations are of a completed paper. Papers submitted individually will be grouped on a common theme to create integrated multi-paper sessions. All multi-paper sessions will include time for questions following the presentations. Individual paper proposals should detail the focus of the paper and the way(s) in which it contributes to the body of knowledge in the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies.

Ø What does a multi-paper or paper panel session look like? Multi-paper or paper panel sessions include from two to four individual presentations. A chair welcomes the audience and coordinates the session including keeping time throughout. Each paper presenter will have approximately 15 minutes to discuss the key points of his or her work. Although a presenter may opt to take questions during this time, at the end of the initial 15 minutes the presenter will be asked to cede the floor to the next presenter. Once all presenters have had the opportunity to speak, a discussant may provide a brief response to what he or she has heard. The chair then facilitates a question-and-answer period during which audience questions are invited. Paper presenters should have either a full paper or a synopsis available for distribution during the session. Most will offer an email address through which an electronic copy of the full paper may be obtained.


Ø A think tank focuses on a single issue or question. Initially, a chairperson orients attendees to the issue or question and relevant context. Then attendees break into small groups to explore the issue or question and finally reconvene to share their enhanced understanding through a discussion facilitated by the chairperson. The proposal should identify the question or issue to be addressed, the relevant contextual factors, and the roles of the individual breakout groups (whether they each address the overall topic or question, address a particular facet of the topic or question, or examine the topic or question from a particular viewpoint).

Ø What does a think tank look like? A chair welcomes attendees to the think tank and frames the key question that is at the heart of the session. Sometimes, the framing question is supplemented by very short presentations by other facilitators describing different aspects of the issue at hand. The heart of the session involves breaking up into discussion groups to explore the issue. Sometimes, all of the discussion groups will focus on a single question. Other times, each group may grapple with a different aspect of the issue under investigation. If the overall group is small, the central discussion may take place among the group as a whole. In any case, the discussion is facilitated - either by a designated facilitator at each table or by one or more facilitators guiding the whole group. As the session winds down, the group reconvenes or refocuses with an eye toward identifying what has been learned or next steps in an action-based process.



Daila Shimek, AICP, MPA
Interim Executive Director, Nonprofit Academic Centers Council
Project Manager, Center for Public Management , Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, UR 120
Cleveland OH 44115
216/687-9221 , 216/687-9291 (fax)

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