The nonprofit sector in Maryland is large and continues to grow, but workers in that sector have few choices when it comes to advanced training in their field. To help fill that void, The Johns Hopkins University is launching a two-year Certificate in Nonprofit Studies program.
"With 11 percent of the region's employment, Baltimore's nonprofit sector is increasingly being recognized as a critical community resource," said Lester Salamon (pictured at right), a principal research scientist at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies and director of its Center for Civil Society Studies. "Our new Certificate in Nonprofit Studies Program will ensure that the sector continues to find cutting edge leaders."
Salamon and Steven Knapp, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs for the university, today launched the program at an announcement ceremony on the Homewood campus in Baltimore. Students will begin taking classes in the fall semester.
With more than 195,000 people employed by nonprofits in Maryland, earning more than $6 billion in annual combined salary, the nonprofit sector is a huge economic force and accounts for 25 percent of the new jobs in the state, according to a recent study conducted by Salamon.
But training for all of those nonprofit workers remains a serious issue. A feasibility study conducted last year showed there was strong interest in a training program and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation provided $137,000 to help start it.
Students who enroll in the Certificate in Nonprofit Studies program will take three core courses and four elective courses over a two-year period. The core courses are Nonprofit Sector: Scope, Structure and Dynamics; Managing the Nonprofit Organization: A Strategic Framework; and Partnering for Results. The elective courses will cover a range of topics from media relations and marketing to fund-raising and fiscal management.
Patti Sterling, who is director of education at Catholic Charities, is typical of the kind of student the program is designed to serve. She is considering enrolling in the Hopkins certificate program to help her understand nonprofits better and to help her perform at a higher level, as well as to advance her career.
"This looks great, actually," she said.
Peter Berns, executive director of the Maryland Association of Nonprofits, said his association offers training sessions for nonprofit staff and board members, but they tend to be either half-day or whole day sessions and are not as exhaustive as the Johns Hopkins program. He was on hand in support of the launch of the program.
"It's just common sense to support a sector that provides employment, enhances economic development and improves the quality of life for all of us," said Berns. "By strengthening the nonprofit sector, we strengthen our community as a whole."
Darrell Friedman, president of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, also spoke in favor of the certificate program. "Johns Hopkins University is once again setting the pace in educational innovation with the launch of its new nonprofit management program. This program is critical in helping us to build an even more qualified workforce for Baltimore's nonprofit sector."
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