Non-Profit Leadership & Development COM 466 Instructor (Host & Tour Guide): Mindy Sopher
What students are saying… “ I love Mindy and this class! Even though I am a Freshman I feel like I am in a class where others share the same ideas!” -Rebekah “ The thing I like most about this class is the service learning component. And even if that poses some interesting challenges…” -Brian “ I knew I would love this class because two-years ago I met Mindy at IRC E-Board Training. She gives life and insight to the topics, it goes beyond text-books and readings!” -Jessie
Attention This has been prepared to the best of my ability. The order of events listed might not be exact and some information may have been left out. However this should be a good report to capture the most influential moments of the class from a student’s perspective. And now a word from our Nonprofit Sponsor…
Hoozia! -Connecting Deadbeat Dads with their kids since 2007 We here at Hoozia, take a sense of pride and value of what COM 466 is teaching the students of NC State. We find it important to stress the lessons of strategic alliance, methods, resources, and board governance to students who are interested in joining the Nonprofit world. We would be happy to extend a job offer to anyone who goes through the COM 466 class, because we feel they are the best prepared candidates to tackle the challenges and the opportunities that an NPO poses. Sincerely, N. Otto Clue President of Hoozia!
Class 1: January 10th The class did an exercise to help Mindy get to know everyone better, and perhaps even each other! The class took a “personal info quiz” and another unique aspect of the class is the attendance. Each day the attendance will have a question to respond too. There was some confusion over the syllabus but after class Mindy emailed a more up-to-date copy to ease the anxiety that a class sometimes experiences on the first day. A journal was assigned for the class to complete next time, the two main topics of the journal were: What influences nonprofits and how do they exert influence, review your own leadership assessments and discuss what opportunities that you encountered along your way.
Class 2: January 17th During this class we discussed two competing leadership styles from our readings. The Transactional & Transformational Leaders. This will be particular important for the case in Class 3. The assignment for this class was also to read Hudson, Chapter 5 “Leading with Integrity.” This was something not new to a few students in class that went through the Leadershape Institute. However, this discussion will be useful for the articulated learning's, as one of the topics was “Mobilizing around the Mission.” The topic for the Journal Assignment for this class was on the case study “Discord at the Music School” as well as an ethical decision that we have made recently.
Class 3: January 24th This class we had a really interesting discussion on the CASE STUDY “Discord at the Music School”. This provided more clarity on what it means to be a transformational leader vs transactional leader. This class we introduced an important part of the Articulated Learning, Key Events Interview. The class had received several questions to interview their contact person at the Non-Profit Organization. However, one of the struggles that came apparent during the process was that the class couldn’t schedule times with their interviewees before the assignment was due. Could this be a sign of troubles in the future? We did a listening exercise on the how the University uses Capacity Building to get the job done. We assumed the roles of the Board of Trustees to discuss naming a building, but we ended up talking about the golf course instead.
Class 4: January 31st I think this is the class that we started to discuss mission and vision statements for no-profits. We had viewed several companies missions statements and saw how they fit in with their business model. (i.e. “Make People Happy” was Disney’s Mission) We also discussed a worksheet to aid us in doing our AL#1. Journal #3 was also due that day and it discussed Building Capacity, a major theme in the Hudson text. This was after our Board of Trustees exercise in last class.
Class 5: February 7th This class was all about AL#1 and the frustrations that we had. We also discussed “AHA Moments” that we have had in the past month. Class 6: February 14 Class on Valentine’s Day! Most of the class had their mind focused on somewhere (or someone) else. During this class we discussed the Board of Trustees visit that most of the class will do on Thursday and Friday. This was useful to talk a bout what to expect so that we felt better prepared. We also shared Valentine stories of the best and worst experience from the attendance sheet. While this class might not seem productive on paper it was the class to help calm the air of the issues some classmates were having with their NPOs, so that the class would have the motivation to get back on track.
Class 7: February 21 We worked on our Final AL#1 in class and discussed the format that it should be in. We also reviewed feedback from the rough drafts that we got to prepare the final that was due that Friday, Feb 23 rd . The format that the class was given was “I learned… I learned this when…. This matters because… In light of this learning I will…” Class 8: February 28 During this class we discussed the Ten Things a Nonprofit Must Do ( Provided by Dr. Jameson) as part of the strategic planning topic of the course. We had a class discussion strategic alliances and strategic planning and how non-profits use these partnerships to do its work. This came after our incredible activity of creating our own non-profit “Hoozia”. This activity involved the class playing different roles at a Board meeting. The class provided examples from its non-profits on how they use strategic partnerships.
Class 9: March 14th This class we had the awesome treat of having Allen, a Peace Corps recruiter on campus join our class. He was very entertaining and had a lot to talk about the Peace Corps. He discussed his mission in Belize and how he had connected with the locals. While he took up most of the class time we had learned many things from him that could be tied back to NPOs. One thing in particular is to keep focus on the mission and objective of the NPO, and to keep giving back to the community. I think after this class many classmates will check out the Peace Corps as an option after college.
Class 11: March 28 This class was filled with another exciting guest speaker. The speaker this evening had lots of experience with Boards of Nonprofit organizations. This fit in perfectly with the topic that we had tonight on Nonprofit Governance and Chapter 6 of the Hudson text. We discussed the importance of having term limits of members on the board so that the board can keep moving forward and not hold onto the past. This was incredibly insightful and will aid the class in writing their AL. Class 12: April 4th Randy Mounce, Director of Development at the UNC Medical Foundation, came to speak with the class and share his experiences of working in the NPO world. He has very interesting stories to tell (i.e. Clay Pigeon Shoot fundraiser!) that we all could relate to through our service learning with our NPO partner. “This Board of Directors meeting of HOOZIA will come to order!”
Class 13: April 11 During this class we discussed the CASE: Marinating Faith. Good thing we did because the class was getting a little stressed out with their NPO’s. I think this was a useful case and should be kept for the future. Class 14: April 18 This was a very tough week for the class because of the Virginia Tech shooting. We all had to focus on our work and our school but it seemed to be much more difficult. We shared experiences with each-other and bonded more so that we would have the strength to go on. As we pushed on we discussed the AL topic on Diversity, and had a class discussion on what “promoting diversity” means.
Class 15: April 25 The last class before exam week and presentations! This class we focused on last moment discussion on what it means to act in the Good of the Many and how that this idea is particularly important to NPO’s. We also had time to work with each other on our presentation. We also did an exercise that wrapped up the year on what we learned and what we will promise to do. This was very touching and made the class come together at this one final moment to share a connection with each other.