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 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," says Lester Salamon, a principal research scientist at the Institute for Policy Studies and director of its Center for Civil Society Studies. "Our new program will ensure that the sector continues to find cutting-edge leaders."
Salamon and Steven Knapp, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, launched the program at a recent ceremony on the Homewood campus. Students will begin taking classes in the fall semester.
With more than 195,000 people employed by nonprofits in Maryland and earning annually more than $6 billion in combined salaries, 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 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.
"It's just common sense to support a sector that provides employment, enhances development and improves the quality of life for all of us," said Peter Burns, executive director of the Maryland Association of Nonprofits, who attended the program launch. "By strengthening the nonprofit sector, we strengthen our community as a whole."
Added Darrell Friedman, president of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, "This program is critical in helping us to build an even more qualified work force for Baltimore's nonprofit sector."
For prospective candidates to learn more about the program and meet some of the faculty and staff, open houses will be held at 3:30 p.m. on June 19 and 8:15 a.m. on June 21, both in 526 Wyman Building, Homewood campus. To attend, call 410-516-2862 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org by June 15.