STRATEGIC PLANNING REPORT
Center for NGO Leadership & Development (NGOLD)
The proposed Center for the Leadership & Development of NGOs meets each of the goals of NIU’s strategic plan.
 It preserves and strengthens the national reputation of NIU in public management and Southeast Asian Studies.
 It provides the interdisciplinary infrastructure to support multidisciplinary research that complements individual
scholarly and artistic achievement.  It strengthens and extends NIU’s global and regional impact by creating new
degree programs in NGO studies that are tied to the university’s wide-ranging outreach activities in the region and
throughout the globe.  The interdisciplinary teaching and learning environment provided by the center and the
new undergraduate major in Civic Leadership & Community Engagement will make NIU an institution of first
choice for students, faculty and staff working with and for NGOs around the world.
The education and training goals of the proposed center include development of:
Degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students.
Noncredit programs for others who need general and specific training related to NGOs.
Appropriate delivery methodologies for both domestic and international clients including traditional and
The engagement goals of the proposed center are based on collaboration with existing NIU providers of applied
research, management consulting, and other forms of technical assistance to expand the university’s capacity to
provide these services, including:
Developing a new service delivery mechanism, perhaps similar to the Small Business Development Center
(SBDC) model, and the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) program.
Providing NGO development assistance, including proposal development consulting and program
evaluation services; a business consulting role for individuals NGOs, including business plan development
and needs assessments, financial management consulting, and other services.
Assisting NGO entrepreneurs to develop new initiatives and organizations that provide public value and
services; assisting microfinance NGOs to provide training workshops for clients who need help with business
plans and other entrepreneurship training.
Assisting donors by increasing the quality of NGO proposals and the effectiveness of program evaluation
so they can better assess their investments in NGOs.
The research goals of the proposed center include the production of knowledge that enhances our understanding of:
the roles of domestic and international NGOs in collective activities in various social, cultural, political,
and economic contexts; how NGOs produce public value, and how they measure their performance; how
NGOs collaborate with units of government, private for-profit organizations, universities, and others; the
skills and factors that affect successful NGO leadership; how NGOs manage and exchange information for
various purposes; successful resource management strategies for NGO development and sustainability.
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School-Department Faculty & Staff
College of Business-Management Jon Briscoe
College of Business -Accountancy Jim Young
University Outreach-Vice President Anne Kaplan
University Outreach-Center for Governmental Studies Robert Gleeson
University Outreach-Center for Governmental Studies Greg Kuhn
University Outreach Brian Vollmert
Division of International Programs Deb Pierce
LA&S-Anthropology Andrea Molnar
LA&S-Anthropology Sue Russell
LA&S-Anthropology Kendall Thu
LA&S-Economics Neelam Jain
LA&S-Economics Eliakim Katz
LA&S-Public Administration Michael Peddle
LA&S-Public Administration Kurt Thurmaier
LA&S-Public Administration Fred Mayhew
LA&S-Sociology Abu Bah
LA&S-Sociology Kristopher Robison
College of Visual and Performing Arts Richard Holly
4. Strategies and Action steps:
Strategy: The center will deliver a variety of education and training programs to meet the wide-ranging needs of
NGO actors, NGO partners, and potential NGO actors (students) using market analysis to develop demand
driven, competencies-based curricula. The highest priority is development of an interdisciplinary undergraduate
degree in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE) to support students who desire careers in public
service, whether in positions in the public, private, or non-profit sectors. The MPA curriculum will be revised to
provide a specialization in Nonprofit Management. A new PhD in Public Affairs will include a specialization in
NGO Leadership & Development
2009/10: The NGO studies faculty/staff group met twice with a panel of NGO board members and
executive directors (from Northern Illinois and other states) in spring 2009. The goal of the
meetings was to identify key competencies and skills required of both CLCE and MPA students if
they were to be employed by various types of NGOs. These future employers of NIU graduates
provided valuable job market analysis for the development of the CLCE and MPA curricula. At
the 2nd meeting, they resoundingly endorsed the degree configurations that the faculty and staff
developed based on the input from the first panel session.
The 2009/10 activity involves working through the NIU curriculum committees to create the
CLCE degree in the catalog. The MPA nonprofit specialization also requires catalog changes.
2010/11: Commission and analysis of Hanover Research Council report on structure and curricula of other
NGO centers in the US, especially in the Midwest to assist development of the CLCE degree. The
Hanover Council is also conducting a demand analysis to determine enrollment trends in related
programs (although the CLCE degree is not exactly like other undergraduate degrees in the
programs they are reviewing. The demand study will provide early benchmarks for expected
enrollments in the CLCE degree. The first report (and updated) provide information on the range
and types of degrees and certificate programs offered at various nonprofit research centers.
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2010/11: New NGOLD director assumes position (July 2010) and hires administrative assistant; welcomes
first CLCE majors, organizes first CLCE 100 course.
2010/12: Development of a new PhD in Public Affairs, with NGO Leadership & Development track
Strategy: The center will work with other NIU units to develop a variety of engagement activities that can be
supported by current resources of the university. The center also will develop a variety of external funding
sources to support engagement activities.
2009/10: Commission and analysis of Hanover Research Council report on structure and curricula of other
NGO centers in the US. Development of executive leadership and training programs for NGOs in
2010/11: New NGOLD director assumes position (July 2010) and begins working with Center for
Governmental Studies (CGS) to develop engagement activities and requisite business model.
Strategy: The center will develop a network of NGO chief executives and staff to promote professionalization of
NGO management, increased capacity to raise funds for operations, and to promote increased service capacities.
2008/09: Board members and executive directors from several NGOs in Northern Illinois and in the US
convened as an advisory group to discuss teaching, research, and engagement strategies with the
NGO Studies faculty and staff.
2009/10: Creation of the NGOLD as a unit in LA&S. Continued efforts by the NGO studies faculty and
staff, and the new NGOLD director, to develop the network of NGOs affiliated with NGOLD
2010/11: New NGOLD director assumes position (July 2010) and hires administrative assistant; begins
NGOLD programming, including NGO network development.
Strategy: Create and maintain a strong community of faculty, staff, and students whose teaching, research, and
engagement interests intersect with the proposed center.
2010/11: New NGOLD director assumes position (July 2010) and begins working with NGOLD faculty and
staff associates to create interdisciplinary research projects and to seek external grant support.
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5. Evaluation Plan:
a. Performance Indicators:
Enrollment in the undergraduate CLCE major, by year, including trend analysis. Estimated entering class:
20 students. Enrollment growth over five years not expected to exceed 200 students, as experiential
learning component of degree is constrained by market supply of internship positions.
Number and quality of placements of CLCE majors in experiential learning appointments during the degree
program, by year. NGO Studies Group and new director will develop quality measures (e.g., salary levels)
for placements to implement with first student cohort in fall 2010.
Pre and post assessment of competency levels of CLCE majors at enrollment, based on the competencies
curriculum developed in conjunction with the NGOLD advisory working group and the NGO studies
group. NGO Studies Group and new director will develop skills assessment instrument to implement with
first student cohort in fall 2010.
Satisfaction of majors with the CLCE curriculum
Pre and post assessment of volunteerism and public service by CLCE majors (and as alumni). NGO Studies
Group and new director will develop survey instruments to assess student volunteerism and track alumni.
Enrollment in the new nonprofit management specialization of the MPA program, by year. Estimated
enrollments between 10 and 15 students, constrained by market supply of NGO internships.
Number and quality of placements of MPA NPM students in NGO internships while in the MPA program,
by year. The MPA program regularly monitors and surveys the placement quality of MPA graduates,
including salary and position level. Goal is placement in entry-level management positions with
Satisfaction of NPM specialization MPA students with the MPA-NPM curriculum
Number and quality of placements of MPA alumni in leadership and management roles in NGOs, by year
Levels of external grant support for interdisciplinary research on domestic and international NGOs
attributable to NGOLD faculty and staff.
Numbers of research-oriented doctoral students recruited to NIU with interest in NGO leadership &
Satisfaction of doctoral students with the NGO leadership & development curriculum
Number of doctoral students placed in leading research universities with NGO programs
Number of workshops and other engagement activities sponsored by NGOLD, by year
Satisfaction assessment of workshop and engagement events by attendees, including pre/post competencies
March 2010: Creation of new Center for NGO Leadership & Development (NGOLD)
July 2010: New NGOLD director assumes position
August 2010: Enrollment of first majors in new interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in Community
Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE)
August 2010: New assistant professor in NGO resources management assumes position.
August 2013: Enrollment of first doctoral students in a PhD in Public Affairs
c. Summary process: A summary report will be assembled showing numerical growth in the CLCE degree,
qualitative and quantitative assessment of curriculum satisfaction by CLCE students, and plans for
improvement and/or expansion of programming.
6. Priority: high