2011 Conference on Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies
March 24-26, 2011
San Diego, California
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.
1. Broad base of knowledge necessary for effective leadership in philanthropy and the
nonprofit sector: Scope and significance of philanthropy and voluntarism; relationship
and dynamics among and between the nonprofit, government, and for-profit sectors;
history and theories of philanthropy, voluntarism and the nonprofit sector; ethics and
values as they are embodied in philanthropy and voluntarism and as they relate to the
leadership and management of nonprofit sector organizations; nonprofit governance
and executive leadership; nonprofit advocacy and public policy; nonprofit law; etc.
2. Knowledge and skill sets necessary for effective management of nonprofit sector
organizations: Organizational theory and behavior; nonprofit finance (including topics
that address the principal sources--and means of generating--earned income,
government funding, and philanthropic gifts and grants); accounting and financial
management; human resources management; marketing and communications; research
skills; information management and technology; social media and Web 2.0; decision-
making and analytic methods; evaluation and impact; interaction with certification
3. 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.
4. 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.
Educational Programs: Mapping the Field in the U.S. and Internationally
Proposals in this category will describe and benchmark the development, scope, and future of
the field of nonprofit and philanthropic studies.
1. State of nonprofit/NGO and philanthropy/civil society studies: Origins and expansion;
framing issues; areas of growth/decline; description of status in a particular country or
region; scope and dimension of NGO and civil society studies internationally; emergent
models; contexts and constraints; etc.
2. 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.
3. 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;
Institutionalization and Sustainability
Proposals in this category will address key survival issues for educational programs in nonprofit
and philanthropic studies.
1. Funding sources and funding trends: Description of funding sources; best practices;
funding strategies; etc.
2. Institutionalization: Critical factors affecting the institutionalization of programs;
university champions; relationships within the academy; developing respect for
scholarship in this field; community support; implications of program migration and/or
program closure; etc.
3. Tenure: The impact of traditional tenure requirements on the development of faculty
who specialize in nonprofit and philanthropic studies.
Proposals in this category will address the linkages between what is taught in the academy and
what knowledge is needed by professionals and volunteers working in the field.
1. 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.
2. 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.
Proposals in this category will address the social benefit and purpose of nonprofit and
philanthropic studies and/or relationships with other disciplines having a stake in this field.
1. Historical or contextual view of the development of nonprofit management education
and/or philanthropic studies: How this field of professional education arose; how it
compares to other fields; how it has changed over the first 35 years; whether it is
moving more broadly into public citizen programs; future trajectories; etc.
2. 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.
3. Development of individual courses on nonprofit management, civil society, and/or
philanthropy within different disciplines: Relation to mainstream nonprofit
management and leadership programs; etc.
4. Other models: Lessons that can be learned from other disciplines and programs – e.g.
women's studies, African-American studies, other free-standing “fellowship/mentoring”
External Forces: Environment in which the Sector Operates
Proposals in this category will offer a bridge to the contextual forces and larger environment
within which nonprofit and philanthropic studies operate.
1. Leadership: Tomorrow's nonprofit leaders; challenges and opportunities that shape
education and training; professionals, volunteers, educators and trainers; leadership
education needs; succession planning; etc.
2. Cultural competency and inclusion: Strategies for increasing diversity and participation
in the field - educators, professionals, volunteers; long-term effects of lack of diversity
and inclusive practices; etc.
3. Careers: Career development in nonprofit management; careers in philanthropy;
nonprofit law; nonprofit accounting and finance; cross-sector career trajectories; etc.
4. Social enterprise: The impact of social enterprise on the sector's tax status; the
nonprofit organization's response to social enterprise; best practices; financial realities;
5. The government's view of the sector: Government regulation of nonprofit and
charitable organizations vs. self-regulation; demands for accountability; transparency;
role of government in assuring society's needs are addressed; how societal needs are
defined by government; role of tax exempt status as it defines the sector and current
threats to tax exempt status; etc.
6. Linkages with external organizations: Use and role of advisory panels; strategies for
understanding emergent human resource needs; etc.
DESCRIPTION OF SESSION TYPES
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 sshacklett-
firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your proposal.
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
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.
An expert presentation is made by an acknowledged expert in the field who shares
conceptual or methodological innovations through a presentation followed by response
to audience questions. The proposal should detail both the background of the presenter
as well as the importance of the material to be presented.
What does an expert presentation look like? The session chair will welcome the
audience and introduce the presenter. The presenter will then speak on a given topic,
usually for the majority of the session. Occasionally, a respondent or discussant will be
invited to speak following the presentation. The time allocated to audience questions
varies greatly depending on the speaker and topic.
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
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.
PAPER OR PAPER PANEL
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.
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
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).
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.
We anticipate developing conference tracks for graduate students and/or deans and provosts.
If you believe your submission would be appropriate for one of these tracks, please indicate this
in your proposal.