New college-nonprofit partnerships book

Originally published by the Indiana State Newsroom. Two Indiana State University professors are out with a new guidebook for nonprofit leaders that promotes campus and community partnerships for addressing many of the challenges their organizations face.

“Cooperate-Advancing your nonprofit organization’s mission through college & community partnerships” was authored and edited by Nathan Schaumleffel, associate professor of kinesiology, recreation, and sport and campus/executive director of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification Program, and Tina Kruger, assistant professor of applied health sciences, in league with Indiana Campus Compact and its faculty fellows program.

While there may be a pre-existing plethora of nonprofit how-tos, this guide focuses on opportunities that potentially arise when nonprofits and colleges work together, Schaumleffel said.

“The whole premise of the book is that nonprofits need more,” he said. “There are about two million nonprofits in the United States and they’re all competing for resources, and all of them need more. They need more money. They need more volunteers. They need more staff. They need more time. They need more office space. They never have enough to meet community needs and a lot of them are really struggling. Unfortunately, most nonprofit organizations look past one of the best resources right in their back yard, which is a local college or a university.”

In order to get the most out of a college-nonprofit partnership, Schaumleffel stressed, all parties must have their needs met. When the goals of a nonprofit and a university overlap, that can mean low-cost or free resources to the nonprofit, experiential learning opportunities for students that achieve learning outcomes, and achievement of academic objectives and professional development goals of professors.

The guide also spares readers tedious re-information by specializing its focus on executive directors, board members, volunteers, and staff who are already well-aware of the fundamentals of nonprofit leadership. Written by nonprofit leaders, it pays great attention to the obstacles that hit small- to medium-sized nonprofits especially hard-such as fundraising and volunteer management. The foreword of the 153-page book was written by Nonprofit Leadership Alliance president emeritus Michael Cruz and current president Susan Schmidt.

The book was published by Indiana Campus Compact and co-authored by other faculty fellows from DePauw University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Purdue University-Calumet, and the University of Indianapolis as part of a 2 ½-year engaged scholarship initiative.

“Engaged scholarship… [combines] faculty roles of teaching, research, and service,” according to the New England Resource Center of Higher Education.

Since many contributors had one-year fellowships, it was Schaumleffel’s responsibility as Senior Faculty Fellow and editor to manage the project from conception to publication, as well as provide content. While Schaumleffel lead-authored all but one of the chapters, he credited Kruger for her enormous contributions to the project, acting as lead-author on one chapter and co-author on another.

“The group decided as a whole that the book was something that made sense because it fills a void that’s out there,” Kruger said, “where community partners may want to work with faculty on campus but they don’t always know how-what they can ask for, how they can go about asking for it. There are a lot of books written to encourage faculty involvement with community partners, but not a lot from the other side.”

Kruger is director of the gerontology certificate program at Indiana State. She uses her knowledge of gerontology to benefit her students and community, as well as make an international impact.

For her individual project as a Faculty Fellow for 2012-13, Kruger oversaw students in her health promotion aging class while they surveyed older attendees at Dine with a Doc. Visiting two locations in Vigo County, the students asked participants about the topics that concerned them most, focusing on the ways Senior Education Ministries-the sponsor of the event-could provide them with a better quality service. The project was highlighted in Chapter One of “Cooperate” to illustrate a successful college-nonprofit organization partnership.

During the summer of 2014, Kruger also took an international community engagement and service-learning trip to Finland where she and others looked into nursing homes and senior healthcare abroad, and other issues that are important in the field of gerontology.

Indiana Campus Compact supports higher education’s efforts to help students become active and informed citizens through service-learning and community engagement. The only statewide higher education association dedicated specifically to campus-based civic engagement, it includes public, private, two-year, and four-year learning institutions.

It also offers scholarships to faculty and students with similar project goals. Since the funds from previous Faculty Fellow class projects helped seed “Cooperate”, Schaumleffel said that any profits from the book will return to the Indiana Campus Compact Faculty Fellows program for future projects.

The book can be purchased on Amazon at http://amzn.com/0692296190 and is available in both paperback and Kindle e-book format.