As part of a continuing series on Spring 2018  semester courses that relate to innovation and business, this post spotlights Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness II. 

Professors Josephine Bathke and Paul Thelen will be picking up where they left off with their Fall 2017 Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness I course (“NOE”), expanding students’ understanding of the operation and role of nonprofit organizations in the community.  

Whereas NOE I focused on internal operations and the role of nonprofits in building and enhancing local communities, NOE II will build on that foundation and expand the focus to the external operations of nonprofits.  

NOE II has two primary aims: 1) illustrating the qualities needed for leaders of nonprofit organizations, including interactions with staff and volunteers, and 2) discussing the relationship between nonprofits and community constituencies, governmental entities, professional associations, and other collaborative organizations. NOE II will also address marketing, public relations, and advocacy strategies for nonprofits.  

NOE II will be taught in the College of Business and will be open to both graduate and undergraduate students. “One of the huge benefits of this class is the diversity of students,” said Professor Bathke. “The course will be listed in nine different program catalogues. There will be a lot of interaction via small group work and class participation so that everyone benefits from the group’s collective experience and insights. It’s not a standard law school class.”   

The class size will be capped at 40–50 students overall, but the cap for law students will be 25 students. This breakdown will ensure everyone benefits from the group’s varied experiences, while also challenging the law students to look at issues from multiple perspectives.  

One major part of the course will be the practical component. Students in NOE II will be assigned to a local nonprofit organization that they will work with directly throughout the spring semester. They will come up with a proposal to solve a major issue currently facing that nonprofit and determine a way to measure the success of that proposal once it is implemented.  

“We believe this course will be valuable for all law students,” said Bathke. “I can almost guarantee every law grad will be asked to be on a board at some point in their lives. Lawyers will be in high demand when it comes to serving on nonprofit boards, or being asked by those boards for advice, so law students are uniquely situated to help nonprofits.”  

Students will be given different writing assignments throughout the semester to go along with the quizzes, participation points, and attendance to comprise their final grade. The law students will be graded separately on the law school grading scale (no forced curve).  

Students will also be expected to stay abreast of current nonprofit events throughout the semester. Each student will be tasked with reading a recently published article and creating an 8–10 minute presentation. Once completed, they will post their presentation online to generate an ongoing online discussion with their peers outside of class.  

The course is three credit hours and meets once per week in the evening. NOE I is not a prerequisite to NOE II but can obviously be beneficial.

Schedule Information

Wednesday, 5:30 – 8:15