Program Assists Nonprofits
By: David Brown, Hoya Staff Writter*
COURTESY OF CURT WEEDEN Curt Weeden, creator of New Strategies, leads a forum for the program. New Strategies will begin MSB operations in spring of 2015.
Beginning in spring 2015, New Strategies will begin operations in the McDonough School of Business. Part of the Georgetown Global Social Enterprise Initiative, the program is designed as advanced education specifically for upper-level management of nonprofit organizations, focusing exclusively on how to bolster and manage revenue for growth and success.
The program was created in 2011 by Curt Weeden, a former Johnson & Johnson corporate vice president and current speaker and author, who saw a need to connect nonprofits and businesses.
“[I] thought that if nonprofits came to businesses with more appropriate funding concepts, the needle might move in the right direction,” Weeden said.
New Strategies has already assisted over 200 nonprofit executives in developing strategies and adopting new concepts to increase their organizations’ revenue.
“The program [initially] stayed sharply focused on how to conceptualize and present funding options to companies that are ‘out of the traditional charitable-giving box’ so as to increase the odds for securing corporate assistance,” Weeden said. “More recently, the curriculum has become more expansive with time spent addressing other non-company kinds of funding for nonprofits.”
The new funding avenues include social media funding, earned income for the nonprofit, corporate support and government funding, among other methods.
“Social media funding has become a hot topic over the past few years, but earned income is just as important for nonprofits.Most nonprofits receive the majority of their funding from donations, but if they can find a way to earn their own income they can become less dependent on these donors,” professor Bill Novelli, creator of the GSEI and co-director of New Strategies, said.
Novelli also stressed the importance of earned income generation.
“Nonprofits are led by people with really powerful and important missions but they spend 75 percent of their time looking for funds to achieve this mission, we want to help them,” Novelli said.
With its partnership with the MSB, New Strategies will be able to reach new heights in executive education.The program will utilize the assets that already exist at Georgetown: McDonough MBAs and New Strategies instructors will undertake a full analysis of each participating organization to get a tailored picture of revenue activities and programming priorities.
Once this analysis takes place, the nonprofit and the participating MBAs and instructors participate in an intense four day forum in which plenary sessions, breakout sessions, one-on-one counseling and prominent guest speakers provide opportunities for the nonprofit executives to learn about all the revenue growth options that are available to them.
Not only will New Strategies provide the highest quality and most in-depth advice that is uniquely tailored for each nonprofit that participates in the program; it will also serve as an excellent networking opportunity for nonprofit executives.
In addition to networking opportunities for the nonprofits, New Strategies will also allow the sponsoring companies to network with the various nonprofits.
“Sponsors receive strong recognition by those nonprofits selected to take part in the program, name and brand exposure can be extensive for them,” Weeden said.
After the organization takes part in the four day forum, New Strategies provides further coaching, strategies and advice to them for an additional year.With monthly follow-up communication and virtual interaction with participants, New Strategies ensures sustainable revenue growth for the nonprofit and connection to the vast network of previous participants in the program.
Although the New Strategies program will only be offered three times a year at Georgetown, Weeden and Novelli plan to host a biannual conference for the corporate sponsors at the nonprofits to further increase networking amongst the organizations and to act as a follow-up with program participants.
The co-founders also plan to create a corporate advisory board that will further work to connect nonprofits with potential corporate sponsors.
“A lot of partnerships are already going well but we want to refine and improve those already in existence as well as create even more partnerships for the future,” Novelli said.
*This article first appeared on The Hoya on October 31, 2014