On July 31, local nonprofit leaders came to campus to share their insights about the future of the nonprofit sector in southwest Missouri. Prior to the round-table discussion, the first cohort of graduates from the Master in Nonprofit and Civic Leadership program used a poster session format to present their capstone projects. These capstone projects allowed students to research a pressing issue within a nonprofit organization and share findings that could help organizational leaders achieve their goals.
The panelists for the round-table discussion included Amy Blansit, Founder of the Drew Lewis Foundation at the Fairbanks; Barbra Brown, Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center; Phyllis Ferguson, Zone 1 Member of the Springfield City Council; Brian Fogle, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks; Debi Meeds, Executive Director of the United Way of the Ozarks; and Mark Struckhoff, Executive Director of the Council of Churches of the Ozarks.
The panelists discussed how to create a work-life balance when working in the nonprofit sector, tips for young professionals who seek leadership positions, and key issues nonprofits are facing today:
- “Surround yourself with a team that can pick up what projects you need to put down.”
- “The digital divide is real when you work in the nonprofit world. Recognize that not everyone has the privilege you are accustomed to.”
- “Make relationships with people of all ages so that you learn perspectives that can help you solve problems.”
- “The disparity of wealth in the Ozarks is significant and with it comes isolation for those living in poverty. This isolation can make it difficult to reach and serve the very audience that is central to your work.”
The poster session featured the research of the following individuals:
Amber AllenRebekah Cooper