Kansas State University


The Loop

Fostering Leadership for Life: Nonprofit Leadership Studies

In the fall of 2005, the Staley School of Leadership Studies offered its first course in nonprofit leadership studies—which began a new “track” of the leadership studies minor, focused specifically on developing the leadership needed in the growing nonprofit sector. This unique program is helping to prepare a new generation of nonprofit leaders through focused curriculum and hands-on learning experiences. The students and alumni of this program are part of a network of leaders who are impacting communities around the state of Kansas, the United States, and beyond!

Students in the nonprofit leadership studies minor utilize their electives to study Theories of Nonprofit Leadership, as well as an internship and seminar course focused on their engagement with a nonprofit organization.

In Theories of Nonprofit Leadership, students learn the essentials of nonprofit management and engage with contemporary issues facing the nonprofit sector. They apply their learning to create their own vision for a nonprofit and prepare a detailed outline and report on how they would execute their vision. At the conclusion of the semester, students present their work at a coffee hour and browsing session to discuss their nonprofit ideas with other students, faculty, and members of the community. This event is open to the public, and it is an opportunity for the students to gain practical experience in discussing their passion and ideas with others, which is a key skill-set for nonprofit leadership. The diversity of issues addressed by these student projects never ceases to amaze, and it demonstrates that the future is bright, and—with the help of programs like these—it will be filled with individuals exercising leadership for the common good.

Engagement with current leaders in the nonprofit sector is a critical piece of the nonprofit leadership studies minor. We’re grateful to a wide array of partner organizations who host conferences (such as Nonprofit Connect in Kansas City), work with our students, and offer professional development opportunities that ensure a bright future for our rapidly-growing nonprofit sector.

Students in the nonprofit leadership studies minor:

  • Get one-to-one support, career development, and mentoring by faculty and community nonprofit professionals.
  • Network with and gain special access to prospective employers at local, regional, and national levels.
  • Receive opportunities to practice nonprofit roles through internships, co-curricular activities, community service, and professional development events.
  • Acquire references and referrals from organization and agency executive directors, advisory board members, and community leaders.

Supporting Nonprofit Leadership

Help support our growing network of nonprofit leaders by contributing to the “Leadership for Life” Fund! Your gift will be put to work providing resources, travel, and logistical support to our students and faculty to continue learning, developing, and engaging with our growing nonprofit sector.

(Left to right: Chance Lee, Nancy Bolsen, Olivia Collins, Marcia Hornung)
A selfie with current and former faculty of the Nonprofit Leadership Studies program (Left to right: Chance Lee, Nancy Bolsen, Olivia Collins, Marcia Hornung)

As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we’re looking forward to connecting with our alumni, both near and far, to share this milestone and invite them to engage with us in writing the story of the next 20 years of leadership studies at Kansas State University! Learn more about how you can be part of cultivating #LeadershipForLife here: bit.ly/LeadershipForLife

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