Local nonprofits have a chance to get free management consulting from the University of Pittsburgh, and they're jumping at the chance.
The annual Nonprofit Clinic, run by Prof. Kevin Kearns' "Consulting in Nonprofit Organizations" class in Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), gives second-year students headed for a life of public service the chance to serve now.
Not only is it a good educational experience for his students, Kearns says, but smaller nonprofits can take best advantage of free consulting, which includes marketing studies, feasibility studies, strategic planning, data collection, cost-benefit analyses and other services.
"The students bring some analytical skills, the nonprofits being the problems and it's a win-win for everybody," he says.
The four-year-old clinic always has "significantly more applicants than we can handle," he adds, since they can only help 10 nonprofits per year. While mostly social services groups apply, all types of nonprofits are eligible, including arts, economic development and neighborhood development groups.
One client last year, Kearns reports, asked the students to study how feasible it would be to apply for a complicated federal grant. The students found out that fulfilling the grant's requirements would cause the nonprofit to shift its mission and core values; they successfully warned the group not to seek this funding.
"They decided not to pursue that particular grant opportunity because it would have probably led them astray," says Kearns.
Applicants should contact Kearns here
for an application form.
Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Kevin Kearns, GSPIA