Wright State’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance changes lives in community

Students in the Wright State chapter of the National Nonprofit Leadership Alliance contribute hundreds of volunteer hours every year.

The Wright State chapter of the National Nonprofit Leadership Alliance contributes hundreds of volunteer hours, changing the lives of community members every year.

Wright State is the only school in Ohio to partner with the organization and offer a Nonprofit Leadership Alliance certificate.

“Being able to give back to the community and feel like I’m contributing one way or another to society has also been a huge driving motivation for my life choice,” said Benjamin Banning, vice president of the Wright State Nonprofit Leadership Alliance chapter, who was drawn to the Master of Public Administration program because of its partnership with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

The national organization offers professional development, opportunities to network in the nonprofit sector and attend a national conference, strategic planning, local workshops, internship placements and the ability for students to earn a nationally recognized certification. The organization seeks to develop nonprofit leaders that empower students and benefit communities.

“We are run like an everyday nonprofit organization and learn the ins and outs of what it takes through competency based learning and real-world experiences,” said Katie Rossman, president of the Wright State Nonprofit Leadership Alliance chapter. “I feel that through each meeting and hardship we cross together, we all learn something that is meaningful and that is preparing us for our future careers in the sector.”

Rossman volunteers with We Care Arts, Samaritan Works Inc., Smiles of Hope and St. Jude’s Cooperative.

Students learn how a nonprofit organization functions, practice skills needed to work in the nonprofit sector and to try and fail without fear of repercussions, Banning said. Through meetings and workshops, students learn fundraising skills, fiscal management, grant writing, community engagement, governance leadership and human resource management.

“NLA encourages and pushes students to understand how a true nonprofit organization should run,” said Banning, who works for the Greene County Council on Aging and volunteers with We Care Arts, The Dayton Foodbank and With God’s Grace Mobile Food Pantry.

Wright State’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance will hold a community recognition ceremony on March 30.

Students and alumni who participate in Nonprofit Leadership Alliance are active volunteers in the community and many strive to create and manage their own nonprofit organization.

“I try to volunteer as much as my schedule will let me because it allows me to make that connection with community members that I otherwise may never have had any interaction with,” said Banning. “It also gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment that I was able to make a small contribution to the community on that day.”

Karen Jackson, an active member in the organization, has more than 15 years of working in the nonprofit, government and private sectors.

“My long-term goal would be to run a nonprofit focused on empowering young girls and women to live their best lives and pursue their dreams,” said Jackson, who earned a Public Administration Certificate from Wright State and is a certified nonprofit professional.

Jackson volunteers with the Levin Family Foundation, We Care Arts, Women of the Well, The Miami Valley Nonprofit Collaborative and the Better Business Bureau.

“To me, this is the epitome of what the NLA and M.P.A. program is all about — preparing us to be public servants who are equipped with the knowledge, skills, courage and ethical principles needed to make a difference in the lives of others and our communities,” she said.

The Wright State community is invited to the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s community recognition ceremony on Thursday, March 30, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Soin Medical Center’s Kumar Conference Center. The ceremony will recognize nonprofits and leaders in the local community.

For more information contact the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance chapter director, Jennifer Subban, at jennifer.subban@wright.edu.

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