News from the Bush School

Bush School Aids Emerging Nonprofit Leaders

June 08, 2009

Texas’s OneStar Foundation and the Bush School have collaborated to create a new leadership development program that will help meet the urgent need for well-educated and experienced professionals in the nonprofit field.

The OneStar Foundation is a Texas nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to further volunteerism and community service in the state. A Foundation grant of $80,000 supported this initial program for emerging young leaders.

Twenty-eight young people currently working in nonprofit organizations were competitively chosen by the Foundation to spend the week of May 18-22 at the Bush School learning from faculty and staff experts in nonprofit management as well as from their peers in the program. Their on-campus experience will be enhanced by a range of online activities over the next six months, including workshops and one-on-one coaching by Bush School faculty and staff.  Nearly all their expenses, except travel to and from College Station, were covered by the OneStar grant.

Dr. Will Brown, who directs the School’s nonprofit management certificate program, noted that this program is one way the Bush School is addressing the significant need for effective leadership in the nonprofit sector. 

“In the next decade, leadership in nonprofit organizations will become an even more pressing problem.  As the sector continues to expand and the baby boom generation seeks retirement, the need for talented leaders in the field outstrips the current workforce,” Brown said.

Participants were selected because they had programmatic experience, a strong interest and commitment to improving social conditions, but limited expertise in running a nonprofit organization and little advanced management training.

“These individuals are poised to contribute substantively to the nonprofit field and assume increasing levels of strategic management responsibilities ,” said Brown. “Without the proper training, they may become frustrated at the interpersonal and inter-organizational strife which will prevent them from being as effective as they might be,” he added.

During their week at the Bush School, the students participated in leadership self assessment, one-on-one coaching sessions, and a series of workshops. The goal is to help them gain a better understanding of their leadership skills and the challenges faced by nonprofit managers, and to improve their leadership capabilities. A unique aspect of the program is that participants must identify a mentor or coach from within their own organization or professional network who will then participate in a two week online workshop to help them become more effective mentors.

Evolving from the state government’s more than 30 years of support of volunteerism and community service,  the OneStar Foundation’s mission has expanded to include strengthening the social sector by identifying, connecting and equipping people, organizations and government with resources to more effectively respond in times of emergencies and disasters.

For additional information contact:  Susan L. Robertson, Director, Communications & External Relations, the Bush School of Government and Public Service, 979.862.8845, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)