For newcomers to FFM/C: I have been teaching management of nonprofit corporations at Milano/the School for Public Engagement at New School University for over 20 years and in that long run have overseen some 325 to 350 “capstone” papers – i.e., studies of some aspect of a challenge confronted by a nonprofit.
My students work as consultants, undertake a very professional assessment, develop findings, conclusions and recommendations; and present their work in class to the other students and me and finally, at the midnight hour, mainly, each turns in a paper.
This capstone paper ( at Milano we call it a PDR – i.e. professional decision report) is required of all MS candidates. This seminar is all that stands between them and their graduate degree. The result is a close, intense, working relationship.I spend a lot of time outside the classroom with each student individually, face to face, by phone and by email because I think that’s a great way for me to learn from them and to teach.
This year’s roster is a terrific group of young people. I have hopes that they will remain in service to nonprofits. One is perhaps law school bound. I congratulate them on their hard work. But even more important as the nonprofit sector in the US and the world continues to expand we will need an increasing supply of trained professionals. This applies not only to foundation managers but to their grantees as well. Gone are the days when there were no schools, no courses, no degrees, just the inside of the slippery tank. This is by far a better way for a body of knowledge that has codified and developed the earmarks of a real profession – pretty much since WWII..
L to R (Top): Matt Turkheimer, Meghan O’Keefe, Hank Goldstein,
Julia Bates, Jami Goodman, Caroline Lefaivre;
(Below): Michelle Grazi, Lauren Silver, Lauren Hunt, Lakeisha Jefferson