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Nonprofit Resource Center Carries on with Only a Part-Time Sandy Boyd

When Willard "Sandy" Boyd became the university's acting president last summer, those in the Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center wondered how to get through the time they'd be without the center's founder and co-director.

The solution: replace one UI legend with another. Jude West, a 39-year veteran of the Tippie College of Business and emeritus professor of management and organization, has been filling in as the INRC's co-director until Boyd's interim presidency ends. While Boyd continues to attend planning meetings and plugs the resource center during speaking engagements and other gatherings, his work as the university's interim president means Coordinator Richard Koontz and Co-director West have taken up the bulk of the everyday management.

"Jude has really helped us keep things going," said Koontz. "It's been so helpful to have someone with his experience helping us in so many ways, especially as we develop a new strategic plan."

West became involved in the INRC when it opened within the UI College of Law in 2000. Boyd, a law school faculty member, asked West to help put together a class syllabus on nonprofit management, Nonprofit Organizational Effectiveness, offered to students through the business college. With West's 39 years of teaching management and operations, as well as more than 15 years of experience serving on boards of several Iowa City nonprofit groups, he understood how nonprofits operate and how they can operate more efficiently.

That experience also made West a natural candidate to step in while Boyd is on loan to the rest of the university. The INRC is facing a critical time in its history as its initial three-year operating plan nears its end and a new plan is being developed to determine its future direction. So far, the center has focused mostly on helping new nonprofit organizations organize and begin operating. West said about 80 percent of the group's work is helping start-ups, with the rest of the work helping established nonprofits mostly by providing legal advice and offering educational programs on changes in nonprofit law.

But Boyd, Koontz, and West have developed a new model for the center that they hope will offer more assistance to established nonprofits, particularly in management, fundraising and marketing, topics that West can offer his expertise to.

"There's a big need for nonprofits to get management help," said Koontz. "So far, we've focused on providing legal help, but we want to start offering management assistance, too."

The INRC is also working to expand its outreach to serve even more nonprofits across Iowa. It has started offering many of its seminars, workshops and classes via the Iowa Communications Network so nonprofit managers across the state can participate. This spring, it will undertake its first statewide tour, offering a half-day seminar on for nonprofit executives on building an effective board of directors in Ottumwa, Council Bluffs, Fort Dodge, Dubuque and Burlington.

Perhaps its most notable outreach effort, though, is its recently expanded Web site that offers such a wide array of information that virtually every nonprofit agency in Iowa (and many outside the state) can be considered clients.

In addition, West said the INRC helps economic development in the state by strengthening the nonprofit organizations that play such a large role in economic development.

"Nonprofits can have a tremendous economic impact," he said. "Social services, art, cultural and educational organizations are important factors businesses look at when thinking about moving into a community, and employees when they think bout moving to a community to work. We can make a contribution by helping communities develop their nonprofit sector."

The INRC also hopes to offer more classes to UI students through inter-disciplinary cooperation; to assist reaching that goal, a university-wide advisory council is also being formed to offer input from other colleges and departments.


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