One of the amazing things about Seattle University’s Master of Nonprofit Leadership program is our community. Many graduates highlight the network they created while in the program, noting connections with cohort members, faculty, alumni, mentors, and guest speakers. This program, established 29 years ago by Mary Stewart Hall, has an accomplished and diverse group of alumni. Coming out of the global pandemic, now more than ever, re-establishing our community connections is invaluable. Whether you graduated years ago or recently, you are an important part of our community.
Below are several ways that you can re-engage with Nonprofit Leadership:
We look forward to connecting with you soon!
Noreen Elbert, Acting Director, Nonprofit Leadership
Seattle University's Nonprofit Leadership Program and Alumni Council are pleased to invite you to the Nonprofit Leadership Connects event on Wednesday, April 19th, 5-7:00 pm in Student Center 160. Join us to network and build community with students, alums, and friends of Nonprofit Leadership.
Later in the evening our esteemed faculty, Dr. Elizabeth Dale, PhD, will present her latest research, "Moving Money and Shifting Power for Social Justice." This research aims to better understand a new generation of social justice donors and how they think about their giving. Learn how participants enact social justice giving through six core practices and the expansive role their giving takes.
We look forward to gathering in-person and enjoying an evening together. Hors d'œuvres, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks will be served. RSVP Today!
Developing skills through practical application is a core principle of the Nonprofit Leadership program at SU. Second year students are matched with an organization and apply their education in a select area such as fundraising, marketing, financial management, advocacy, DEI, etc.
True Sister’s Worldwide, a Ghana-based nonprofit that supports women and girls through education, microenterprise, and mentoring, needed a fundraising plan and a donor-engagement strategy. This project caught the attention of Andrew Kwambiri, who traveled from Malawi to study at Seattle University.
Andrew’s work has focused on designing communications and drafting a fundraising plan to reach US-based donors. The biggest challenge is learning how things are done in both the United States and Ghana while trying to reconcile the two to create cohesive programming. This is great experience for Andrew who dreams of taking what he has learned in the U.S back to Malawi. He plans to start a nonprofit and apply his knowledge to the context of an African community.
Andrew feels inspired by being able to connect across the diaspora. He relates that, “The amount of work that has been done by Africans in the Diaspora has been a lot, but we haven’t built a network to maximize our effort." He adds that, “I enjoy when people who have African roots come together to work. We share the same history, are impacted by the same systems, and fight for similar things.”
We are excited to invite the MNPL community to observe the capstone project presentations, June 3rd from 9am-3pm. Our students are currently hard at work developing their projects. Please join us for an informative and engaging day, either in person or via Zoom. RSVP for more information.
Karina Arroyo’s capstone is an example of the research our students are doing. Her project explores how Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) working in the nonprofit sector experience professional development. Her project will also provide recommendations for further research that centers the voices of BIPOC nonprofit professionals.
Karina, who identifies as Latinx, is motivated by her own experience working in the nonprofit sector. She serves as a Family Connector at Open Arms Perinatal Service where she supports families by connecting them to community services, housing, employment, baby items, and healthcare. Open Arms provides free doula and lactation services at no cost to low-income families.
Most importantly, Karina is focused on creating space for BIPOC to have their experiences heard and valued. She hopes people will realize that “their experiences are unique, but also a part of a larger trend that is happening in the nonprofit workplace.”
Seattle University Nonprofit Leadership Alumni Council is now accepting applications for new members for a two-year term starting September 1, 2023. The purpose of the Alumni Council is to foster strong connections among NPL alumni, encourage engagement between alumni and the faculty, staff, and current students of Nonprofit Leadership. Get involved by submitting an application by May 15, 2023.
Congratulations to Taylor Farley, recently promoted to Executive Director of LGBTQ Allyship! They graduated in June 2017, earning both the Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Certificate in Fundraising Leadership. Taylor completed their MNPL practicum at the Social Justice Fund and upon graduation served as co-chair for our Alumni Council. In April 2020, they began working at LGBTQ Allyship as a Program and Development Manager and were appointed Executive Director at the end of last year. They have a long track record of exemplifying excellence, having also completed their Undergraduate degree at Seattle University where they graduated Magna Cum Laude and joined the Sociology Honors Society with their thesis Discrimination in the Workplace: Trans Men Helping to Break the Binary.
Taylor credits the MNPL program with helping them develop and apply their skills in building community and social justice to development, fundraising, strategic planning, and marketing.
“Having a critical perspective really helps an individual think about the complicated, and messy problems that we have in today’s society,” says Professor Khánh Nguyễn. This belief guides Khánh as he returns to Seattle U to teach Nonprofit Leadership’s Social Justice class this spring. He relates that the course helps students to see new possibilities and connect with people across differences. “It’s going to take all of us to work toward a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world,” adds Khánh.
Khánh is a Vietnamese immigrant who celebrates his strong, passionate, and determined ancestors and has always wanted to provide support to people who are struggling. He does this by harnessing the power and creativity of the nonprofit sector to address urgent issues. However, after spending several years working in the nonprofit and youth development fields, Khánh saw firsthand the severe extent of racial and economic disparities.
Khánh decided to join the Master of Nonprofit Leadership program at Seattle University because social justice is so paramount to our Jesuit mission. He especially appreciated how open leadership was to student input and constructive feedback. This motivated Khánh to pursue a Doctorate with a focus on critical race perspectives so he could better address the disparities he witnessed. Khánh was guided by the belief that, “We need to be honest about ourselves, and our experiences so we can support the community in a way that is not demoralizing and doesn’t perpetuate the same inequalities we are trying to address.”
The main goal of the Social Justice course is to have difficult conversations about inequities that exist in the nonprofit sector. Khánh admits that although the sector is flawed, it is made up of “amazing, dedicated individuals that need to come together to develop equitable, and just solutions." He is particularly excited for the praxis projects where students showcase their ideas by applying theory to practice.
“Last year an individual student shared with the class how the project helped them realize their power, live in their truth, and claim their self-worth. They felt able to continue with their work, and not be afraid of who they are,” relates Khánh. This is an important lesson as he teaches that we cannot separate ourselves from the work we do but must instead consider our privileges and disadvantages when we serve communities.
When Scott Haugh, MNPL ’18 graduated with his Masters in Nonprofit Leadership, Beacon Farms was still an overgrown tract of land in the middle of Grand Cayman Island, land that many locals thought could not be farmed. Five years later, however, the land is fertile, crops are thriving, and Beacon Farms employs a dozen people, all of whom are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
For more than 30 years, Scott, his parents, and sisters have been traveling to Grand Cayman. As their love of the island and its people grew, so too did their involvement. In addition to supporting local organizations through his family’s foundation, The Haugh Family Foundation, Scott joined the boards of Inclusion Cayman, an organization that assists people with developmental disabilities, and the Bridge Foundation, a sober living house for Caymanians in early addiction recovery. But when the founders of the Bridge Foundation recognized that people in recovery were not getting jobs, the idea of Beacon Farms was born.
“For people in addiction recovery, life’s challenges can be especially daunting,” said Scott. “Because of our past behaviors, we have alienated friends, family, and employers. When we get clean and sober, we must clean up the wreckage of our past and strive to become the good people we know we are. Having a job is critical to rejoining society and becoming positive contributors to the greater good.”
In 2017, with the support of the Haugh Family Foundation, The Beacon of Hope Foundation purchased 34-acres on the North side of the island to develop into an “idea farm,” where they could grow crops in an experimental setting and sell them locally and employ Caymanians in recovery. Their goal is that the farm can become self-sufficient through the sale of its crops, including mangels, used for livestock feed, tobacco, and coconut oil and contribute to the island’s food security. Establishing the farm took the labor of many people and significant philanthropic investment, all chronicled in a documentary film, “Beacon Farms: The Movie”, which premiered locally in February.
As the founders and staff of Beacon Farms found their way, they realized the need to create a richer soil base given the rocky nature of the island’s soil. As a result, Beacon Farms now has Grand Cayman’s first commercial grade, large-scale composting facility and repurposes local organic waste that would otherwise be taken to the local landfill. The farm also brought in an industrial rock crusher that pulverizes the island’s notoriously rocky ground to make the land more hospitable to crops—and others on the island have been able to lease the machine to improve their own soil.
Scott explained, “We have created an “Agricultural Renaissance” in Grand Cayman. The Haugh Foundation, along with support from local private foundations and island donors, have done something never thought possible; turning base rock into fertile soil, planting experimental and staple crops, and improving food security and creating a better quality of life for Grand Cayman’s most marginalized citizens. And we’re just getting started.”
Scott credits the Masters of Nonprofit Leadership program with strengthening the operations of his family’s foundation and their ability to partner with the organizations they support. “The Haugh Foundation is fiscally sound, socially aware, and culturally adaptive because of the knowledge and insight I gained in Seattle University’s MNPL program. Our foundation now operates smarter, and most importantly, pivots more strategically than ever before, allowing us to take advantage of opportunities otherwise lost. I use my MNPL experience almost daily, and draw from my coursework in fundraising, board governance and program design and evaluation to help me deliver impactful results to the nonprofit organizations on whose boards I serve and in strengthening deliverables to those we help through our funding partnerships.”
To learn more about Beacon Farms check out this link!
The Nonprofit Leadership Alumni Council wants to thank everyone who supported the program with a gift during Seattle U Gives 2023. Together, we raised over $5,000 for the Nonprofit Excellence Fund. These resources will be used to ensure that students who begin the program have everything they need to finish and that no roadblocks stand in their way. Thank you for believing in this work and supporting the next generation of nonprofit leaders.
Are you interested in further supporting MNPL? There are several ways to get involved: