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Glasscock School of Continuing Studies

Content Modules

Participants must complete all nine content modules list below. Listed under each module are the topics which will be covered. Other relevant topics will be included as deemed necessary by the instructor.

1. Effective Nonprofit Leadership

Learn about effective leadership in the nonprofit sector. Understand leadership best practices and form goals to improve your leadership practices.

This workshop addresses, in interactive exercises and discussions, these key leadership practices for nonprofit leaders:

  • Leadership integrity
  • Visionary leadership
  • Leader’s passion for the cause
  • Relating to the stakeholders
  • Empowering the followers
  • Community collaboration
  • Practicing self-awareness

(The first two practices are examined in the August class session. The remaining leadership practices are examined in the January class session.)

2. Successful Nonprofit Organizations and Board Governance

Learn to recruit, retain and effectively manage the board, staff and volunteers, and advance the strategic plan for appropriate results.

Topics will include the following:

  • Elements of high performing nonprofit organization
  • Board governance: recruiting, orienting, inspiring and retaining a diverse board and committees with the skills, network and expertise
  • Defining board expectations and providing clear board and committee job descriptions
  • Planning and conducting board and committee meetings
  • The development and implementation of a strategic plan relevant to the mission and goals of the organization
  • Assigning appropriate roles for achievement high performance of the board members, executive director and staff

3. Marketing and Public Relations

In this module, participants will learn the:

  • Value, function and components of a communication, marketing and public relations plan
  • Formulation and role of organizational, as well as audience and/or program-specific messaging
  • Relevance and strategies for multiple channels of communication, including:
    • Media relations
    • Advertising
    • Electronic media
    • Social Media
    • Print
    • Special Events
  • Multiple facets of branding, including visual identification and the experience factor of communications
  • Advantage of a collaborative communications, marketing and development team that works toward common goals

4. Development Planning and Donor Engagement

Plan and implement the fundraising strategy, managing the development team and build relationships with the donor community.

Topics will include the following:

  • Planning and implementing the fundraising plan
  • Managing the development team
  • Roles within the donor cycle, identification, discovery, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gift donors

5. Financial Management

Learn the fiscal responsibilities of the board and staff and how to develop and maintain sound financial practices.

Topics will include the following:

  • Fiscal responsibilities of the board and staff
  • Developing and maintaining sound financial practices
  • Preparing the annual budget and long-range planning
  • Day-to-day financial administration
  • Creating appropriate reports
  • Preparing annual financial statements
  • Ensuring that all legal obligations are met
  • Portfolio management
  • Tax planning
  • Preparing for an audit
  • Selecting accounting software
  • Factors to consider in selecting a CPA

6. Organizational Effectiveness

Learn to evaluate the organization’s effectiveness and implement steps to achieve organizational goals and improve the organization’s performance. 

Topics will include the following:

  • Using technology to achieve organizational goals
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the organization
  • Establishing a roadmap to achieve the organization’s goals for social change
  • Enabling organizational performance improvement
  • Developing organizational and program outcomes
  • Recognizing the need for an external evaluator and steps for selecting an evaluator
  • Considerations in collaborating or building alliances with other groups to reach common goals

7. Essentials of Talent Management

Learn how to develop and maintain a work environment conducive to attracting and retaining top quality staff and volunteers.

Topics will include the following: 

  • Creating a work environment that attracts, retains and motivates top quality staff
  • Recruiting and selecting an effective, stable team
  • Delegating to and motivating staff and volunteers
  • Developing job descriptions, evaluating performance and establishing goals
  • Orienting and training employees
  • Basics of compensation, benefits and rewards
  • Employment law
  • Establishing appropriate policies and procedures
  • Conflict resolution
  • Succession planning

8. Current Legal and Ethical Considerations in Nonprofit Management

Learn the organizational, legal, tax, risk management and ethical considerations inherent in managing a Texas nonprofit organization.

Topics will include the following:

  • Critical differences between for-profit and nonprofit corporations
  • Process for forming a nonprofit corporation and seeking relevant tax exemptions
  • Preparing a certificate of formation and bylaws
  • Corporate governance concerns
  • Maintaining tax exempt status
  • Participating in the political arena
  • Compliance with federal, state and local regulations
  • Risk management
  • Contracts
  • Document management
  • Fundamental business transactions
  • Ethical standards

9. Lessons in Leadership

This session will bring current and former leaders together to discuss challenges they faced and how the concepts covered in this program are applicable to their roles. It will provide class participants the opportunity to ask questions and gain insight from leaders with experience and expertise at different levels of nonprofit organizations.

Orientation Session

For participants transitioning into the nonprofit industry orientation is mandatory. For all other participants, the orientation requirement is determined during the interview process; however, everyone is welcome to attend.


The purposes for the orientation:

  1. Introduce students to the nonprofit sector
  2. Provide a deeper understanding of the differences between for-profit and nonprofit business

The orientation session examines how these elements differ between the for-profit and nonprofit organizations:

  • Ownership and governance
  • Organizational effectiveness and measures
  • Financial
  • Talent management and compensation
  • Public relations and marketing
  • Legal and ethical practice