Summary. The National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise (NCNE) seeks proposals from university centers, federations, professional associations, research or other types of nonprofit support organizations, to serve as its institutional home and to assume its administrative, governance and programmatic functions. The NCNE is a 501(c) (3) private, nonprofit corporation established in 1998 whose mission is “to help nonprofit organizations make wise economic decisions.” Historically, NCNE has addressed this mission through several means including a robust electronic knowledge base and website, professional conferences, publications, consultation services, and educational coursework. At various times in its history, NCNE has been housed and hosted by a university-based nonprofit academic center, as well as a United Way and a law firm. It is currently seeking a new host institution that will help rebuild its leadership and support and develop its programming and administration.

Current Status. NCNE is financially solvent with modest streams of income stemming from its newly established membership and nonprofit resilience management instructional and certification programs. In 2021, NCNE lost its board president to illness, and the departure of its current executive director to another career opportunity is imminent. In addition, there are several vacant board positions, due to recent deaths and resignations. This circumstance presents a special opportunity for NCNE to consider new directions under alternative sponsorship, leadership and governing arrangements. NCNE currently has minimal expenses but requires part-time executive and office assistance to carry on its basic functions. A new host institution will have the opportunity to appoint future executive and board leadership, shape NCNE’s vision, and further develop NCNE’s programming. While NCNE has few financial or physical assets, it enjoys substantial intellectual and social capital in the form of its knowledge base and its volunteer Research Advisory Network, which consists of a distinguished group of some 60 nonprofit scholars who develop its materials, serve in its programs and provide intellectual guidance.

Vision. From its inception the vision of the NCNE has been to improve the capacity of U.S. based nonprofit organizations by enhancing the ability of nonprofit managers and leaders to wisely use their scarce resources in pursuit of their missions, by applying basic principles of economics and management science and related nonprofit research in their organizational decision making. This vision is achieved through various means including publications, conferences, web-based knowledge resources, consultation and educational programming. The primary audience for NCNE is composed of senior nonprofit leaders and managers, but NCNE’s beneficiaries also include volunteer leaders, students of nonprofit management, consultants and university faculty and staff who teach and do research on nonprofit management and nonprofit organizations.

Business Model. Over time NCNE has supported itself through various means including foundation grants, program fees for conferences, workshops and publications, membership fees, individual gifts, and volunteer effort. In its start-up years, NCNE relied on foundation grants and conference program fees. In recent years, NCNE has pursued an earned revenue model consisting of membership fees and tuition revenues from its workshop courses, supplemented by gifts from individual donors, including board members, and volunteer efforts by members of its Research Advisory Network. The “value proposition” for NCNE varies by stakeholders: Members receive access to NCNE’s knowledge base and discounts in its programming in exchange for annual fee payments. Other consumers of NCNE services receive publications and workshops on a quid pro quo fee basis. Donors and grant makers seeking to enhance the efficacy of the nonprofit sector benefit from general improvements in the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations that result from educating leaders in state of the art principles and methods of nonprofit economic decision making. Members of the Research Advisory Network benefit from knowledge gained from professional colleagues in exchange for their own contributions to NCNE’s knowledge base and programming expertise. Each of these value propositions underwrites alternative income streams to support NCNE’s work. The new host organization will have the opportunity to emphasize one or more of these propositions in shaping NCNE’s business plan for the future.

Requirements and Opportunities for a Host Institution. NCNE seeks a host institution whose own mission is consistent with and complementary to that of NCNE. The intent is to make both NCNE and its host stronger by virtue of this synthesis. Responsibilities for the host include ensuring the ongoing financial and organizational integrity of NCNE, by overseeing appointment of new executive and board leadership and assuring that NCNE’s charitable status is legally maintained. The host may wish to share the executive position between NCNE and other host administrative or professional staffing until such time as NCNE’s revenue growth requires full-time management. The host will retain control of NCNE through appropriate appointments to NCNE’s board and by serving as its fiscal agent. In the long term, the host may wish either to retain NCNE’s status as an independent nonprofit organization, or legally merge or consolidate it with its own organizational charter. The current board of NCNE will accede to such changes, should that be requested.

Letters of Intent. Prospective host organizations should submit a short letter of intent by February 21, 2022 indicating intention to submit a proposal for NCNE’s consideration. The letter should be addressed to the Chair of NCNE’s Committee on the Future and forwarded by e-mail to Stuart Mendel at The letter should briefly indicate why the organization wishes to apply for hosting NCNE and what qualifications and capacities it would offer as a host institution.

Proposals. Based on their letters of intent, prospective hosts will be invited to submit proposals of three to five pages by March 15, 2022. Proposals should state why the organization wishes to serve as NCNE’s host, the particular contribution NCNE is expected to make to the host’s mission, the administrative and financial resources that the host can devote to overseeing and promoting NCNE, and a succinct statement of why the host would be a superior choice for stewardship of NCNE’s future, including the host’s particular interests and expertise in nonprofit economic decision making. The proposal should also identify the host’s professional and administrative staff members who will serve as primary liaisons and participants in NCNE.

Letters of intent and proposals from consortia of host institutions will also be considered. In this case the proposal should describe the nature and composition of the proposed consortium and how it will operate as a joint host institution for NCNE.