About the National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise (NCNE)

The National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise brings ideas from economics and strategic management to the specific application of issues faced by social purpose organizations across the board, especially not-for-profit organizations. Our administrative operations location is hosted by James Madison University.

Why Invest in NCNE?

The mission of NCNE is “to help nonprofits make wise economic decisions”.

The importance of this mission is demonstrated in numerous surveys, testimony and studies of nonprofit organizations that cite economic sustainability and resource needs as a top priority and concern of nonprofit leaders and managers (see Nonprofit Finance Fund, Johns Hopkins Listening Post, etc.)

Successful nonprofit organizations require managers who are knowledgeable in the economics of their organizations and competent in making decisions with important resource implications, including:

  1. Building organizations
  2. Choosing effective programs and strategies
  3. Mobilizing economic resources
  4. Using assets effectively
  5. Nurturing and developing a culture of learning and improvement about organizational efficiency and effectiveness
  6. Evaluating and measuring organizational performance

While considerable research, teaching and consulting resources exist on these subjects, state of the art knowledge is scattered, unfocused, untranslated into everyday language, and largely inaccessible to most nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs.

It is this niche that NCNE addresses by serving as a knowledge center that brings the fruits of current research, and the expertise of leading researchers and practitioners, into a clearinghouse network to serve the practice community. NCNE does this through several means including:

  1. A network of distinguished educators and researchers
  2. Conferences that bring together academics and practitioners
  3. Leading edge books and other publications
  4. Training programs held with nonprofit partners
  5. Bringing new content into educational programming of existing assistance orgnizations
  6. Offering advisory services to individual and organizational members

No other such center exists in the U.S. NCNE’s specialization is economic decision making by nonprofit managers and leaders, not generic governance or management, and its programming rests heavily on strong ties to the research community.

NCNE will measure its success with a cluster of performance indicators including:

  1. Growth of dues paying membership
  2. Hits and content downloads from its website
  3. Social media traffic
  4. Attendance and evaluation feedback at conferences and events
  5. Distribution and sales of publications
  6. Sponsorships of organizational knowledge products such as five-minute videos, research and publications
  7. Market reach (demand) of the NCNE products through the networks of its partners, contracted agents, board member relationships
  8. Number and size of contracts with client organizations
  9. Number and attendance in community engagement programs
  10. Operations budget growth

Ultimately, NCNE’s success will be realized in the greater economic and management competence of nonprofits.

The board of NCNE has been renewed and expanded in the last two years. NCNE has also expanded its national Research Advisory Network which now includes near fifty distinguished scholars and educators with special expertise in the economics and management of nonprofit organizations and social enterprise.
Sustainability Model

We intend to build a dues paying membership based on three distinct market segments, the values proposition for each is listed below:

  1. Individual members (nonprofit staff members, social entrepreneurs, students, faculty members, others interested in how nonprofit organizations can become more efficient and effective): NCNE membership offers access to practical lessons from state of the art research by leading scholars, on a wide spectrum of topics related to effective use and mobilization of economic resources for achieving the social missions of nonprofit organizations and social enterprises.
  2. Nonprofit organizations and other institutional members: In addition to the benefits of individual membership, NCNE offers institutional members a venue for addressing the resource-related challenges of their organizations, via access to a unique knowledge base, consultation with members of a network of leading experts, and customized training modules.
  3. Foundations and other funders: NCNE offers a strategy for interested funders to strengthen the economic health of their grantees and other nonprofit organizations and social enterprises, so that those organizations are able to carry out their social missions effectively and make the most efficient use of their grants. NCNE offers a deep reservoir of research-based knowledge and expert talent with which to customize the support which funders can provide to their grantees and communities.

Funding goal to support business operations

Create a sustainable business model with annual core operating revenue from membership fee sources totaling $50,000. Membership fees will be modest for individuals and institutions.