Grant will fund full scholarships for up to 25 qualified local nonprofit employees enrolled in SPEA’s Certificate in Nonprofit Management program

The Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) recently awarded up to $100,000 in scholarship aid to the Indiana University Northwest School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) in an effort to collaboratively support capacity-building for Northwest Indiana nonprofit organizations.

The FEC-sponsored grant will fund up to 25 full scholarships for qualified employees of nonprofit organizations providing services in the City of East Chicago who enroll in IU Northwest SPEA’s Nonprofit Management Certificate program. SPEA is part of the IU Northwest College of Health and Human Services.

The graduate-level certificate program is a five-course, 15-credit-hour program, which provides students with a greater understanding of how to manage and lead nonprofit organizations.

The certificate program will help improve the operations of local nonprofits and assist them in achieving their charitable objectives and goals.

“In some instances, people are put into management and administrative positions based upon their success in direct service and they don’t necessarily have formal training for management,” said Associate Director for SPEA Samuel Flint, Ph.D. “It’s a different set of skills needed to provide leadership to an organization, than to provide direct service to the beneficiaries of an organization.

“The curriculum for the Nonprofit Management Certificate program is designed to provide a strong graduate-level academic foundation to those folks in leadership positions at nonprofits,” he added. “SPEA is extremely grateful to the generosity of the Foundations of East Chicago.”

The FEC is committed to improving the lives of every resident in the City of East Chicago by strengthening and improving the quality of life of local residents through strategic grant-making, leadership opportunities, and serving as a community resource.

“One of the goals of the Foundation is to look for ways to build the capacity of the organizations we fund,” said FEC Director of Programming Tyrone Spann. “We believe that by helping organizations reach their full operational capacity, they will be able to provide superior programs for the East Chicago community.

“After having conversations with the SPEA staff, we felt this was a perfect opportunity to enhance our grantees capabilities,” he added.  “SPEA has an excellent reputation for providing quality teaching for professionals in the field of non-profit management. This was one of the main reasons we entered into this partnership with IU Northwest.”

IU Northwest also strives to be a good citizen and stakeholder in the Northwest Indiana region.

“IU Northwest’s partnership with the Foundations of East Chicago allows us to reach out to the community to increase the capacity of nonprofits that serve this region,” Flint said. “This partnership is very much tied to the mission of IU Northwest.”

Nonprofit Management Certificate program

Scholarship recipients will begin classes at IU Northwest starting in January 2011; the certificate will take one year to complete. Classes will take place during the evening to accommodate the students’ daily responsibilities to their full-time positions.

To date, representatives from 12 organizations have enrolled in the graduate-level certificate program, including Healthy East Chicago, Faith Temple C.O.G.I.C. and the Communities in Schools of East Chicago.

“The Foundation has been very pleased with the response from our grantees regarding this program,” Spann said. “It has validated the belief of both IU Northwest and FEC that a program of this nature is highly desired among individuals working in the nonprofit field.”

The first course of the certificate program, “Management in the Nonprofit Sector,” will provide students with an overview of every aspect of nonprofit organizational management from program planning and evaluation to fundraising and board development.

The first course will be followed by “Human Resource Management in Nonprofits” as well as “Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations.” The last two courses needed to complete the certificate are electives, which students can choose from a broad array of SPEA graduate classes. Elective courses of interest include “Public Organization,” “Executive Leadership” and “Public Program Evaluation.”

The SPEA program at IU Northwest is the region’s premier provider of graduate education in nonprofit management. Credits earned in the certificate program are applicable to the Master of Public Affairs degree program, upon admission.

To learn more about the Nonprofit Management Certificate program, please visit

Additional details on the FEC can be found at

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