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Director's Column Fall 2013

Pier Rogers, Director of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management

Pier Rogers, Director of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management

Welcome to our first fully electronic version of the Axelson Review.  We will continue to offer resources, perspectives, and issue updates concerning the nonprofit sector in Chicago and beyond, but you’ll read it online instead of in a hard copy version.

In this issue, Nicole Johnson-Scales confirms the importance of leadership in striving towards that goal of managerial excellence for nonprofit organizations.  An orientation towards continuous improvement for the organization is important. Managerial excellence is not an end-point; it must be an ongoing journey, since the environment in which nonprofits operate is always changing.  To achieve that excellence so that an organization is sustainable over the long-term, organization leaders must continually stay connected with that external environment to ensure the organization can keep adapting to the necessary changes.

Carol White’s message is helpful to get us to listen to our constituents.  They often have a clearer sense of what our organizations do – from the perspective of what difference we make.  Considering the impact of the work of a nonprofit is a very different approach than one driven solely by a focus on what efforts are made.  Great efforts can yield few results.  The push is towards making a difference, not just trying to do so.

With that in mind, the Axelson Center reports great success with Symposium 2013.  The event engaged 570 nonprofit professionals and volunteers, in a wide range of educational sessions.  The awards program once again recognized area nonprofit organizations for their managerial excellence. 

The Symposium 2014 will celebrate 15 years of work by the Axelson Center in serving the nonprofit communities of Chicago and the Midwest.  Keep watching as the plans for next year unfold.  We hope to see you soon.

Next Steps

Read additional articles in the Fall 2013 edition of the Axelson Review.