Starting again (or is it a return?)

This fall I start in a new position (tenure track) at UNF in their Political Science and Public Administration department.  I was a visiting professor here last year, so I am not sure if this is a new start or a return.  Either way, I am looking forward to it.  I have a new office, new computer (an iMac!!!!), and a new title.  I have been asked to be on a couple dissertation committees already for two ED.D. students I had in the nonprofit management classes I taught last year.  I am being cautious not to take on too much, so two is my limit for the dissertation committees.  I know there will be other committees during the school year to be engaged with, and I am also starting to do more outreach to the nonprofit community.

Because I was here last year, I have been able to get a bit of a feel for the nonprofits in the area.  The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida released a very helpful report (at least for me to get to better understand the scope of the nonprofit sector here) in January 2011: The State of the Sector.   One thing of note was the smaller size of the sector here than in other comparable cites.  This may be something I want to look into at a future date.  In the meantime, I have been mapping out the nonprofit network on Twitter and Facebook in Duval County.  This introduced me to the variety of individual nonprofits!  Seeing that there was a decent amount of local nonprofits on Twitter, I have started an individualized online paper (paper.li) Jax Nonprofits to aggregate the tweets from nonprofits in Jacksonville as well as some informative nonprofit Tweeterers.  (While there are a decent amount of local nonprofits on Twitter, they do not all tweet everyday, so I supplemented it with other pertinent information.)  I also started a broader individualized paper, the Nonprofit Tweet  Aggregate.  It does just what the name implies: aggregates tweets with the #nonprofit hash tag.  It is nice having a one-stop shop for current nonprofit information!

In addition to the papers, I am also involved with the first UNF Nonprofit Management Conference that will be taking place on Friday, September 23, from 8:30 – 12:45.  There will be two sessions with three workshops each.  I will be presenting two workshops: Stakeholder Relations and Social Media for Nonprofits.  There will also be workshops on Navigating 501(c)3 & 1023 Regulations; Nonprofit Collaborations; Strategic Planning, and a Social Enterprise Panel Discussion.  It is being presented by the Small Business Development Center at UNF and UNF’s Master of Public Administration program.  We hope to have a lot of nonprofit leaders in attendance!  So if you work for a local nonprofit, or want to learn more about what it takes to run a nonprofit, please attend the conference.  The networking opportunities are well worth it with Audrey Moran, CEO of Sulzbacher Center as the key note speaker, and what is looking to be a who’s-who’s of local nonprofit leaders for the closing panel!  Come eat, learn, be engaged, and network!

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