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!