The National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise (NCNE) was founded in 1998 to “help nonprofit organizations make wise economic decisions”. Since that time, the center has produced several important books, convened three major conferences, and provided general consultation and training programs in partnership with a number of university nonprofit centers and national organizations including the Foundation Center, Georgetown University and the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee. Given the economic challenges faced by nonprofit organizations stemming from long term economic and social developments such as the slowing of charitable giving, government retrenchments and stock market gyrations, as well as the lingering effects of the great recession of 2008-2009, NCNE’s mission focus is more important now than ever. In addition, the prospective constituencies for NCNE’s work has greatly expanded given the diversity of nongovernmental organizational forms emerging to address social problems, including social enterprises, social cooperatives, social purpose businesses, and public/private partnerships. In all these cases, enterprises struggle to address important social goals in a manner that is economically sustainable in the marketplace. NCNE 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.

Over its history, NCNE, while organized as an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, has from time to time located itself within supportive university-based venues including George Mason University and the Virginia Institute of Technology and built strong partnerships with expert faculty from a wide range of other universities including Case Western Reserve, George Washington University, the University of Pittsburgh, Georgia State University, Indiana University, the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee, Georgetown University, Baruch College and the University of Southern California. Now, in 2015, NCNE has been invited to relocate to Cleveland State University in association with the Center for Nonprofit Policy & Practice in the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, which administers one of the nation’s highest rated nonprofit management education programs. The opportunity to relocate offers NCNE the chance to revitalize its capacity and programs to address the economic challenges of social purpose organizations in the 21st century on a national and international level, as well as mobilizing a special capacity to assist organizations in the robust social sector of Northern Ohio.

The relocation and renewal of NCNE will entail the following elements:

  • Renewal and expansion of NCNE’s nationwide network of nonprofit scholars and leaders available for participation in its service programs and knowledge development activities
  • Development of a strong regional network of individuals and institutions active in the study and leadership of social purpose organizations in Northern Ohio, including Case Western Reserve, Cleveland State, and John Carroll universities and Ursuline College, management assistance organizations including the Foundation Center/Cleveland, Business Volunteers Unlimited and the Morino Institute, and professional firms such as BDB and BDO
  • Hosting of an inaugural event in 2016 associated with preparation of the secondedition of the Handbook of Research on Nonprofit Economics and Management due to be published by Edward Elgar in 2017. This event will bring top scholars and experts to Cleveland for conversations with leaders and supporters of  local and national nonprofit organizations, on a spectrum of critical topics including income and program diversification, pricing of services, capital formation, risk management, social enterprise, outsourcing, franchising, labor compensation, social accounting, performance assessment, tax policies, labor compensation and regulatory strategy and policy
  • Revitalization of NCNE’s publications and speakers programs, and consulting capacity, and redesign and expansion of its website to serve as a general public resource on the economic challenges and good practices of social purposes organizations in contemporary society

We look forward to this special opportunity to serve the nonprofit and social purpose community of Northern Ohio, the nation and the world, in a fresh and vigorous manner in the coming months and years.

Dennis R. Young
National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise