On March 12, 2013 the Office of Academic Community Engagement announced an exciting new initiative called “NEXT” funded in part through a $500K gift from the State Employees Federal Credit Union (SEFCU). A loose acronym for “Non-profit Excellence, Consulting Services, and Transformation” the mission of NEXT is to engage consulting teams of students, faculty, staff, and community members in working towards a vibrant, solution-oriented, sustainable non-profit sector across the Capital Region by providing business, operations, and program consulting services to community-based nonprofits. The NEXT program will develop highly-engaged consulting teams of Siena students, faculty, and administrators to support non-profit development that emphasizes innovation, consolidation, and solution-oriented collaboration. Consulting services that NEXT may provide include board function, financial systems, HR, marketing and strategic communications, shared services and mergers, and impact measurements.
The ACE team is currently identifying its first class of NEXT fellows for the 2013 – 2014 academic year. Fellows will commit to a full-year practicum worth 3 course credits in the fall semester, with the potential of an additional 3-credit internship in the spring semester, and will receive a $1,000 stipend at the completion of the spring semester. NEXT fellows will:
- Learn about social justice, organizational partnerships, community change, trends in the non-profit sector, measuring program and organizational impact, evidence-based program development, and other nonprofit best practices.
- Work alongside a team of experienced and committed faculty and administrators.
- Be founding partners in the the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of the NEXT program, including marketing their services to potential clients, understanding and articulating client needs and goals, and working alongside community partner administration, staff, board and volunteers to identify enhanced organizational efficiencies, and implement innovative, effective and sustainable practices.