The Nancy Bell Evans Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy (NBEC) is a research hub for nonprofits and philanthropic thought, housed at the Evans School. This past summer the Center brought on new leadership as Evans School alumna Erica Mills (MPA ‘01) and Professor Mary Kay Gugerty took over the reins.
Mills, as Director, and Gugerty, as Faculty Director, bring together the best of both practitioner experience and academic expertise. Mills has taught at the Evans School for years and brings decades of experience as a leader in the Seattle nonprofit community as founder and CEO of Claxon, a nonprofit marketing consulting firm.
Gugerty, who has been a faculty member at the Evans School since 2001, serves as the Nancy Bell Evans Professor of Nonprofit Management. Her teaching and research focus on social impact measurement and nonprofit accountability and evaluation. Her new book The Goldilocks Challenge: Right-Size Monitoring & Evaluation for Social Organizations is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
Together, the two have been refining the focus of NBEC while still staying true to the original mission.
“It’s important to us to honor Nancy Bell Evans,” Mills said. “She embodies everything that the Evans School stands for. We want to make her proud.”
NBEC is continuing its direct work with nonprofits in the twelfth year of the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute (NELI). NELI is a 6-day intensive residential program designed to enhance the strategic and visionary thinking of experienced nonprofit executives from around the country.
“We have so much great capacity building work going on in our community,” Gugerty said. “Our goal is to complement this work by connecting nonprofit and philanthropic leaders with emerging research and evidence from the Evans School and beyond.”
Other projects are also underway. NBEC is in the first stages of expanding partnerships with local area nonprofits and philanthropic organizations from large-scale networks to recruiting organizations for student internships and public service clinics. In the spring of 2017, NBEC will host the “West Coast Nonprofit Data Conference." NBEC is also rolling out a new intensive leadership program for grant makers in the coming year.
Mills and Gugerty are also planning a series of alumni roundtables that will focus on policies, nonprofits in the new era, and solving social problems in a time of change.
“All of us are in this to serve the public and our communities,” Mills said. “The question is: How can we elevate the work of the nonprofit and philanthropic sector so we can do even more good in the world?”