community engagement, nonprofit education, pragmatism


This study sought to explore the relationship between nonprofit management education programs at institutions of higher education with nonprofit organizations in their local communities. Using a pragmatism methodology, I conducted interviews with directors of nonprofit management education programs and with corresponding nonprofit partners in their local communities. While research exists exploring the impacts and influences of nonprofit academic centers on their local sector - specifically regarding the training of practitioners - there is much less available in published literature exploring the actual effects of nonprofit management education programs on their local communities. This study begins what must be a more expansive exploration into the unique perspectives of practitioners working with and in proximity to nonprofit management education programs. The question guiding this inquiry was: In what ways do nonprofit management education programs work to affect the capacity of local community nonprofit organizations? The answer, like much in the broader nonprofit sector, varies dependent on the particular resources available at the institution.