CONTACT: MELVIN O. SHAW
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0010; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Feb. 22, 2001
Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center opens at UI
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Willard Boyd, professor of law and University of Iowa
president emeritus, says the goal for creating the recently established Iowa
Nonprofit Resource Center was to bring together the many educational programs
and services that diverse UI units currently provide to Iowa's nonprofit organizations.
Based at the law school, the center is an interdisciplinary collaboration
intended to strengthen the operational capacity of Iowa's community-based
organizations, Boyd says.
UI educational programs prepare students for varied careers, which they
often pursue through a nonprofit organization, Boyd says. The center, he says,
serves as "an entry point to these university resources and is a catalyst
for assessing and meeting the needs of the Iowa nonprofit community."
The Division of Continuing Education sponsored a center survey last summer
that polled a group of Iowa nonprofits to acquaint them with the center's
services and to find out what those managers believe would help them to improve
their managerial skills.
More than 26,500 nonprofits are organized under Iowa law. Some 2,800 of
them are tax-exempt charitable organizations, Boyd says, and most of them
are small and widely distributed throughout the state.
"These organizations are the bedrock of Iowa's communities. Virtually
all of these organizations expressed a need to improve their operational capacity
in order to make their programs more effective in their communities,"
The center draws on expertise from personnel at the Colleges of Law, Business,
Nursing, Public Health, and the College of Liberal Arts. Programs in Libraries
and Information Science, Social Work, Religion, Health, Leisure and Sports,
Museum Studies, and Arts Management are involved.
Together, with help from those units -- including the UI Foundation, the
Office of the General Counsel, the Institute of Public Affairs, and the University
Life Centers -- joint educational programs have been created for on- and off-campus
students. The center has developed a resource library on nonprofit management,
which will soon be made available statewide. The center also maintains a telephone
information line and soon will add a Web site that provides managerial information
in hopes of serving a wider range of Iowa communities.
Richard Koontz, center coordinator, said the center was established at a
time when nonprofits are burgeoning statewide.
"This is a period of growing numbers of nonprofit organizations that
address a myriad of community concerns. Good management is essential to their
success. Financing is a major challenge as the sources of private and government
funding continually change," Koontz said.
Nonprofit associations have played a pivotal role in American society, Boyd
"Throughout the history of the United States, private community organizations,
rather than government, have been the means for civic development and change
in every aspect of our lives. Religious, social service, educational, cultural,
and environmental groups are the core of our community life. We need to strengthen
and support them if we are to have better places to live and work.
"The center brings to bear the total resources of the University of
Iowa to assist these vital organizations in building Iowa communities,"
For more information, contact the center at 315 Melrose Avenue, Iowa City,
Iowa, 52242 or at (319) 335-9765.