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  • GBCC Offers New Community Leadership & Nonprofit Management Program

    GBCC Offers New Community Leadership & Nonprofit Management Program

    Program includes courses in fundraising, grant writing, leadership, community and civic engagement


    PORTSMOUTH - Nonprofits employ one in seven New Hampshire residents, represent nearly 17 percent of the state’s workforce, and generate almost $11.8 billion in annual revenues. The Business & Training Center at Great Bay Community College offers a program that gives the sector’s leaders the skills they need to do their jobs better.

    “No one gave them a how-do manual. We give them the basic how-to instructions,” said Joe Ryan, Great Bay’s Program Manager for Corporate and Community Education. “Typically, nonprofits are run by people who have great zeal and passion around whatever cause they believe in, but in the process of trying to do the work that is so important to them, what falls off the edge is their own learning and development.

    Great Bay’s Community Leadership & Nonprofit Management program teaches essential skills for people who are new to the nonprofit world and those who want to become better at what they do. The program is designed for board members, directors, staff and volunteers. They will learn strategies and techniques for improving organization effectiveness and developing stronger community partnerships

    The program includes five 12-hour courses, which can be taken in succession or individually: Introduction to Nonprofit Management, Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations, Grant Writing, Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations, and Community and Civic Engagement

    Each class meets once a week for three hours, for four weeks. Each course costs $199.

    “Nonprofit leaders are very well-intentioned, but there is no guarantee they will know the best way to approach a potential funder, how to write grants and how to be a community leader,” Ryan said. “Our courses give people skills they can readily apply on the job.”

    Rachel DeCicco, an independent grant writer in Exeter, took the full sequence of classes in the fall. She learned so much, so’s been recommending the program to colleagues in her field – and has lobbied Great Bay to add classes in database management, web design and accounting, among others.

    “It was the best thing that I ever did,” she said. “You can buy all the books on grant writing, but being in a class with knowledgeable instructors and other grant seekers brings so many different ideas, projects, solutions and concerts for one another that you never anticipated.”

    The program demonstrates the importance of building strong relationships with community partners “and not just showing up and asking for money,” Ryan said. “It’s about going out and listening to needs and talking about what you can do for them.”

    These skills are important in a competitive environment where nonprofits compete for money and attention, he said. Increasingly, nonprofits are playing a larger role in New Hampshire’s economy. The sector represented 16.7 percent of the state’s workforce in 2016, up from 14.8 percent in 2012, and contributed $9 billion to the state’s GDP. As important as is their economic footprint, nonprofits improve the quality of life of New Hampshire residents by playing vital roles in the arts, health and wellness, economic development, education, cultural awareness, spirituality and veterans’ affairs.

    Jobs in the nonprofit sector include community outreach coordinator, development director, grant writer, program manager, event planner and volunteer coordinator. There are jobs in administration, education, accounting, communication, marketing and information technology.

    The nonprofit sector tends to attract people who have been successful in business or in the corporate world and are seeking a second phase to their careers that involves giving back to a community or working for an organization with a mission that aligns with personal interest.

    It’s a steep learning curve, Ryan said. “They often become burned out and easily discouraged, and full of self-doubt,” Ryan said. “They realize they’re not sure how to do this job. We teach them how.”

    For more information on the program that includes courses starting February 25th, contact Joe Ryan at the Great Bay Community College Business and Training Center at (603) 427-7778 or jfryan@ccsnh.edu

    Great Bay Community College is a comprehensive postsecondary institution offering quality academic and professional and technical education in support of workforce development and lifelong learning. Great Bay Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, a public system of higher education consisting of seven colleges in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth.  The colleges offer Associate degrees and career training in technical, professional and general fields, including transfer pathways to baccalaureate degrees. For more information on Great Bay Community College, visit www.greatbay.edu.