NPL Resources

View the course grids for each iteration of the NPL Program.

Electives

Course Descriptions

Note: Course dates indicate when the majority of work (including live class sessions and asynchronous assignments) is expected to be completed. Some courses may require pre-work, to be completed before the course start date. Professors will reach out to students if they require pre-work.

On-Campus Fall Courses

NPLD 5610: Nonprofit Branding

NPL Elective

David Rhode

This half credit course will provide the tools and framework for helping to understand the role that marketing and brand building can play in the nonprofit sector. As such, we will create a shared understanding of the key concepts that help define branding and the classic elements of marketing and crisis communication that will serve as a foundation for discussion and analysis throughout the semester. We will identify the fundamental differences that non-profit organizations face in building their brands and how those challenges differ from traditional/for profit brand building. We will identify tools and frameworks that brands/organizations can use to help design and implement marketing strategy. We will utilize current and relevant case studies that help demonstrate the core concepts of this course.

0.5 CU

Fall 2024

Wednesdays: September 4, September 18, October 9, October 23, November 6, and November 20, 1:45pm – 4:45pm ET

NPLD 5820: NGOs & International Development

NPL Elective

Dr. James Thompson

The first part of the course will offer a broad perspective on development, aid, and the role of NGOs. The latter half of the course will focus on issues in NGO management: problem analysis, solution design, fundraising, staffing (expatriate and local), monitoring and evaluation (including randomized controlled trials). The course is aimed at students with none to moderate experience in international development, but students with extensive work experience with NGOs or development work are encouraged to join.

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to December 9
Wednesdays, 10:15am – 1:15pm ET

NPLD 5980: Building Inclusive, Poverty-Informed Communities

NPL Elective

Sue Perls and Fernando Chang-Muy

Poverty is fundamentally about scarcity—a lack of life’s basic human needs, which is not limited to what we may think such as food, water, and shelter. We often reduce poverty to simplistic terms: however, its profound impact affects people’s overall well-being and opportunities. This leaves impacted individuals, families, and communities experiencing a persistent threat to safety security, a lack of belonging, and learned helplessness. This course addresses both the immediate needs of individuals experiencing poverty and alternatives to creating sustainable, systemic changes to promote equity, inclusion, and belonging.

This community-engaged/service-learning course examines Philadelphia place-based poverty, with variations in intensity and manifestation. Students will embrace a participatory and culturally humble approach to understanding root causes of poverty through a combination of lectures, immersive classroom experiences, site visits to local nonprofits, and service-learning placement assignments. Students will gain a deep understanding of the complex and multifaceted realities of poverty underscoring the laws and policies that create and maintain widespread in the US. This course combines theoretical knowledge with real-world scenarios, allowing students to learn from direct experiences and observations.  

This transformative and impactful service-learning course is designed for students who are eager to learn about ways to promote inclusivity, reduce barriers, and empower economically vulnerable individuals, families, and communities to achieve an improved quality of life

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to December 9
Mondays, 12:00pm – 2:30pm ET

NPLD 5890: Ethics and The Pursuit of Social Impact

NPL Core

Dr. Femida Handy

Leaders of organizations must often make difficult decisions that pit the rights of one set of stakeholders against another. Having multiple stakeholders or bottom-lines brings with it challenges when conflicts arise, with the perennial question of whose rights/benefits prevail? What trade-offs need to be made between multiple bottom lines? Does the mission of the organization prevail over the privileges of employees/clients? To what extent can large donors influence the mission of the organization? What is an appropriate social return on investment? This course will introduce the factors that influence moral conduct, the ethical issues that arise when pursuing social goals, and discuss the best ways to promote ethical conduct within such organizations. The course will use specific case studies, real and hypothetical, to analyze a variety of ethical issues that arise [including finance, governance, accountability, fundraising, labor (paid and unpaid), client groups, and service provision] among the multiple stakeholders and balancing multiple bottom-lines. This course is offered in the fall semester and will conclude by discussing ways that organizations can prevent and correct misconduct, develop a spirit of ethical behavior, and institutionalize ethical values in the organization’s culture.

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to December 9
Tuesdays, 12:00pm – 3:00pm ET

NPLD 7010-001: Leadership Practicum

Adam Roth-Saks and Sue Perls

The Leadership Practicum is an integral part of your NPL experience. Through a structured mentorship or mentorship and placement at an organization, you will have the opportunity to apply your classroom learning to your work. The goal is to deepen your learning while making it practical. During the two-semester Practicum, you will enhance your understanding of the definitions and requirements of leadership and management; gain a better sense of your career goals; gain insight into the social impact sector locally, nationally, and/or globally; contribute to you organization through project work (if in a placement); and achieve learning objectives mutually agreed upon with your mentor/organization. Your cohort will meet monthly to discuss your practicum, career development, and applying what you learn in the program to your work. Meeting dates and times will be communicated at the beginning of each semester and will be posted on Canvas.

Fall 2024

Fridays, September 6 & October 18, 12:00pm – 1:30pm
Fridays, November 8 & December 6, 12:00pm – 1:00pm

NPLD 7820: Group Dynamics

NPL Elective

Wynford Institute

Today, everything we do in life is influenced by

  • The interpersonal relationships we develop
  • The partnerships we create in work, friendship, and family groups
  • Our capacities to understand, embrace, and manage conflicts
  • The ways we affirm both our differences and our commonness

NPLD 7820 is a half credit course designed for Penn grad students who want to enhance their skills at everything from managing work groups through to engaging in discovery-learning and co-educating each other about how to make best use of your time, energies and resources. All of our lives have been altered by the pandemic in ways that are obvious and in ways that are hidden and hard to recognize. People of all ages and walks of life are trying to re-envision the paths we are on, and the contributions we can offer to the world. We are also discovering new things about our identities, the roles we are asked to take up, our sense of belonging in a range of settings, plus things like global economic disparities, the pernicious -isms (race, gender, class, etc.), and humanity’s relationship with nature. 7820 is experientially based. This means knowledge and insights are acquired through the direct experience of relational engagement. As we generate new forms of relatedness, our understanding of ourselves deepens, and in turn leads us to take actions that enrich both others and ourselves.

0.5 CU

Fall 2024

Required Primer: TBD
NPLD 7820: TBD  
NPLD 7820:x TBD

NPLD 7830: Field Exercise in Social Impact Measurement

NPL Elective

Sidney Hargro

The twofold purpose of social impact measurement is to assess and improve the impact of nonprofit programs and to offer actionable information for ongoing improvement. Social impact measurement is an essential learning opportunity for grantmaker and grantee. However, developing an evaluation plan, instruments, and process that is culturally responsive with an equity lens and also aligned with nonprofit’s capacity is crucial.

This course will offer an overview of leading social impact measurement methodologies and tools and field exercise experience. During the field exercise, student teams will develop an evaluation plan and associated instruments for a local nonprofit using one or more of the methodologies. Teams will present their evaluation plans and offer recommendations for implementation. Lectures will be complemented by class time devoted to field exercise team meetings and off-site field work.

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to December 9
Mondays, 8:30am – 11:30am ET

NPLD 7850: Group Dynamics and Organizational Politics

NPL Elective

Wynford Institute

This is one of the courses referred to as “The Power Lab at Penn.” This intensely experiential course is designed for those providing group and institutional leadership at any level of a human enterprise, managing work groups, chairing committees, serving on special task forces, conducting support groups, offering legal services, teaching in classrooms, facilitating groups in clinical settings, etc. Participants will focus on two topics: (1) an in-depth understanding of group dynamics while they are in action, and (2) the organizational relationships between groups that are in a powerful position, groups locked in a powerless state and those caught in the middle between the powerful and the powerless.

Prerequisite: Permit required; all potential participants are required to attend a primer class which consists of one evening session AND an all-day session. Permits are granted only after students have completed the primer classes.

Course Structure: This course has six components: (1) A pre-course discerning process, which consists of a one evening plus one full day primer workshop; (2) Module 1 which is focused on group dynamics; (3) reading an assigned book and writing a paper based on Module 1 experiences; (4) Module 2 which addresses power relationships among groups with differential resources; (5) reading two assigned books and writing a paper based on Module 2 experiences; and (6) a post-course debriefing. The primer provides all potential participants with a common conceptual base for engaging in the essential learning and lays out the intellectual foundations of the course.

1 CU

Fall 2024

TBD

NPLD 7870: Leadership Theory and Practice

NPL Core

Dr. Meredith Doherty

This course will present the evolution of leadership theory beginning with classical trait theories and ultimately focusing on more modern perspectives such as adaptive, authentic, and shared leadership models that engage more critical understandings of traditional leadership theory. Ultimately, we frame leadership as socially constructed, collective experience that is generated by complex group dynamics. We will examine leadership in nonprofit organizations, government, and social movements. Readings will include a formal overview of leadership theory as well as contemporary feminist and futurist perspectives. The practice focus in on developing new relational capabilities that include deep listening, self-reflection, and adaptive problem solving.

“There is nothing so practical as good theory” – Kurt Lewin, Organizational Psychologist

“All models are wrong, but some are useful” – George Box, Statistician

“To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them, this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.” – Ursala K. Le Guin

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to December 9
Thursdays, 3:30pm – 6:30pm ET

NPLD 7880: Social Impact Entrepreneurship Meets Mass Incarceration

NPL Elective

Thomas Duffin

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to December 9
Wednesdays, 5:15pm – 7:15pm ET

NPLD 7900: Social Finance

NPL Core

(cross-listed as NPLD 5900 for undergraduates taking this course)

Bruce Boylston & Andy Lamas

Economic analysis and financial accounting are like languages: fluency comes with practice. In-class review of case studies (including in-person discussions with the representatives of diverse agencies and organizations featured in the case studies) will enable students to test and develop their capacity for applying conceptual tools and analytical methods to sometimes messy and always complicated, real-life situations.

The course objective is to develop theoretical understanding, critical judgment, and practical skills for sensitive and effective engagement with financial and economic matters of significance. Students will learn:

  • Different ways of thinking about the economic foundations of social policy,
  • The basic terminology, tools, and methods for analyzing the financial statements of a wide range of organizations, and
  • Accounting procedures for evaluating business, government, and organizational operations, policies, and practices.

This course is at once macro and micro in its orientation. It provides a conceptual basis—derived from mainstream and alternative perspectives—for thinking about the economic dimensions of human development and social policy, and it introduces a set of core competencies for leadership and financial management of organizations, including conventional enterprises, consulting firms, research institutions, governmental agencies, philanthropies, cooperatives, and other third-sector organizations.

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to December 9
Tuesdays, 5:15pm – 7:15pm ET

NPLD 7960: Philanthropy and Fundraising Tools for Managers of Nonprofit Organizations

NPL Core

Eileen Heisman-Tuzman

This course will review the everyday tools that nonprofit managers and development officers need to raise funds from individuals and other sources of private philanthropy. Recently, Americans gave approximately $500 million to charitable organizations and 64% of it was from individual giving. The fundraising profession has created a body of knowledge in the past twenty years that can guide effective fundraising programs so that charitable organizations can support their mission. The class sessions will review the theory and practical techniques that development professionals use every day in large and small organizations, including annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, cultivation of donors, making your case for support, the Seven Faces of Philanthropy, special events, and prospect research. There will also be discussions of philanthropic trends and current giving patterns. For those who are interested in nonprofit leadership and positions of influence, these will be critical tools to understand.

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to December 9
Mondays, 5:15pm – 8:00pm ET

On-Campus Spring Courses

NPLD 5490: Leading Nonprofits

NPL Elective

Tine Hansen-Turton & Nicholas Torres

Design and Leading Not-for-Profit Organizations is designed for those interested in incorporating, leading, and/or governing a not-for-profit organization. The course is taught through a combination of theory and practice integrating readings, lectures, discussions into a mock not-for-profit simulation and field assignment (pairing students with a nonprofit organization and leader). Upon completion of the course, students, through the combination of theory and practical tools, will have the essential competencies and tools to design, lead and govern, and conduct in-depth analysis of not-for-profit organizations. This course also provides students with an initial view into not-for-profit partnerships and collaborations and the role not-for-profits play within social and public policy.

1 CU

Spring 2024

Tuesdays, 5:15pm – 8:15pm ET

NPLD 5630: Raising Philanthropic Capital

NPL Elective

Greg Hagin

Americans gave more than $400 billion annually to nonprofit organizations in recent years. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that nonprofit leaders master the art and science of raising philanthropic capital. Participants in this innovative class will: 1) acquire an understanding of the nonprofit funding landscape; 2) learn proven and creative strategies to secure investments; 3) gain the experience of giving and motivating charitable commitments; and 4) receive peer evaluation and professional consulting feedback. This experiential and interactive learning course will provide students an opportunity to evaluate a nonprofit organization endeavoring to attract voluntary support, and coach students to think through and develop the ideas, skills, and tools required to participate personally in today’s philanthropic market.

0.5 CU

Spring 2024

Wednesdays: January 24, January 31, February 14, February 28, March 13, April 3, April 17

3:30pm – 6:30pm ET

NPLD 5690: Beyond Nonprofit: Alternative Forms of Social Economy

NPL Elective

Andrew Lamas

Three institutional forms—the for-profit, the nonprofit, and the governmental—are typically presented as the three organizational forms of economic organization. This conventional schema renders invisible all of the many alternative forms of social economy in which more than a billion people throughout the world participate—as workers and consumers, as producers, trustees, and beneficiaries. In this course, we will consider the theory (secular and religious), the history, and the contemporary practice of social economy organizations, including cooperatives, community land trusts, resource trusts, kibbutzim, employee stock ownership, social housing, open source, local currencies, alternative financial institutions, and a broad range of other commons organizations variously utilizing shared ownership models and democratic governance processes. while advancing a host of social objectives from economic democracy to racial and gender justice, from indigenous sovereignty to ecological sustainability.

0.5 CU

Spring 2024

Friday, April 19, 5:15pm to 8:15pm

Saturday, April 20, 8:30am to 6:00pm

Sunday, April 21, 8:30am to 6:00pm

NPLD 5850: Penn Social Impact Lab

Travel course to Costa Rica

NPL Core

Dr. Peter Frumkin and Adam Roth-Saks

Students will learn how innovation and entrepreneurship play a central role in public problem solving. The course will explore how social entrepreneurs co-develop new ideas with key stakeholders, articulate problems and solutions, define intended impact, understand competition, and collaborate with other actors. At the end of the course, students will have mastered a set of conceptual tools and strategies that will allow them to be effective problem solvers in diverse settings throughout their careers and personal lives. The course has five core objectives:

  • To introduce students to the concepts and practices of social entrepreneurship;
  • To introduce students to the components of a successful social enterprise;
  • To train students to view the world from a perspective of social innovation;
  • To encourage and empower students to develop their own innovative solutions to different social problems around the world.
  • To introduce students to real social issues and social innovations in a real-world setting.

Click here for more information about the itinerary, location, and past participants’ experiences.

1 CU

Spring 2024

Pre-travel course meetings: Friday, February 2nd and Friday, February 16th, 1:00pm – 3:30pm ET

Travel Days: March 4th – March 10th, 2024

Contact Montana Tammy at tamnym11@upenn.edu with registration questions.

NPLD 7200: Data Analysis for Social Impact

NPL Core

Dr. ChiaKo Hung

Data analysis has become an important skill in the field of social impact and nonprofit management. There are countless statistics, reports, and datasets available, but these valuable resources are useless unless you know how to analyze and interpret the “numbers”. In this sense, this course aims to provide basic statistical skills and handling large-scale quantitative data related to social impact. Students will be equipped with a basic understanding of the quantitative methods and be able to apply the knowledge using real-world datasets of social impact and the general nonprofit sector. This applied course covers the fundamental elements and approaches to handling and analyzing quantitative data. The emphasis is on developing an understanding of statistical principles, descriptive and exploratory methods of analysis, graphical representation, operational procedures, and interpretation and communication of statistical results that is applicable to the work students might be expected to do after graduation. Using a statistical software package, the course will cover a wide range of statistical techniques from basic descriptive statistics to more advanced multivariate statistical techniques, such as OLS regression and logistic regression. Students will also be introduced to a number of important topics, including theory testing and development; philosophy of science and research judgment; and replication in social impact research. Throughout the course, students will also learn research design skills necessary to conduct academic research as well as write practical reports in their workplaces. No prior statistical knowledge or programming skills are required to enroll in the course.

1 CU

Spring 2024

Wednesdays, 10:15am – 1:15pm

NPLD 7500: Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR) Partnerships and Practices

Travel course to The Netherlands

NPL Elective

Dr. Femida Handy

NPLD 750 examines the relationship between business and society using the prevalent framework of corporate social responsibility (CSR) with a focus on corporate philanthropy. The large question that we focus on is “What is the responsibility of business to society, if any?” We examine how it is conceptualized, its practice, the societal partnerships forged, and its impact.

Businesses performing philanthropic activity often use their platform of CSR activities to engage with society, directly, via a corporate foundation, or through partnerships with nonprofit organizations. Although such philanthropic activities are not directly related to profit-making ventures, they may boost their reputation, be used in marketing their products, talent recruitment, increase employee engagement and commitment, and thus contribute to the profit indirectly. Many businesses undertake their CSR related philanthropic activities using strategic partnerships with nonprofits or public sector organizations to meet their goals. This provides opportunities to nonprofit and public sector leaders in achieving social and sustainable change.

1 CU

Spring 2024

Pre-travel course meetings: TBD

Travel Days: May 5th to May 16th

NPLD 7820: Group Dynamics

NPL Elective

Wynford Institute

Today, everything we do in life is influenced by

  • The interpersonal relationships we develop
  • The partnerships we create in work, friendship, and family groups
  • Our capacities to understand, embrace, and manage conflicts
  • The ways we affirm both our differences and our commonness

NPLD 7820 is a half credit course designed for Penn grad students who want to enhance their skills at everything from managing work groups through to engaging in discovery-learning and co-educating each other about how to make best use of your time, energies and resources. All of our lives have been altered by the pandemic in ways that are obvious and in ways that are hidden and hard to recognize. People of all ages and walks of life are trying to re-envision the paths we are on, and the contributions we can offer to the world. We are also discovering new things about our identities, the roles we are asked to take up, our sense of belonging in a range of settings, plus things like global economic disparities, the pernicious -isms (race, gender, class, etc.), and humanity’s relationship with nature. 7820 is experientially based. This means knowledge and insights are acquired through the direct experience of relational engagement. As we generate new forms of relatedness, our understanding of ourselves deepens, and in turn leads us to take actions that enrich both others and ourselves.

0.5 CU

Spring 2024

Required Primer: Saturday 1/27 8:30am – 5:00pm

NPLD 7820 001 Friday, 2/9 5:15pm – 9:45pm; Saturday, 2/10 8:30am – 9:45pm; Sunday, 2/11 8:30am – 6:00pm

NPLD 7820 004 Friday, 4/5 5:15pm – 9:45pm; Saturday, 4/6 8:30am – 9:45pm; Sunday, 4/7 8:30am – 6:00pm

NPLD 7850: Group Dynamics and Organizational Politics

NPL Elective

Wynford Institute

This is one of the courses referred to as “The Power Lab at Penn.” This intensely experiential course is designed for those providing group and institutional leadership at any level of a human enterprise, managing work groups, chairing committees, serving on special task forces, conducting support groups, offering legal services, teaching in classrooms, facilitating groups in clinical settings, etc. Participants will focus on two topics: (1) an in-depth understanding of group dynamics while they are in action, and (2) the organizational relationships between groups that are in a powerful position, groups locked in a powerless state and those caught in the middle between the powerful and the powerless. Prerequisite: Permit required; all potential participants are required to attend a Primer class which consists of one evening session AND an all-day session. Permits are granted only after students have completed the primer classes. Course Structure: This course has six components: (1) A pre-course discerning process, which consists of a one evening plus one full day Primer workshop; (2) Module 1 which is focused on group dynamics; (3) reading an assigned book and writing a paper based on Module 1 experiences; (4) Module 2 which addresses power relationships among groups with differential resources; (5) reading two assigned books and writing a paper based on Module 2 experiences; and (6) a post-course debriefing. The Primer provides all potential participants with a common conceptual base for engaging in the essential learning and lays out the intellectual foundations of the course.

1 CU

Spring 2024

Friday, 3/15, 8:30am – Sunday, 3/17, 6:00pm

NPLD 7860: Strategic Management and Leadership of Nonprofits

NPL Core

Dr. Chao Guo & Lauren Graham

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental issues in strategic management and leadership of nonprofit organizations, with an emphasis on acquiring operational skills grounded in research and critical thinking. The course is designed for those who may have had years of experience managing other people and programs in the nonprofit sector but who want to develop a more systematic mastery of this challenge, as well as students from other sectors who aspire to a nonprofit leadership role. Most class periods will consist of a combination of discussion and lecture. Lectures will introduce new concepts; class discussion and group exercises will allow us to explore and apply those concepts. Guest speakers will share their insights and experiences. You should feel free to ask questions during lectures and are encouraged to engage in discussions.

1 CU

Spring 2024

Tuesdays, 1:45pm – 4:45pm ET

NPLD 7880: Social Impact Entrepreneurship Meets Mass Incarceration

NPL Elective

Thomas Duffin

This course is an integral part of the Penn Restorative Entrepreneurship Program (PREP) https://sp2.upenn.edu/research/special-projects/prep/ and will offer a group of previously incarcerated people intensive training on developing a new business. Students from SP2, Wharton and Penn Law will work with returning citizens on teams throughout the semester which will learn to craft a viable business plan while also engaging in critical analysis of the limits of social impact entrepreneurship in addressing longstanding social problems such as mass incarceration. In the final meeting, the teams will make pitches to a panel of angel investors who are recruited to provide additional supports to the most promising proposals. This ABCS (Academically-Based Community Service) course aims to not only play an important role in reducing recidivism but to also enable Penn students the opportunity to connect with members of our broader community and engage in meaningful social change in a cross-disciplinary setting where the expectation is that all of us has something to learn from and to teach to everyone else.

1 CU

Spring 2024

Mondays, 3:30pm – 6:30pm ET

NPLD 7950/5950: Philanthropy and the City

NPL Elective

Doug Bauer & Greg Goldman

This spring semester course will focus on how urban communities are shaped and influenced by the nonprofit sector and the billions of philanthropic dollars that fuel their work. By bridging theory and practice and utilizing the City of Philadelphia as a place to explore these ideas, the course delves what dynamics are at play to deliver vital services or programs in health care, education, the arts, community development, and other issues. The course will also focus on these important questions:

  • Whose responsibility is the public good? How is that responsibility shared by the public, private, and nonprofit sectors? How do different actors within these sectors define the public good?
  • Given the responsibility for the public good, which individuals and groups make the decisions about how to serve the public good?
  • How are philanthropic dollars best utilized to generate results or impact via investment in nonprofit organizations?
  • How is philanthropy responding to some of the key crosscurrents affecting society today?

Students will consider these questions in an interdisciplinary context that will bring a historical and philosophical perspective to the examination of the values and institutions that characterize contemporary philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. And thanks to the genorosity of donors and alumni, students in the course will work in teams to devise a real-world evaluation process and distribute funds to well-deserving nonprofits – providing an experiential (and unique) opportunity to experience first-hand what it takes to execute effective charitable giving.

1 CU

Spring 2024

Thursdays, 5:15pm – 8:15pm ET

On-Campus Summer Courses

NPLD 5930: Design Thinking for Social Impact

NPL Elective

Sarah Rottenberg

Design thinking is quickly becoming a fundamental tool for innovation. It is a creative problem-solving methodology that can help people find new, creative solutions to increasingly complex global challenges. The skillset is particularly useful for social innovators working in ambiguous and rapidly changing environments. Design Thinking for Social Innovation teaches students to develop empathy for stakeholders, generate innovative ideas, and prototype and refine those ideas so they can be successfully implemented. The course introduces a deeply human process that taps into abilities we all have but get overlooked by more conventional problem-solving practices. Design thinking is something you can learn only by doing, so we’ll get out into the world and tackle a design challenge of our own together. Students will develop product/business/service/experience concepts using techniques such as empathy, problem definition, ideation, concept refinement and prototyping. You will learn design tools and techniques to generate and communicate innovative solutions. At the end of this class you’ll have a new set of skills to apply to any challenge you face and the tools and techniques to infuse your day-to-day work with creativity.

1 CU

Summer 2024

Thursday, May 30
10:15am – 5:00pm ET

Friday, May 31; Saturday, June 1; Sunday, June 2, Monday, June 3
10:15am – 6:15pm ET

NPLD 5970: Social, Public, and Law Policy for Nonprofits

NPL Elective

Nicholas Torres & Tine Hansen-Turton

Social, Public, and Law Policy is designed for students to strengthen and develop their skills to formulate, shape, and influence public policy. Students will strengthen and develop their skills in policy formulation and implementation. The social, economic, legal, ethical, and political environments, which influence public policy, planning, evaluation, and funding will be explored. Participants will (a) analyze the structural, social, and policy issues that have galvanized advocacy efforts and (b) explore the roles that the government, private sector, and consumers and advocacy groups play in setting policy agendas and examine the intended and unintended effects of these policies.

With an increasing competitive market, the overall social sector is changing the landscape for private, nonprofit and government organizations nationally and globally. The public, as well as leaders in government, social investors and philanthropists are demanding new social models that are cost effective, financially self-sustainable, adaptive to feedback and metrics, with clear outcome accountability measures, and the potential for large-scale impact, policy influence, and systems change.

1 CU

Summer 2024

May 28 to July 3
Hybrid: Tuesdays, 5:15pm – 7:15pm ET (In-Person)
Thursdays, 5:15pm – 7:15pm ET (Online)

Online Fall Courses

NPLD 5640: Social Impact and International Development

NPL Elective

Dr. Ariel Schwartz

This class will offer students a grounding in and overview of the field of international development and practice. We will explore the evolution of goals, models, and assessment of development across history. We will explore the key debates in economic, political, and human development, the challenges of responsible intervention. Students will be challenged to explore impact creation in resource-constrained settings, especially outside of one’s home community. We will study ways to adapt solutions as a way of generating ideas and social entrepreneurship as a development model including challenges of participation, deliverability and distribution, revenue generation, uncertainty, and risk. Students will produce written and verbal reflections on the tensions of working in a developing context; insider-outsider identities and tradeoffs; and ethics, tensions, and opportunities of working in and out of one’s home community.

0.5 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to October 4
Synchronous sessions: Tuesdays, 5:15pm – 6:45pm ET

NPLD 5660: Social Media Strategies

NPL Elective

Bruce Warren

This course is intended as an introduction to strategic use of social media for social ventures. Many of you already use social media platforms in your personal lives and have developed an intuitive understanding of how they work and use them reflexively. If you’re unfamiliar with various social media venues, that’s ok! Many social media platforms will be described briefly in the lectures, but the course is not intended as a how-to for using them. We suggest that, if you’re new to the various social media platforms mentioned, that you jump in and try them out! These platforms are designed for individuals with all levels of technical proficiency, and they’re designed to be inviting. You might find that with only a bit of effort that you become comfortable with them quickly.

We expect that, regardless of your skill level, comfort, and current personal use of social media, you will gain real value from this course. Much of this value relates to conveying an understanding of how to use these tools strategically, and on behalf of a social venture or a social cause that you care about. This sort of use of social media is significantly different than the way you would use it in your personal life. We hope, as you move through this course, you will wonder:

  1. What does it mean to craft the voice of an institution?
  2. What is it like to speak in the voice of an institution, instead of my own?
  3. How could one possibly develop a strategic plan to organically and authentically engage a community?
  4. How do you define, find and build community?
  5. More than retweets and likes, what is engagement, how do you measure it, and how do you create engagement to spark social change?

0.5 CU

Fall 2024

November 11 to December 19
Synchronous sessions: Mondays, 5:15pm – 6:45pm ET

NPLD 5870: Empowering Nonprofit Leaders to Thrive

NPL Core

Dr. Meredith Myers

NPLD 5870 is designed for interdisciplinary students interested in cultivating flourishing organizations, engaged stakeholders, and inspiring leaders across sectors and especially within nonprofits. NPLD 5870 focuses on both theoretical and practical insights that can be gained from cutting-edge research on how and when people thrive at work. This research can be applied to help practitioners enrich people’s experiences at work, in collaboration with various stakeholders, and beyond.

Additionally, NPLD 5870 is built upon a foundation of experiential learning, such that students can expect to experiment and apply course concepts in their own lives throughout the semester. Indeed, we intentionally start with ourselves as the first site of learning and development to promote greater authenticity and psychological safety.

The experiential learning community is enhanced throughout the course with highly interactive, live class sessions, in-depth feedback from the Teaching Team, and intentional practice with constructive peer coaching. 

At the end of the course, students will feel a strong grounding in their own strengths and values, their own authentic leadership, their ability to connect with others in meaningful, supportive ways, and their capacity to surface opportunities that inspire constructive change at any level of interaction or organizing. 

The learning objectives of the course provide students with:

  1. Techniques and real-world experience in using positive leadership concepts to enrich one’s own career, relationships, and life;
  2. Ability to identify opportunities to use positive leadership practices in the workplace to enhance stakeholder engagement, individual and organizational performance, and collective impact;
  3. Tools for applying positive leadership concepts in nonprofits, as well as all other organizational domains (e.g., business, government, communities, the family, etc.);
  4. In-depth experience in peer coaching and developing practical experiments to innovate and improve on a daily basis.

1 CU

Fall 2024

October 7 to December 19
Synchronous sessions: Tuesdays, 12:00pm – 2:00pm ET

NPLD 5890-001: Ethics and The Pursuit of Social Impact

NPL Core

Dr. Femida Handy

Leaders of organizations must often make difficult decisions that pit the rights of one set of stakeholders against another. Having multiple stakeholders or bottom-lines brings with it challenges when conflicts arise, with the perennial question of whose rights/benefits prevail? What trade-offs need to be made between multiple bottom lines? Does the mission of the organization prevail over the privileges of employees/clients? To what extent can large donors influence the mission of the organization? What is an appropriate social return on investment? This course will introduce the factors that influence moral conduct, the ethical issues that arise when pursuing social goals, and discuss the best ways to promote ethical conduct within such organizations. The course will use specific case studies, real and hypothetical, to analyze a variety of ethical issues that arise [including finance, governance, accountability, fundraising, labor (paid and unpaid), client groups, and service provision] among the multiple stakeholders and balancing multiple bottom-lines. This course is offered in the fall semester and will conclude by discussing ways that organizations can prevent and correct misconduct, develop a spirit of ethical behavior, and institutionalize ethical values in the organization’s culture.

1 CU

Fall 2023

August 27 to November 8
Synchronous sessions: Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET

NPLD 7010-002: Leadership Practicum

Adam Roth-Saks and Sue Perls

The Leadership Practicum is an integral part of your NPL experience. Through a structured mentorship or mentorship and placement at an organization, you will have the opportunity to apply your classroom learning to your work. The goal is to deepen your learning while making it practical. During the two-semester Practicum, you will enhance your understanding of the definitions and requirements of leadership and management; gain a better sense of your career goals; gain insight into the social impact sector locally, nationally, and/or globally; contribute to you organization through project work (if in a placement); and achieve learning objectives mutually agreed upon with your mentor/organization. Your cohort will meet monthly to discuss your practicum, career development, and applying what you learn in the program to your work. Meeting dates and times will be communicated at the beginning of each semester and will be posted on Canvas.

Fall 2024

Tuesdays, September 5 & October 17, 12:00pm – 1:30pm ET
Thursdays, November 7 & December 5, 12:00pm – 1:00pm ET

NPLD 7200: Data Analysis for Social Impact

NPL Core

Dr. ChiaKo Hung

Practitioners, leaders, and researchers need to engage with the latest cutting-edge research findings in their field. In this class you will develop an understanding of the quantitative methods that underpin social impact research, in an applied lab-based context. Theoretically, we will focus on developing your working statistical knowledge, and practically we will develop your data analysis skills by introducing you to a range of approaches for analyzing and handling large-scale secondary quantitative data that capture social impact. The substantive focus of the course will be on individual-level participation in the Non-profit Sector in activities such as volunteering and charitable giving.

This applied course covers the fundamental elements and approaches to handling and analyzing quantitative survey data. The emphasis is on developing an adequate understanding of basic theoretical statistical principles, descriptive and exploratory methods of analysis, graphical representation, operational procedures, and interpretation of statistical results. The course will cover a wide range of statistical techniques from basic descriptive statistics to more advanced multivariate statistical techniques, such as OLS regression and logistic regression. You will also be introduced to a number of important topics, including theory testing and development; philosophy of science and research judgement; and replication in social impact research.

This course is an introduction to applied social impact research and is designed for those who want to engage with quantitative social impact research, but also those who wish to make their own original research contributions. No prior statistical knowledge or programming skills are required to enroll in the course.

1 CU

Fall 2024

October 7 to December 19
Synchronous sessions: Mondays & Thursdays, 12:00pm – 1:30pm ET

NPLD 7840: The Nonprofit Sector: Concepts and Theories

NPL Core

Dr. Ram Cnaan & Lauren Graham

Nonprofit organizations are ubiquitous. They impact almost every area of society. From health care to homeless shelters, from education to the environment, nonprofits provide services, promote legislation, protect rights, and produce public and private goods. This class will survey the entire nonprofit sector, to gauge its vast scope and multiplicity. The course will also cover various concepts and theories related to the nonprofit sector. These concepts and theories come from a variety of academic fields, including economics, sociology, political science, psychology, law, and public administration. We will cover the basic voluntary behaviors associated with nonprofit organizations, such as volunteering and charitable giving. We will also cover the basic concepts associated with nonprofit management, like board governance and fiduciary duties.

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to November 8
Synchronous sessions: Wednesdays, 8:30pm – 10:00pm ET

NPLD 7860:Strategic Management and Leadership of Nonprofits

NPL Core

Dr. Chao Guo & Lauren Graham

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamental issues in strategic management and leadership of nonprofit organizations, with an emphasis on acquiring operational skills grounded in research and critical thinking. The course is designed for those who may have had years of experience managing other people and programs in the nonprofit sector but who want to develop a more systematic mastery of this challenge, as well as students from other sectors who aspire to a nonprofit leadership role. Most class periods will consist of a combination of discussion and lecture. Lectures will introduce new concepts; class discussion and group exercises will allow us to explore and apply those concepts. Guest speakers will share their insights and experiences. You should feel free to ask questions during lectures and are encouraged to engage in discussions.

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to November 8
Synchronous sessions: Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm ET

NPLD 7900-001: Social Finance

NPL Core

Bruce Boylston & Andy Lamas

Economic analysis and financial accounting are like languages: fluency comes with practice. In-class review of case studies (including in-person discussions with the representatives of diverse agencies and organizations featured in the case studies) will enable students to test and develop their capacity for applying conceptual tools and analytical methods to sometimes messy and always complicated, real-life situations.

The course objective is to develop theoretical understanding, critical judgment, and practical skills for sensitive and effective engagement with financial and economic matters of significance. Students will learn:

  • Different ways of thinking about the economic foundations of social policy,
  • The basic terminology, tools, and methods for analyzing the financial statements of a wide range of organizations, and
  • Accounting procedures for evaluating business, government, and organizational operations, policies, and practices.

This course is at once macro and micro in its orientation. It provides a conceptual basis—derived from mainstream and alternative perspectives—for thinking about the economic dimensions of human development and social policy, and it introduces a set of core competencies for leadership and financial management of organizations, including conventional enterprises, consulting firms, research institutions, governmental agencies, philanthropies, cooperatives, and other third-sector organizations.

1 CU

Fall 2024

October 7 to December 19
Synchronous session times: Thursdays, 8:30pm – 10:30pm ET

NPLD 7920: Social Entrepreneurship

NPL Core

Dr. Ariel Schwartz & Anna Dausman

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative vision seeking to accomplish important public purposes through the creative and aggressive mobilization of people and resources. Using academic theory and research on social entrepreneurship as a framework, student innovators learn to design, develop, and lead social change organizations of their own invention. Students turn their passion for changing the world into concrete plans for launching a venture. Over the course of the semester, we will cover a broad array of topics associated with social innovation and entrepreneurship, including defining the problem/opportunity, refining the mission/vision, developing market research and industry analysis, defining a financial and operating structure, assessing results and progress, and scaling an enterprise. This course is neutral on sector. Graduate students in any of Penn’s graduate and professional schools who want to create social value through either nonprofit or for-profit ventures are invited to take the class and develop their ideas. The class will expose students to the process of getting an organization – regardless of sector – off the ground and running.

While this is a class on innovation and entrepreneurship, students do not need to be committed to starting a venture upon graduation. The skills and tools contained in the course have wide applicability in the workplace. Being able to develop a coherent venture plan is great training for anyone who wants to work in government, philanthropy, or the business sector funding or managing existing organizations. The course attempts to convey a picture of what a well-considered and well-executed venture plan looks like with the goal of developing in students an appreciation for clear thinking in the pursuit of the creation of public value.

Students will work throughout the term on a plan for an organization that they devise, with assignments spread out throughout the term. Elements of a venture plan will be drafted through multiple class assignments, and students present formally and informally several times throughout the semester, receiving feedback from faculty, peers, social entrepreneurs and invited guests. At the end of the term, students will assemble all the pieces they have worked on in the class, revise and hone these elements, and then put them into a coherent venture plan for their organization.

1 CU

Fall 2024

August 27 to November 8
Synchronous sessions: Thursdays, 5:15pm – 6:45pm ET

NPLD 7980: Managing Nonprofit Organizations for Resilience

NPL Elective

Dennis Young

Nonprofit organizations operate in a turbulent environment which challenges their abilities to remain viable and pursue their missions effectively over time.  Recent crises such as the pandemic, economic recessions, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other catastrophic events sometimes pose existential threats to these organizations. This course offers a new paradigm of nonprofit management which accounts for catastrophic risk and emphasizes long term sustainability and effectiveness.  A portfolio of resilience strategies will be studied involving management of assets and liabilities, diversification of income, membership in networks, use of alternative technologies, workforce management, the role of leadership, and information systems.  Case studies of nonprofit organizations’ experiences in a variety of crisis situations will be analyzed, including examples from the human services, the arts and education. Online lectures will be combined with real-time class discussions and student team reports that apply resilience management principles to recent, real-world cases.

0.5 CU

Fall 2024

October 7 to November 8
Synchronous sessions: Wednesdays, 5:15pm – 6:45pm ET

Online Spring Courses

NPLD 5650: Financial Management of Nonprofits

NPL Elective

Bruce Boylston

This half credit class will provide students with the ability to use the financial tools of cash flow, budgeting, and forecasting models to assist in strategic thinking as it relates to a nonprofit organization. In addition, the class will provide tools that can be used to follow implementation of such strategies including personal cash flow; basic financial statements; supplemental schedules; and cash flow, budgeting, and forecasting.

0.5 CU

Spring 2024

January 18th to February 23rd
Synchronous session times: Thursdays, 5:15pm to 6:45pm

NPLD 5670: Unleashing Large Scale Social Movements

NPL Elective

Tatiana Fraga Diez & Sayeeda Rashid

There is no shortage of compelling ideas and effective interventions for making the world better, however, very few of these great ideas spread. Aspiring leaders of big social change rarely succeed in engaging others in a meaningful or comprehensive way, their passion and their knowledge reaching hundreds or thousands when millions more could benefit. There are exceptions to this pattern, however, and this course seeks to explain what sets apart the initiatives that become successful large- scale movements. These efforts reliably address three questions in order to have a big impact:

  1. How can we secure a genuine commitment from others to join us in the hard work ahead?
  2. How can we set a strategy that gives us leverage and reach, making the most of our finite resources?
  3. How can we take action, day in and day out, in such a way that we meet our aims for growth and impact, optimizing rapid learning and improvement by everyone in our movement?

Drawing on examples from around the world and across the social sector, this course will walk you through these questions and provide you with a blueprint for spreading ideas, innovations, and programs that work, allowing you to engage the most people possible to change behavior and social outcomes at scale.

0.5 CU

Spring 2024

January 18th to February 23rd
Synchronous session times: Tuesdays, 8:30pm to 10:00pm

NPLD 5680: Marketing Strategy for Social Impact

NPL Elective

Jim Rosenberg

The first step in engaging beneficiaries, donors, and other customers is to understand what you will do, what you will not do, and why. This “marketing strategy” sets you up to make smart choices each day for how you will engage your stakeholders. In this course we will focus on the strategic vision that leads to engagement and growth. This course will enable you to: 1) Describe challenges and opportunities from the perspective of the customer rather than the organization; 2) Define and articulate a value proposition that can help guide marketing and strategic decisions; and 3) Evaluate the alignment of programs, pricing, promotion, and channels to affect consumer behavior and achieve goals.

0.5 CU

Spring 2024

April 8th to May 10th
Synchronous session times: Thursdays, 5:15pm – 6:30pm

NPLD 5800: Nonprofit Governance

NPL Core

Lindsay Kijewski and Mariah Casias

Effective governance relies upon consistent and ethical board leadership, yet nonprofit organizations that exemplify truly model governance are few and far between. This one credit course introduces students to broad frameworks of governance but will focus most deeply on the human dimensions of board leadership. In particular, we will examine real examples and cases of moral and ethical dilemmas faced by nonprofit boards and executive leaders, and the nuanced practices required to achieve effective board governance, with the goal of providing a practical grounding for students who expect to contribute to nonprofit leadership in their careers – either as executive staff or as board members.

1 CU

Spring 2024

February 26th to May 10th
Synchronous session times: Wednesdays, 5:15pm – 6:45pm

NPLD 5830: Social Impact Measurement

NPL Elective

Sidney Hargro

The twofold purpose of social impact measurement is to assess and improve the impact of nonprofit programs and to offer actionable information for ongoing improvement. Social impact measurement is an essential learning opportunity for grantmaker and grantee. Developing an evaluation plan, instruments, and processes that are culturally responsive and equity informed will lead to actionable results and learning that will drive continuous improvement.

This course offers an overview of leading social impact measurement methodologies and tools in a format that includes asynchronous recorded video lectures, synchronous discussion lectures, readings, and practical assignments designed to teach the design and implementation of a social impact measurement plan.

0.5 CU

Spring 2024

April 8th to May 10th
Synchronous session times: Mondays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

NPLD 5920: Innovations and Advances in Public-Private Collaboration and Contracting

NPL Core

Dr. Sarah Kabourek

This course considers the origins and motivations for and recent advances in public-private collaborations and contracting arrangements for achieving public and social program goals. The course begins with an examination of the origins and trends in public-private sector partnerships and the influence of important reforms such as the New Public Management on the nature of collaborative arrangements. Particular attention is given—both historically and currently—to outcomes-based performance management, accountability mechanisms and contract incentives and dynamics. The course takes a deeper look at the newest innovations—social impacts bonds or pay for success arrangements—and the evidence on their implementation and effectiveness to date. Case examples and studies are used to illustrate challenges encountered in implementing public-private partnerships and performance-based contracts and in achieving accountability for outcomes and impacts.

1 CU

Spring 2024

February 26th to May 10th
Synchronous session times: Wednesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

NPLD 5930: Design Thinking for Social Impact

NPL Elective

Dr. Sarah Rottenberg

Design Thinking is quickly becoming a fundamental tool for innovation. It is a creative problem-solving methodology that can help people find new, creative solutions to increasingly complex global challenges. This skillset is particularly useful for social innovators working in ambiguous and rapidly changing environments. Design Thinking for Social Innovation teaches students to develop empathy for stakeholders, generate innovative ideas, and prototype and refine those ideas so they can be successfully implemented. The course introduces a deeply human process that taps into abilities we all have but get overlooked by more conventional problem-solving practices. Design thinking is something you can learn only by doing, so we’ll get out into the world and tackle a design challenge of our own together. Students will develop product/business/service/experience concepts using techniques such as empathy, problem definition, ideation, concept refinement and prototyping. You will learn design tools and techniques to generate and communicate innovative solutions. At the end of this class, you’ll have a new set of skills to apply to any challenge you face and the tools and techniques to infuse your day-to-day work with creativity.

1 CU

Spring 2024

January 18th to April 5th
Synchronous session times: Mondays, 5:15pm – 6:30pm

NPLD 7620: Nonprofit Law

NPL Core

Michael Lehmann & Leila Vaghan

Nonprofit organizations are subject to specific state and federal laws designed to protect their charitable or other societal purpose and to oversee the solicitation and use of public funds. This course will introduce students to state laws and federal tax laws governing nonprofit (tax-exempt) organizations. This course will provide practical guidance to nonprofit professionals seeking to understand these important rules and to guide their nonprofits to compliance.

1 CU

Spring 2024

January 18th to April 5th
Synchronous session times: Thursdays, 7:00pm – 8:00pm

NPLD 7810: Understanding and Managing Volunteers for Impact

NPL Core

Dr. Ram Cnaan & Lauren Graham

In chemistry, an atom is the smallest unit of matter that has the properties of an element. In the same vein, volunteers are the atoms of voluntary action. Volunteers are the backbone of many human service organizations, environmental organizations, and other nonprofit organizations. Volunteers serve almost every function from stuffing envelopes to sitting on boards of nonprofit organizations. They make many programs such as education, and environmental protection possible and fill the void created by the fiscally retreating governments as well as newly arising social problems and human needs. Without volunteer participation, the services that are offered by many nonprofit organizations would be unavailable or provided at a higher cost to government, clients, and donors. The literature as to what constitutes volunteering and what produces committed and effective volunteers is confusing and full of contradictions. Furthermore, only few organizations know how to face the challenges of managing unpaid staff and how to motivate volunteers without offering material benefits. Volunteers are simultaneously non-remunerated employees and independent support with a different agency than paid employees. This course will combine presentations, group work, discussions, case studies, video clips, and readings to delve into the challenges of volunteering.

1 CU

Spring 2024

January 18th to April 5th
Synchronous session times: Mondays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

NPLD 7940: Philanthropy and Fundraising: The Donor Journey

NPL Core

Elizabeth Abel & Lauren Grow

Today, we stand at an important moment in the history of philanthropy, as U.S. giving reached an all-time high in 2018, with $427 billion invested in the philanthropic marketplace. As charitable giving is on the rise, nonprofit professionals are thinking more strategically about securing charitable gifts that will position their organization to have greater social benefit, whether they represent small grassroots organizations or large institutions.

This course will provide students with the theory and basic knowledge of fundraising that charitable organizations use to raise private philanthropic dollars. The course will begin with an overview of the philanthropic landscape and key trends in philanthropy to contextualize the role of fundraising. Each subsequent module will review different aspects of the theory and body of knowledge that guides the most effective fundraising programs in charitable organizations, including principles of individual giving, major gifts, structural philanthropic vehicles, making the case for support, prospect research, and engaging volunteer leaders in fundraising.

Modules are structured to both impart theory and develop skills to enhance students’ critical analysis of philanthropy. By the conclusion of the course, students will gain the knowledge, tools, and techniques to implement fundraising best practices at their professional organization or in a volunteer capacity to raise funds for social benefit.

1 CU

Spring 2024

February 26th to May 10th
Synchronous session times: Tuesdays, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Online Summer Courses

NPLD 5700: Understanding Philanthropy: Power, Politics, and Social Change

NPL Elective

Doug Bauer & Greg Goldman

The United States has a vast nonprofit sector that features 1.3 million organizations. (And that doesn’t include 250,000 religious institutions!) Approximately $1.5 trillion of earned and contributed revenue flows through the so-called third sector. In 2023, Giving USA reported that $499.33 billion of those funds came from philanthropy – given by a mix of individuals, foundations, and corporations. The use of philanthropic dollars is as diverse as the donors who give those dollars. But what is the best use of those dollars? Sustaining high performing nonprofits? Supporting catalytic action? Nurturing individual excellence in the arts or sciences? This course will explore the field of Philanthropy – what it is; how it works; who participates; its intersection with market forces, public policy, and government; and how it drives social change, sometimes in opposing directions.

0.5 CU

Summer 2024

May 28 to July 3
Synchronous sessions: Mondays, 5:15 – 6:45pm ET

NPLD 5710: Major Gifts: Strategies in Practice

NPL Elective

Greg Hagin, Christian Talbot, & Lauren Grow

There has never been a more important time for nonprofits to contribute to the common good. But nonprofits face a major challenge: With 1% of donors accounting for 49% of donations, in a $420 billion market, the philanthropic pyramid is looking more like the Eiffel Tower.

The answers, of course, lie in major gift strategy and tactics. This course will provide a framework for conceptualizing a major gift strategy and tactics. This course’s goal is to ensure that each student has a case for support and a pitch for use in the immediate future.

0.5 CU

Summer 2024

May 28 to July 3
Synchronous sessions: Wednesdays, 5:15pm – 6:45pm ET

NPLD 5940: Nonprofits and Urban Revitalization: The Philadelphia Story

NPL Elective

Dr. Jeff Hornstein and Tiana Marrese

Once the “workshop of the world” with a diverse manufacturing economy, the City of Philadelphia lost a huge proportion of its historical economic base from 1950 through 2000. Today, Philadelphia struggles to find its competitive advantage. Yet it has tremendous assets that can be leveraged, and its robust nonprofit sector constitutes perhaps the most critical set of actors.

This course will explore the rise and fall of Philadelphia’s manufacturing economy, efforts to forestall its decline in the 1960s and 70s, the racial and gender dynamics of its employment ecosystem, and contemporary strategies to create a sustainable local economy. We will focus on the role of the nonprofit sector – large and small organizations alike – in the revival of downtown residential living, tourism and hospitality, workforce development, business attraction and retention, place-based development, and much more. The course will combine readings in economic and social history and urban economics with case study analyses of local policies aimed at stimulating growth.

1 CU

Summer 2024

May 28 to July 3
Synchronous sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:15pm – 6:45pm ET

Contact Us

Adam Roth-Saks, MSEd

Administrative Director, MS in Nonprofit Leadership

215 573 2390