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Special Events at the 2016 Conference
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Pre Conference Sessions


Special Sessions

Methods Workshop: Social Network Analysis as a Tool to Analyze Systems Outcomes and Evaluate Programs

In this methods workshop, Social Network Analysis will be introduced as a method for analyzing and evaluating data about collaboration in the nonprofit sector. Attendees can expect to leave the session with an introductory understanding of SNA, an overview of several examples of using SNA both for research and to translate data to practice, and access to a tool (PARTNER, to simplify implementing your own SNA for your research study or community-based project.  This session is free and limited to the first 35 participants who sign up. You will need to bring a laptop to the session. Prior to the session, some readings will be distributed, and instructions for preparing your laptop for the workshop will be provided.


Emerging Scholars: Demystify the Conference Experience

This session discusses how to make full use of the conference experience, including (a) overview of the conference process, introducing how papers/panels/colloquiums work, the purpose of ARNOVA sections, and how the scheduling process works; (b) making effective presentations, networking, and service to the conference organizers. 


Emerging Scholars: Navigating the Job Market

This session discusses preparing for and navigating the job market, finishing and publishing from the dissertation, finding the right “fit,” negotiating the offer, and considering alternative careers and choosing the right job.


Writing a Successful Book Proposal
During this panel, publishers will discuss the process their organization has for accepting/inviting book proposals. Helpful hints and tips will be given as well and time for Q&A.

Succeeding in Publishing in Peer-Reviewed Journals
During this panel, editors of leading nonprofit journals will discuss how to successfully navigate publishing in peer-reviewed academic journals.

The Nonprofit Panel Dataset: Sharing Progress and Seeking Constituent Feedback
The Nonprofit Panel Dataset began as an idea in 2014 regarding the need to leverage our collective expertise to learn more about the nonprofit sector. It has grown to a collaborative of 70+ scholars and experts in the nonprofit field who are working to focus its purpose, define its methods, assure fair and transparent governance, engage stakeholders, and create a sustainable model that will benefit the field. In this session, working group members will share successes and challenges and seek feedback from the broader ARNOVA community.

Nonprofit and Philanthropic Consulting: An Introduction to the Field and Dialogue with Long-time Consultants
Curated and facilitated by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, this session will explore the field of nonprofit and philanthropic consulting. Following a brief overview of the market landscape, Alliance members, selected for their practice management experience and deep understanding of the field, will share what they have learned about options for getting started, gaining technical expertise, determining a focal point, joining a larger firm, and/or building and growing a viable small business. From service design to business development, attendees will have the opportunity to have dialogue with panelists in small groups around topics of interest and be provided resources to further their exploration of the field.

Surviving the Tenure Track
The tenure track can be stressful and confusing. It is a major professional event in the career of academics, yet it can bleed into our personal lives. The goal of this session is to explore the experiences of scholars who have recently successfully navigated the tenure track. The process can be idiosyncratic for each institution, so the session covers a wide breadth of universities. Participants will discuss the strategies that they used to be successful as well as choices that they may have made differently.

Promotion to Full Professor: Why, When, and With What Effects?

 This session will feature four full professors at different stages of their careers and focus on questions of:

1. why go through the promotion process to full professor after having attained a tenured, associate professor position;

2. when in one’s career is it best to go up for promotion to full professor; and

3. what effects or impact does attaining this status have on faculty research, teaching, and service goals?

Some tenured associate professors may see little advantage to going through another rigorous evaluation process to attain the promotion, may have emphasized administrative roles over research work since tenure, or be concerned that the demands of being a full professor will negatively affect what they fundamentally value in their work. The panel will include two faculty who have recently been promoted to full professor -- Beth Gazley, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, and William Brown, the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University – and two faculty who have been full professors for a number of years – Mary Kay Gugerty, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington and Melissa Stone, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Professor Stone will facilitate the conversation.

The Senior Career Experience
The generation of scholars who founded both ARNOVA and the field is moving into the senior phase of their careers. Some are finishing long careers in universities or associations while others have already moved to retired standing. 
The choices facing colleagues in this phase of their personal and professional life are manifold and unique. Whereas those leaving a corporate setting may find it difficult to remain engaged in their professions, those in our field have a variety of options available to them. There may be interesting projects that can still completed, colleagues or departments that seek continued contact and collaboration, a vast array of nonprofits that are looking for volunteers with our expertise, and a variety of interesting practical problems to explore as a consultant. The prospects are only limited by one’s imagination and energy. 
As we all advance through the scholarly career, the question of how we will navigate through these options will arise and become more salient. 
In this workshop, six senior colleagues have been invited by the conference leadership to share their observations on the senior phase of their careers. Based on our own experiences and what we have seen in the lives of colleagues, we will reflect on questions like: 
*Knowing what we know now (or learned in retirement) what would we have done differently?
*What are we doing to stay engaged with our work? 
*What’s easier now, what’s harder? 
*What and who helps us keep going in the field?
*What new avenues of action, advocacy, service, and life, are opening?
We invite colleagues of all ages to join with us in an exploration of this phase of the academic journey."

Nonprofit and Philanthropy: Scholars Writing for a Broader Audience
The focus of scholarly writing is largely directed to peer review and scholarly publishing. However, the field of nonprofit, voluntary, civil society and philanthropic research provides an important opportunity for scholars to serve as experts on public policy and/or practitioner work in the field.  However, not all scholarly writing easily translates into a medium that is easily accessible for non-research scholarly audiences. There are bridges however. This session will discuss how researchers can contribute to and inform practitioner and policy dialogues through writing for non-academic publications.  This session will focus on helping scholars understand how they can translate their existing research and writing towards a broader audience.

Vessels of Philanthropic Knowledge: What’s Next?
The institutional context of knowledge production is fundamental to shaping our understanding of philanthropy.  How is the organization of knowledge affecting discovery? What kinds of institutional vessels are exploring this terrain? What are lessons learned by colleagues who lead “academic" institutions devoted to philanthropic knowledge?  What innovations might be next?

Foundations, Innovation and Inequality
Globally, 71 million youth are unemployed and a large number do not possess the skills necessary to secure a job. The increasing automation of labor also contributes to youth exclusion and contributes to growing income inequality. What innovative strategies are foundations adopting towards addressing this challenge? What strategies work best? How can different actors work in synergy to bring solutions to skills shortages that reduce youth access to quality employment? This session brings together foundations, non-profit actors and researchers to share perspectives on how and what investments in skills development create quality employment opportunities for youth.

Philanthropy, Innovation, and Public Engagement
Over the last decade, philanthropic institutions and foundations have embraced the language and practice of innovation with a focus on public engagement and public policy. This session will explore how foundations define, seek, and fund innovations and public engagement in a number of policy and programmatic domains. Using information and the experiences of urban-serving universities and officers in foundations committed to community engagement, the panel will explore how university based programs interact with and enhance the field; how foundations with a community and public policy focus at the national and regional level work with non-profit organizations to encourage innovative approaches; how global foundations engage with the non-governmental sector and with national governments; and how foundations that focus on issues of community development, poverty and inequality develop their strategies and collaborate with other foundations and non-profit organizations to develop grantmaking approaches that make a difference in the populations most directly impacted by inequality and help give voice and develop policies that seek to improve the lives of the populations most directly affected by poverty and marginalization.


Opening Plenary: "Repugnant to the Whole Idea of a Democratic Society?" On the Role of Philanthropic Foundations in Democracies

Rob Reich, Professor of Political Science, Courtesy Appointments in Philosophy and at the Graduate School of Education, Stanford University

In 1912, John Haynes Holmes, a Unitarian minister 
and future board chair of the American Civil Liberties Union, described foundations as “repugnant to the whole idea of a democratic society.” He believed that foundations represent the institutional codification and promotion of plutocratic voices in democratic societies. With low accountability, donor-directed preferences in perpetuity, and generous tax subsidies, they are institutional oddities. What, if anything, confers democratic legitimacy on foundations? The session first examines how foundations might be a threat to democratic governance and then defend a particular mode of operation that offers qualified redemption. The speaker will argue that foundations can play an important discovery role in democracy, an extra-governmental mechanism for experimentation in social policy over a long time horizon.


Closing Plenary: Election Impacts
Tim Delaney, President & CEO, National Council of Nonprofits
Geoff Plague, Vice President Public Policy, Independent Sector 
Stacy Palmer, Editor, Chronicle of Philanthropy
Alan Abramson, Professor, George Mason University, and ARNOVA President

What will the November election results mean for nonprofits and philanthropy in the years to come? What kind of federal, state, and local policy changes are likely because of the ballot decisions? What issues should nonprofit researchers be paying special attention to, and how can researchers help to inform upcoming debates on nonprofit policy?

Mini Plenaries

The Politics of “Big Philanthropy” Then and Now: A Historical Perspective on Critical Philanthropy Research
Four leading junior scholars will engage in a discussion informed by their recent books, which examine private foundations as elite institutions in the public sphere. Through a historical lens, they will consider the implications of foundations' influence in a democratic society - both positive and negative - and consider what lessons this history holds for current and future philanthropists.

Social Enterprises: Hybrid Organizations Between the Market and Civil Society
Social enterprises are heralded as innovative vehicles that can best solve social problems as a result of their scalability and sustainability.  However, social enterprises face the dual challenge of maintaining their commitment to a social mission while also succeeding as companies.  This mini-plenary seeks to outline the consequences of such hybridity.

Frontiers of Nonprofit Data Collection
This mini-plenary highlights some innovative and interesting ways to collect nonprofit data. Members will present their work on collecting geo-spatial program data, running experiments using Mechanical Turk, building a custom online platform to collect a large-N survey panel, and scraping text from social media sites.

Updating the Research Agenda on Government-Nonprofit Relationships
The panelists will first offer their perspectives on the current state of research on government-nonprofit relationships and then propose directions for future research.

Recognition of Award Winning Scholarly Research 
Each year ARNOVA recognizes scholars for research through a number of named awards including Rudney Dissertation Awards, Hogkinson Book Award, RGK-ARNOVA Presidents Award.  The scholars selected for the 2016 awards will present their award winning research during this mini-plenary session.

AROSCA Colloquy: Civil Society and Philanthropy in Africa
Although the sphere of civil society, philanthropy and voluntary action in Africa has a long and rich history predating colonial rule, it has remained largely under-researched. This panel brings together theoretical analysis and practitioner experiences to explore the characteristics, evolution and challenges of civil society in Africa, focusing on its origins, relations with government, funding, role of external interests, experiences of practitioners, as well as its contributions to the growth and consolidation of democracy in Africa.

Sessions for Emerging Scholars

Professional Norms in Academia
Navigating norms and practices, transitioning into academia from a nontraditional route, balancing research/teaching/service, introducing common practices and personal recommendations.

Combatting Bias in Academia
Exploring biases, understanding power dynamics and barriers to inclusion, reflecting on cultural and societal challenges, learning multiple perspectives and experiences creating safer spaces.

Surviving Pre-Tenure
Designing a research agenda, conducting research, writing consistently, balancing between life, research, teaching, and service, and avoiding common pitfalls.

Journal Publication Journey
Writing a compelling article, choosing the journal, working with co-authors, responding to criticism and rejection, revising articles, soliciting advice from faculty mentors, and deciphering impact factors.

Book Publications
Choosing and approaching publishers, writing the book proposal, thinking about audience and references, and transforming the dissertation into a book.


ARNOVA is pleased to announce that The Alliance for Nonprofit Management (ANM) will be holding its conference in conjunction with the ARNOVA conference at the Hyatt Capitol Hill in November 2016. The partnership includes a forum organized by the ARNOVA Pracademics Section and ANM leadership on Research to Practice and a number of sessions organized by ANM at the ARNOVA conference.

View full announcement

View ANM conference website


more Calendar

WEBINAR: Civic Agency in the Nonprofit Classroom: Using Service Learning to Enhance Practical Skills

2016 Symposium on Public Policy

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