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Letter from the President

Posted By Mary Tschirhart, Wednesday, December 27, 2017



Dear ARNOVA Members,


I am happy to report that it has been a year of accomplishments for ARNOVA. Not only did we have the greatest attendance ever at a conference, we advanced the mission of ARNOVA through new and enhanced programming and services to members. We supported member-led initiatives and added opportunities for member involvement. Here’s a list of just a few of the highlights of the year. 

  • The board approved a strategic plan in which diversity and inclusion are front and center. We are engaged in ongoing conversations to enhance our understanding of our diverse members so that we can continue to inform the plan and guide its implementation. This includes but is not limited to the membership survey which many of you completed. 
  • We added new awards and conference scholarships to our suite of resources for members, with gratitude to our donors for providing the funding for this. For example, this year we launched the Undergraduate Diversity Scholars Program with the purpose of further encouraging a pipeline of nonprofit research from underrepresented groups. 
  • As part of our initiative to improve our policy manual and the transparency of our procedures, we are in the process of redesigning our award processes and award committee structure. The manual revision helps ensure wide membership participation in award and other decisions and presents new avenues for volunteering.     
  • We welcomed a new section, more common interest groups, and a new conference track to our mix. For example, we now have the Public Policy, Politics and Law Section and a new track on civil society. 
  • We offered our first ever ARNOVA-Asia conference and its very apparent popularity led us to begin planning a 2018 conference in Hong Kong.     
  • We worked with the Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) on an ARNOVA-Africa conference in South Africa and were pleased to see how much AROCSA has grown in its short time as an association. Next year’s conference is in Cairo and I hope to see some of you there.   
  • All our ongoing and new partnerships continue to bring benefits to members. For example, the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s presence at our conference complemented our ARNOVA sessions discussing research to practice and vice versa. Our 2017 collaboration with Independent Sector brought our Symposium on Public Policy and Nonprofits to new audiences. 
  • The membership approved a code of ethics which lays out our association’s values and practices. Inspired by the code, and the suggestions of our Diversity Committee, we sought to make the conference more inclusive. For example, we provided gender neutral bathrooms and pronoun ribbons and are reviewing member feedback and suggestions to find more ways to support all our members as they participate in ARNOVA activities. We have some member feedback on our Austin location and will be reporting to you on our plans for that conference. 
  • NVSQ continues to be a top-ranked journal with 2017 bringing a higher impact factor and new initiatives from our editorial team to enhance its features and reach. Thank you Chao, Susan and Angela and the many others who contribute to NVSQ’s high quality. 


We had some important changes in our leadership this year. Shariq Siddiqui, our intrepid executive director, led a staff reorganization that resulted in hiring two new staff members, Holly Titus as our first ever associate director and Gloria Worstell as the new membership secretary. The membership chose a president-elect who will succeed me at the end of the 2018 conference, Angela Eikenberry, and a new treasurer, Thad Calabrese; both have now joined our hard-working board. As their terms ended, we had to say goodbye and give our thanks for their valued service to Alan Abramson and Dwight Burlingame.         


None of this year’s accomplishments would have been possible without the engagement of our individual and institutional members and supporters. We have had amazing volunteer and financial support this year. Shariq and his staff’s dedication to bringing all our energy and ideas together has been critical to our successes. I look forward to working with all of you in the year to come.


Wishing you a very happy holiday season and New Year,


Mary Tschirhart, The Ohio State University

ARNOVA President 

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