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Special Events at the 2017 Conference
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Pre Conference Sessions


Emerging Scholars

A Guided Tour of Open Data for Nonprofit Scholarship

As the nonprofit field advances we have access to more sources of free and open data. Scholarship improves when people can quickly identify the best data necessary to answer research questions, access it easily, and combine it with other data sources. This pre-conference workshop provides a guided tour of new and useful data sources in the field, and provides some tools for using data in non-standard formats or automating collection and coding. The tour will include open NCCS archives, the new IRS 990 e-filer dataset, obscure IRS databases, and supplemental sources of demographic and economic data. We will also touch on some spatial tools for nonprofit data. Please bring laptops; familiarity with a data programming language like R or Stata is recommended.


Emerging Scholars Professional Workshop: Surviving Pre-tenure
Covers designing a research agenda, conducting research, writing consistently, figuring out the balance between research, teaching, and service while still have a life, and avoiding common pitfalls. It is intended to be relevant to newer faculty members on the tenure track and in other academic systems.

Emerging Scholars Professional Workshop: Combating Biases in Academia and Practice
Will involve discussions on exploring biases, understanding power dynamics and barriers to inclusion, reflecting on cultural and societal challenges, learning multiple perspectives and experiences creating safer spaces, and how to be an effective ally or mentor. 

Emerging Scholars Professional Workshop: Establishing Your Scholarly Identity
Discusses focusing your streams of research, establishing your areas of teaching expertise, crafting concise descriptions of your identity, and managing opportunities to fit your career objectives.

Emerging Scholars Professional Workshop: Working in International Settings
Focuses on conducting research abroad, engaging in nonprofit/NGO practice internationally, collaborating across international boundaries, working and studying in the U.S. as a foreign citizen, navigating cultural differences, and building support networks.

Emerging Scholars Professional Workshop: Navigating the Job Market
Addresses 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.



Special Sessions

Writing a Successful Book Proposal
During this panel, editors of academic presses will discuss how to develop and write a successful book proposal.

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.

Engaging Community Values in Strategic Philanthropy
Foundation program officers provide their perspectives in engaging the community and its values in strategic philanthropy.

Effective Peer Review and Article Revision: Guidance for Reviewers and Authors
This session will provide scholars tips on how to provide a good peer review for an article as well as guidance to authors on revise and resubmit techniques.

2017 Peter Dobkin Hall History Of Philanthropy Prize Winner
Historical Research On The Financing Of Professional Education: The Case Of Harvard Law School
Historiography on professional education in the United States has generally neglected finances. This session will address the significance of finances in such historical research and try to demonstrate that significance through examination of completed research on Harvard Law School in the 19th century and research underway on that school in the 20th century.



ARNOVA-Africa/AROCSA Sessions

Data driven Research in African Philanthropy and Civil Society

Shrinking Space for African Civil Society

Philanthropy in Africa – Engaging Local Priorities



Special Events

Section Meet & Greet Breakfast

Thu, November 16, 7:00 to 8:00am, Pantlind Ballroom
Come join us for a continental breakfast with fellow section members, network and learn about the different sections. Each section will have representatives there to provide information.


New Member Meet & Greet Breakfast

Fri, November 17, 7:00 to 7:30am, Ambassador Ballroom
An orientation to the conference and ARNOVA for those new to our ranks, but all are welcome to come.


Membership Meeting Breakfast

Fri, November 17, 7:30 to 8:00am, Ambassador Ballroom
We encourage the attendance of all ARNOVA members at our Annual Meeting. Hear reports on the state of your Association.


Friday Evening Reception

Fri, November 17, 6:30pm, Grand Rapids Art Museum; Sponsored by Grand Valley State University & Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy
Join us as we celebrate the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy’s 25th Anniversary. Hor d’oeuvres and cash bar.




Opening Plenary: Creative Foundation Investments in Michigan: Lessons and Questions

Diana Sieger, Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Tonya Allen, Skillman Foundation in Detroit
Ridgway White, C.S. Mott Foundation in Flint
Moderator: Michael Moody, Johnson Center at GVSU

The panel will explore the innovative, and much scrutinized, ways that Michigan foundations have worked to strengthen communities and solve local problems -- from education reform efforts in Detroit and Grand Rapids, to addressing the lead crisis in Flint, to economic and workforce development in cities across the state. We will use these examples to reflect on the broader role of philanthropy in civic life today, discuss the opportunities and limits for foundations nationally who might seek to replicate the type of philanthropic leadership seen in Michigan, and raise questions for research that arise from these cases.

Note: This year, the ARNOVA Distinguished Achievement Award will also be presented at the Conference Opening Plenary.


Closing Plenary: Civic Associations, Government, and Democratic Renewal
Marshall Ganz, Harvard University
Hahrie Han, University of California, Santa Barbara

Liberal democracy can be viewed as a promise that equality of voice can counterbalance inequality of resources. Civic associations, in turn, have played a key role in the struggle to make that promise real by enabling individuals to discern where common interests lie, learn practices of self-governance fundamental to democratic practice, and aggregate their voices to make them heard. Today, many see this promise in serious jeopardy as the influence of concentrated wealth has reached beyond private firms into both political and civic domains. This plenary features a conversation between Marshall Ganz and Hahrie Han—two leading scholars and practitioners of organizing, participation, and social change. Through their dialogue they will share their individual and shared journeys of both practice and research to elucidate the challenges and opportunities civic associations face in revitalizing our democracy so as to achieve critical social change.


Mini Plenaries

Climate Change and the Civic Sector
Climate change is the defining policy challenge of contemporary times. Climate policies cover both mitigation (“An anthropogenic intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases” IPCC, 2001) and adaptation (“Adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities” (IPCC, 2001). Nonprofits and advocacy organizations (NGOs, in short) play an important role in climate change policy. They help in setting the policy agenda, identifying appropriate mechanisms and policy instruments, mobilizing constituencies to pressure governments and businesses, and sometimes "supply" policies or products that directly address climate change.

Race, Power, and Privilege: Where we’ve been and where we need to go
Nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and voluntary associations are often on the front lines of advocating for racial justice, and challenging power and privilege; yet our field seems to have few discussions about these issues. This mini-plenary highlights the work that has been done and needs to be done next to enable scholars, practitioners, and students in the field to critically think about race, power and privilege. It addresses questions such as: How have we talked about race, power, and privilege in the field? How should we be talking about these? What is missing and needs to be done next in relation to our teaching, research and academic lives?

Toward an Index of the Health of the Nonprofit Sector
Those concerned about the health of the nonprofit sector regularly consult a variety of data points to evaluate the overall well-being of the sector. Unfortunately, however, these efforts to get a good reading of the nonprofit sector's health are, in many ways, still in their infancy. Join a discussion about how we can work together to develop a high-quality index that provides a timely indication of how the nonprofit sector is doing. This session features grantees from ARNOVA's 2017 Symposium on Public Policy for Nonprofits, which has been organized in collaboration with Independent Sector.

So Close, Yet So Far: Obstacles and Opportunities in Research on Nonprofits and NGOs
Nonprofit studies and NGO research remain largely separate fields, even though researchers are studying similar—and sometimes, the same—organizations. The fields emerge out of different theoretical, normative, and practical concerns. Yet both fields are broad, ranging from applied questions about organizations as providers of services, to theoretical debates about the organizations as sites of political power. Moreover, the lines between “domestic” and “international” organizations are effacing as many small organizations create ties to funders or allies across the globe. This plenary questions what keeps these fields separate; whether there are now better organizing principles than “domestic” and “international”; and what theories and innovations in data and methods that one field might learn from the other.

Recognition of Award Winning Scholarly Research 
Each year ARNOVA recognizes scholars for research through a number of awards. The award winners for the Rudney Dissertation Prize, Peter Dobkin Hall Prize;, and Hodgkinson Award will present their award winning research.

Recognition of Award Winning Scholarly Research II
Each year ARNOVA recognizes scholars for research through a number of awards. The winners for the 2017 RGK-Presidents Award, UMD Do Good Institute Award, Dugan Award, and Al-Subaie Award will present their proposed research.



Free Beer Tour for Attendees

 Thu, November 16, 6:30 to 10:30pm

We have created an opportunity for attendees to experience some of the great craft beer that Grand Rapids is known for. On Thursday evening, a shuttle will loop through downtown allowing you to step on or off at 6 different breweries. The shuttle will run 6:30 PM – 10:30 PM. Stop by the conference registration desk for shuttle passes and details.


ARNOVA Talks: Record YourPresentation

 Wed, November 15, 12pm - 2pm

Thu, November 16, 4pm - 6pm


ARNOVA is proud to host a new opportunity for our members to share their research and findings with fellow members. ARNOVATalks will serve as a platform for members to present a brief 10 minute talk spanning their research and findings in the nonprofit and voluntary sector that will be recorded and made available either as a podcast and/or video through the ARNOVA video library. Click for more information or to register for a recording session.


Sections Meeting & Greet Breakfast


Thu, November 16, 7, 7am - 8am


Join us for a continental breakfast with fellow section members. Network and learn about the 9 different sections of ARNOVA. All sections will have representatives to answer questions and provide information about joining their section. No additional registration required. 




Conference Partnerships


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 Amway Grand Plaza in November 2017.

View full announcement

View ANM website





more Calendar

WEBINAR:Changing Policy & Regulatory Framework toward Foreign & Domestic NGOs & Foundations in China

11/14/2018 » 11/17/2018
Exhibitor Registration - 2018 ARNOVA Conference

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