Upcoming Events

No events planned at this time.  Please check back.

Past Events

Fall 2019

  • Dr. John TopinkaThe University of Memphis Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership and Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration are pleased to host the second in a series of lunch and learn workshops on nonprofit program evaluation.
  • How do you know your program is reaching its intended audience and meeting defined benchmarks? In this session focused on formative evaluation techniques, Dr. John Topinka will provide participants with tools for implementing effective program monitoring and performance measurement practices in their own organizations.

Spring 2019

Demystifying Nonprofit Evaluation: Practical Tools to Measure Your Program's Success

Drs. Sharon Wrobel and Erin Nelson from the University of Memphis School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy and the Institute for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership hosted a lunch and learn workshop on the basics of nonprofit program evaluation. In this session, participants were presented with practical approaches to program evaluation, along with tools and techniques for implementing effective evaluation and assessment practices in their own organizations. Participants became familiar with the evaluation resources available to them at the University of Memphis.

Insert EKN and SW photo/bio

Past Speaker Series

Fall 2020

The Impact of COVID-19: Innovations in Service Delivery

The COVID-19 crisis has created a significant opportunity for nonprofit innovation. This webinar will feature stories from three organizations that have successfully pivoted to meet the new challenges brought by the pandemic. Join us to learn about the incredible impacts these local nonprofits are making in our community.

Fall 2019

Preparing Students for Nonprofit Careers


About our internship program

Past internship partners include:

  • Agape Child & Family Services
  • Overton Park Conservancy
  • Pi Kappa Alpha Foundation
  • Leadership Memphis
  • Porter Leath
  • Women’s Advocacy Center

Service-Learning Partnerships

About service-learning partnerships

Service-learning is a unique opportunity for students to apply their knowledge in a real-world context while helping a local nonprofit organization with a particular project. Students are able to gain new skills, network with local nonprofits, and reflect on their experiences both in the classroom and on the ground. Partner organizations are able to gain additional capacity in addressing a particular issue, solving a community-based problem, or implementing a particular practice.

Past service-learning partners include:

  • Agape Child & Family Services
  • ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • ArtsMemphis
  • City of Memphis Department of Housing and Community Development
  • CodeCrew
  • Collage Dance Collective
  • Crosstown Arts
  • Germantown Community Theatre
  • Hattiloo Theatre
  • Memphis Athletic Ministries
  • Momentum Nonprofit Partners
  • National Civil Rights Museum
  • Pink Palace Family of Museums
  • RISE Foundation
  • The Brooks Museum
  • Volunteer Odyssey
  • WKNO
  • YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South

Past service-learning projects include:

  • Organizational capacity assessments that identified organizational strengths and areas for development. Student teams worked with agency partners to complete an assessment tool and wrote a report highlighting strengths and recommendations to increase organizational capacity

  • Patron intercept surveys to identify audience demographics and answer collaboratively-developed research questions. Student teams created, implemented, and analyzed the research project and resulting data, and developed a report with recommendations to the partner agencies

  • Evaluation of organization’s program to identify program successes and areas for improvement.

Nonprofit Leaders Student Association

About the NLSA

The Nonprofit Leaders Student Association is a student-led organization that works in partnership with local nonprofits to prepare students for careers and/or volunteer involvement with the sector through internships, community service activities, job shadowing, leadership training and networking. The NLSA is working to develop a nonprofit leadership development credential that, once completed, will allow members to be recognized as Nonprofit Generalists.

Our Involvement


In addition to providing nonprofit-focused academic and community service opportunities for students, the NLSA hosts a number of workshops and seminars every academic year to educate the university community as a whole about impact nonprofits have in this community and to promote the value of nonprofit education. Some examples of the workshops hosted by the NLSA since 2014 include:

  • “Fusion” – an annual job fair matching local nonprofits with U of M nonprofit students seeking full-time/part-time employment, internships and/or volunteer opportunities

  • “Nonprofit Problem Solving Exercise” – Local nonprofit leaders were invited to submit real-life challenges they were facing and allow NLSA students to offer suggestions about how these problems could be addressed. Students presented their ideas directly to the nonprofit leaders in a workshop setting

  • “Poverty Simulation” – featuring NLSA students posing as social service agency representatives charged with trying to help poor people get basic needs met with limited resources (workshop participants played the roles of poor people)

  • “Nonprofit Myth Busters: Demystifying Development and Fundraising ” – an interactive workshop featuring development professionals and designed to encourage students to pursue careers in development

  • “So You Want to Start a Nonprofit?” – featuring a panel of nonprofit founders who shared their experiences related to starting an NPO from scratch


Periodically, guest speakers have been invited to speak to the NLSA students to share insight on the state of the nonprofit sector. Those invited to speak over the years include:

  • Susan Tomlinson Schmidt, President of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance in Kansas City, MO
  • Melanie Keller, President and CEO of Meritan, Inc.
  • Sharolyn Payton, Career Coach, Payton Place Coaching and Consulting
  • Juanita White, Momentum Nonprofit Partners
  • Eyleen Farmer, Thistle and Bee, Inc.
  • Stephen M. Lee, LeeJazzOmega, Inc. dba Memphis Jazz Workshop
  • Dr. Kenneth Robinson, President and CEO of the United Way of the MidSouth
  • Estella Mayhue-Greer, retired President and CEO of the Mid South Food Bank
  • David Jordan, President and CEO of Agape Child and Family Services
  • Candice Ivy McCloud, MIFA
  • Clint Anderson, formerly of United Way of the MidSouth

Community Service

The NLSA students have also participated in community service projects, including the Silver Bells project, spearheaded by Meritan Inc. (participated multiple years) - students collected personal hygiene items to be packaged and delivered to seniors served by Meritan