12:17 PM

Master's of Nonprofit Management Program, CenterPoint Partner for Power Tools for Nonprofits Conference


By Mike Emery


Nonprofit organizations support many essential community services, which was especially apparent during Harvey. Greater Houston nonprofits emerged as true heroes during the historic storm. However, even the bravest organizations face a number of challenges, including sustained funding, adequate staffing or lack of resources.

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) Master of Nonprofit Management Program (MNPM) is aimed at preparing professionals ready to lead and develop 21st century nonprofit organizations toward success. On Nov. 15, the program will team with CenterPoint Energy to deliver the 24th Annual Power Tools for Nonprofits Conference at NRG Center (One NRG Park, Houston, Texas, 77054). The conference is set to feature sessions led by Houston-area professionals and is aimed at helping nonprofits thrive and continue to serve their respective communities.

Registration details are available here, and attendees have the option of earning continuing education units for attending the event. For additional information, contact the Office of Continuing Education at 713-221-8032 or abtc@uhd.edu.

Sessions will be conducted from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Topics include:

  • CEO Leadership Stories
  • Shark Tank Advice for Nonprofits
  • Grant Writing Best Practices
  • Building a Community Through Social Media
  • The Most Important Ingredient for a Successful Nonprofit

The lunchtime keynote address will be delivered by motivational speaker Michelle Poler, who gained fame for a project in which she faced one fear a day for 100 days—or "100 Days Without Fear."

Other Power Tools presenters include: Brian Greene, president and CEO of the Houston Food Bank and an adjunct instructor for UHD's MNPM Program; Michele Shonbeck, executive director for the Christian Community Service Center; Dr. Robert Sanborn, CEO of Children at Risk and adjunct instructor for UHD's MNPM Program and Dr. Ronnie Hagerty, assistant vice president of Community Relations for the United Way of Greater Houston. A full list of speakers is available here.

According to Dr. Laila Sorurbakhsh, director of UHD's MNPM Program, the Power Tools conference offers nonprofit professionals an opportunity to see beyond the respective missions of the organizations they serve.

"This conference will help nonprofit leaders realize their goals and see them to fruition," she said. "The most successful nonprofits attribute their accomplishments to how well they manage and execute strategic plans that match their altruistic visions."

Beyond the Power Tools conference, UHD's Master's of Nonprofit Management Program prepares emerging nonprofit leaders through a multidisciplinary online curriculum led by area professionals and esteemed faculty.

Based in UHD's College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the program has earned a No. 5 ranking in the country from The Best Schools; No. 2 on AffordableCollege.com's list of "Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Nonprofit Management"; and No. 6 on Best College Reviews' "Top 30 Online Masters in Nonprofit Management Degree Programs."

"One of the greatest features about this program is that it's interdisciplinary," Sorurbakhsh said. "We pull from English, political science, business and other areas. Nonprofits are such unique entities in that they span many industries and disciplines. It's helpful for students to understand how all of these concepts tie together to make organizations stronger."