Thursday November 5, 2009

Training Nonprofit Executives

With increasing demand for services and rising costs, executives from the national Meals on Wheels organization have turned to the University of Dayton's Center for Leadership and Executive Development for training on how to improve nonprofit operations.

The economy has not been kind to senior nutrition programs such as Meals On Wheels that help hundreds of thousands of the nation's vulnerable elderly with nutritious meals and friendly visits.

"The Meals On Wheels Association of America estimates that one in nine seniors in the U.S. are already at risk of hunger," said Teresa Barry, board chairman for the national organization. "And it's getting worse. There are many more seniors being added to waiting lists, many more who need assistance and not enough money for rising gas and food prices."

That's why the association is bringing 20 executive leaders of senior nutrition programs to the Center for Leadership and Executive Development at the University of Dayton Nov. 11-13 for executive leadership training. Participants who complete the three-day program earn a Certificate in Leadership.

"The reason we're training these directors is because they need to expand their programs," Barry said. "We need to help them find funds and help them find volunteers."

The training session offered by the Center for Leadership and Executive Development is geared for nonprofit executives to help them become more effective leaders, said Bob Smith, center director. Smith said the center is expanding programming to offer more training geared to nonprofit organizations.

Smith said topics will include accounting and financial management, volunteer management and long-range planning, among other topics, delivered by national experts including University of Dayton faculty.

"We are pleased that the Meals On Wheels Association of America selected the University's Center for Leadership and Executive Development for this important training," said Pete Luongo, executive director of the center. "In these challenging economic times, nonprofit leaders must operate their organizations at peak efficiency so vital services can continue to those with the greatest need.

"The Center for Leadership and Executive Development offers the kind of high-caliber training that can help leaders be more effective," Luongo said.

There are more than 5,000 senior nutrition programs across the country, serving an estimated one million meals a day to seniors, according to the Meals on Wheels Association of America. In southwestern Ohio, more than 4,000 homebound residents in 11 counties receive a hot lunch every weekday, 251 days a year, from the program operated by the region's Senior Resource Connection.

Smith said a few slots are available for the training session and are being offered to local nonprofit executives. Cost is $399 for the three-day session. For more information visit the related link or call 937-229-4936.

Bob Smith at 937-229-4936 or smithrof@udayton.edu.