Center for Not-For-Profit Organizations Introduces the Community of Practice

News Story: June 20, 2013

On Thursday, May 30, Sacred Heart University’s Center for Not-For-Profit Organizations (NFP) hosted a Community of Practice breakfast and discussion. The Community of Practice brought together not-for-profit leaders and NFP Center representatives in a forum to discuss issues that confront and challenge not-for-profit organizations.

John Chalykoff, dean of the John F. College of Business, gave opening remarks on the importance of the Community of Practice to Sacred Heart as it moves towards a greater emphasis on service learning for its students. He noted the Center has provided over 150 consulting projects to Not- for -Profit organizations in the area.  “It is an expression of our mission,” he said.

Facilitating the discussion was Robert Trefry, former President of Bridgeport Hospital, who helped identify ways Sacred Heart could support not-for- profit organizations in fulfilling their missions. The discussion covered an array of topics including the major challenges not-for-profits are facing, steps being taking to adapt and operate in today’s changing economic environment and what the future holds for these organizations.

“We heard loud and clear from these leaders that not-for-profit organizations are facing new challenges. Our goal is that by working together, we can identify and implement solutions to these issues,” said Jack Lett, chairman of the NFP Center’s Advisory Board.

The Community of Practice will meet again in the fall and begin to form an action plan to work together to strengthen our communities.

The Center for Not-For-Profit Organizations works to provide Sacred Heart students with opportunities to apply their experience, knowledge and skills while serving the greater needs of the community. John J. Petillo, president of Sacred Heart, notes that the students provide a valuable service addressing issues central to the long-term viability and effectiveness of not-for-profits, while being exposed to “realities of life that transcend the formal academic experience.”