Baylor Business equips students to lead nonprofits

John Eagle, bottom right, interning at HELP International summer 2017 in Peru. He was able to receive credit for his internship with Baylor through the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Service.

By Courtney Sosnowski | Reporter

Tucked away on the second floor of the Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Service offers assistance to students who want to earn their living by serving others, or in other words, “to do well by doing good.”

The center assists students who have decided to major or minor in nonprofit marketing in three ways: research, teaching and outreach.

Dr. Jim Roberts, Director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Service, has been able to offer career advice to students like Richmond, Va., senior John Eagle. Eagle, a double major in entrepreneurship and nonprofit marketing, landed a summer internship with Generations Adoptions (now Nightlight Christian Adoptions) in Waco with the help of the Center.

“My internship that I took this past summer went through the center,” Eagle said. “I’ve gone into that office to learn more about what a nonprofit would look like and also what a job with a nonprofit after school would look like.”

In the Nonprofit Marketing course, students get hands-on exposure supporting nonprofit organizations by working with nonprofit professionals in the Waco area to help market their businesses. This semester, Eagle and his group will assist Caritas, an organization that provides food and other resources to low-income families in the Waco area.

“Our goal is to help them market, primarily though things that would be free to them,” Eagle said. “Social media marketing is going to be a big thing we are focusing on this semester because it’s free…the main goal is going to be to market to new donors, new fundraisers and especially volunteers.”

New Braunfels senior Charlotte Weston said she didn’t know about Baylor’s nonprofit marketing emphasis until she was on campus. Now as a double major in Anthropology and Marketing, she wants to focus her marketing work on nonprofits.

“I feel selfish if I’m only working for my own gain,” Weston said. “I always try to [ask] how is this particular job or internship or even this major going to affect the people around me and the world in general.”

Nonprofit organizations are usually public charities that provide services to a community. According to the National Council of Nonprofits, the difference between a for-profit organization and a nonprofit is that any excess money that the business generates is used for its mission, rather than given to private individuals. Many nonprofits are volunteer based, donation based, or both.

By maintaining relationships and connecting students with nonprofits all around Waco, such as the Humane Society, Shepherd’s Heart, Neighbor Works, and dozens others, the center equips Baylor students to be innovative and prepared for the unique challenges that nonprofits encounter. The course work focuses on fundraising, strategic planning and promotion of nonprofits.

Students studying in the business school can choose to focus their degree in nonprofit marketing, but a student does not need to be a business major in order to take on a nonprofit marketing minor. Students from various majors, including religion, journalism, and social work have taken courses in nonprofit marketing.