Upgrading a Nonprofit With Knowledge

Posted on 10-18-2022

By Michael Shaw (This article originally appeared in UWGB News Plash on 13 October 2022)

No money, no mission. It may surprise you to learn that the goal of most not-for-profits is to be profitable. The biggest difference between a for-profit and not-for-profit enterprise? Just follow the money. For-profit enterprises reward their investor, not-for-profits return all revenues to continue their mission.

In the case of Eric Sponholtz, Executive Director of The Volunteer Center of Brown County, his mission is to maintain and grow the center’s core service that connects people who want to donate their time and efforts with other organizations looking for volunteers.

“We work with other organizations to help them find volunteers.”

Turns out there are quite a few nonprofits in Northeastern Wisconsin looking for more than a few generous souls.

“Over the course of a year, more than 100 organizations take advantage of our services“ says Sponholtz, “we have an affiliate partner base of about 70—including UW-Green Bay.”

No small task for a staff of five, including Sponholtz. And what if adding personnel isn’t an immediate option for an over-achieving nonprofit?  Then, just add knowledge.

The Volunteer Center’s own daunting mission is now more achievable through Sponholtz’s participation in UW-Green Bay’s new Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program. The program enables individuals passionate about their causes to attain and adapt the best practices of the most successful businesses (private, public, profit or nonprofit) in the region.

Sponholtz credits his experiences growing up in the small town of Berlin, Wisconsin, with imprinting the importance of one-on-one relationships and the importance of service, no matter the…

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UW-Green Bay launched the Nonprofit Education and Development Network to further support nonprofit leaders with foundational and advanced training, in addition to organized networking opportunities.



UW Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a multi-campus comprehensive university offering exemplary undergraduate, master’s and select doctoral programs and operating with a commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and research, and service to the community. The University provides a problem focused educational experience that promotes critical thinking and student success.

The culture and vision of the University reflect a deep commitment to diversity, inclusion, social justice, civic engagement, and educational opportunity at all levels. Our core values embrace community-based partnerships, collaborative faculty scholarship and innovation.

Our commitment to a university that promotes access, career success, cross-discipline collaboration, cultural enrichment, economic development, entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability is demonstrated through a wide array of programs and certifications offered in four colleges: College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; College of Science, Engineering and Technology (including the Richard Resch School of Engineering); College of Health, Education and Social Welfare; and the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business, leading to a range of degrees, including AAS, BA, BAS, BBA, BM, BS, BSN, BSW, MS, MSW, MSN, and Ed.D.​