Nonprofit Research Rocks! ARNOVA Conference

I recently attended the Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) conference in Chicago. (My alma mater--North Park University was one of the host colleges.) This conference was a great gathering of Nonprofit Professors, Researchers and Practitioners who presented relevant research findings and presentations about the Nonprofit Sector.

I especially enjoyed the session about Nonprofit Fraud which reported about some nonprofit fraud statistics as well as provided suggestions how to prevent it. Some of the suggestions included:

  • Ensure that internal and external controls are in place to prevent fraud. I describe some of these controls in my Security Culture blog post (#9).
  • Hire a 3rd party to host a confidential fraud hotline so employees can feel comfortable to call in and report fraud. 

In my experience working with small nonprofits, it is very challenging to put these internal and external controls in place to prevent fraud, however the presenters suggested that small organizations can ban together and share a bookkeeper to create some of these controls.


Another session I attended was about the Nonprofit Workforce. This presentation/lively discussion reported on the hot topic of the moment, "The Nonprofit Leadership Deficit." Nonprofit leaders are concerned that there are very few leaders in the "pipeline". However with Nonprofit Education programs preparing leaders across the country, folks argued that the next generation of leaders are ready and in the "pipeline."