Nonprofit Organizations and Advocacy for Social Change

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Social change activists often form nonprofit organizations to help accomplish their goals, while managers of human service nonprofits often desire to create social change as well as help individuals. As a result, nonprofit organizations of all kinds play a large and growing role in promoting and shaping social change, at both the policy and community level. This course explores theory and practice relating to nonprofit organizations in their role as political and community actors, and is intended for students who are interested in the interface between nonprofit management and social change activism. The course will review both top down and bottom up methods of social change from the perspective of a nonprofit manager, exploring the benefits, challenges, and implications of a variety of strategies, with a primary focus on policy advocacy in human service nonprofits. Overall, the course will include a mix of practical management-related skill-building, and discussion and study of relevant theory from the organizational and social movement literatures.