Nonprofit management & leadership

Nonprofit organizations play an essential role in society by providing goods, services, and connections that might not otherwise be available. School of Public Affairs faculty conduct research on multiple aspects of the nonprofit sector, including philanthropy, nonprofit governance and financial management, social entrepreneurship, and the ways in which nonprofits use collaborations and networks to achieve their missions.

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Featured course: 

PUAD 5110/CRJU 5010 Seminar in Nonprofit Management

  • Portrait of Dr. Jason Machado

    Machado brings passion to virtual class on nonprofit management

    Sep 11, 2020 by Rebecca Gianarkis
    Students in Dr. Jason Machado’s classes have the opportunity to learn from a University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs (SPA) alumnus who teaches as a way to share his passion for the nonprofit sector and its role in advocacy work. Machado teaches at least six different classes via online, remote, and in-person modalities. His students range from certificate and degree-seeking graduate and undergraduate students interested in the intersection between public administration or criminal justice and the nonprofit sector.
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Alumni stories

Our School of Public Affairs alumni make a huge impact in Colorado and beyond! Read their stories.

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    A multi-generational family of alumni reminisces about their shared appreciation of their time at the School of Public Affairs

    Aug 21, 2023 by Ellen Patterson
    The School of Public Affairs recently had the honor of sitting down with a unique trio of alumni – Elsa Holguín (MPA '11), her husband Ed Lucero (MPA '98), and her daughter Denise Gomez (MPA '16) – a multi-generational example of the impact of SPA’s programs in the greater community.
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    Six Questions for SPA Alum Tony Frank, Director of Business Development for PCs for People

    Jun 29, 2023
    Tony Frank is the Director of Business Development for PCs for People. He is based in the Denver office where he develops partnerships with businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, affordable housing organizations, schools, and other community groups to ensure PCs for People is maximizing the impact of providing affordable computers and low-cost internet across Colorado. He holds a Master of Public Administration with a Local Government Policy concentration from the University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs.
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    Six Questions for SPA Alum Melinda Pollack, Managing Director at Blue Meridian Partners

    Jun 23, 2023
    Melinda Pollack, Managing Director at Blue Meridian Partners, provides strategic and executional leadership on critical business priorities and leads innovation efforts which will expand Blue Meridian’s work as it evolves. She explores new philanthropic investment opportunities, leads due diligence on potential Blue Meridian investees, and manages relationships with current investees, with a focus on Place Matters. Melinda earned a BA at George Washington University and an MPA from the University of Colorado, Denver.
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  • Anneliese Steel

    Six Questions for SPA Alum Anneliese Steel, Senior Director of Public Affairs for Colorado Concern

    Jun 7, 2023
    Anneliese Steel is the Senior Director of Public Affairs for Colorado Concern, an executive alliance committed to protecting and enhancing the Centennial state's business economy. She manages a robust policy portfolio, including issue research, legislative drafting, lobbying, and public testimony, along with member and media relations. She helped champion the successful passage of $5.3 billion dollars in funding for the 10-Year Transportation Plan, secure over $700 million in property tax relief, achieve substantial occupational licensing reform, and create a new rulemaking transparency website for the state of Colorado.
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    MPA alumni share experiences leading Colorado nonprofits during COVID-19 pandemic

    Sep 8, 2020 by Joan Fishburn
    School of Public Affairs alumni Annie Davies (MPA ’03), Engagement Director Western U.S., at the United Way (formerly Executive Director of United Way Larimer County), and Rachel Fuchs (MPA ’16), Director of Partner Services at Intercambio, recently answered questions on how they, as nonprofit leaders, continue to lead their organizations through challenging times and into the future.
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  • DCLF Alumni Spotlight: Terrell Curtis

    Aug 4, 2020 by Guest Contributor
    Terry Curtis, Associate Investment Director, Family Economic Security, Gary Community Investments, shares her experiences of participating in the School of Public Affairs Denver Community Leadership Forum.
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  • DCLF Alumni Spotlight: Emily Bustos

    Aug 4, 2020 by Guest Contributor
    Emily Bustos, CEO, Denver’s Early Childhood Council, shares her experiences of participating in the School of Public Affairs Denver Community Leadership Forum.
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Faculty OpEd

Leadership training spotlight

Meet DCLF instructor Merrick Weaver

In 2018, the Denver Community Leadership Forum (DCLF) was rejuvenated after a short hiatus. The curriculum was revamped and new faculty were engaged. In this video, DCLF director Lisa VanRaemdonck interviews DCLF faculty member Merrick Weaver about the concept of “learning in public” and why it is an important part of leadership development.

Latest news on nonprofit management & leadership

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    CU Denver’s School of Public Affairs: For 50 Years, a Place to Lead, Solve, and ChangeOpens in a new window

    Feb 28, 2023
    This year, as CU Denver celebrates its own golden anniversary, SPA is also celebrating 50 years of education, research, and outreach that helps cities and communities operate better and more equitably.
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    What is the Difference between Public Policy and Public Administration?Opens in a new window

    Feb 28, 2023
    Look around you: From roads that link neighborhoods to city governments that introduce recycling programs, to people that raise funds to build playgrounds and concert venues, our world is shaped by civics and public affairs. And students who are interested in a career in these sectors can make big impacts in their communities. At CU Denver, students can choose an educational path that focuses on public administration or public affairs—but how do these degree choices differ?
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  • Economic Development Class Strengthens San Luis Valley Communities throughout the years

    Nov 16, 2022
    Since 2017, students in Randy Harrison’s ‘Economic Development’ class (PUAD 5630) have had the opportunity to engage with Colorado communities in an experience unlike any felt in a typical classroom. Through its partnership with Downtown Colorado, Inc., this SPA course allows students to become project coordinators in a process known as the Colorado Challenge Program; here, students connect with community members and experts in the field to establish a plan of work to engage public, private, and non-profit partners in addressing a significant community challenge over the course of their semester. Through their partnership, SPA students and DCI have connected with and created initiatives for almost 30 Colorado communities.
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