Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Barbara Sagara

Second Advisor

Monica Priest


To earn a Minor in Nonprofit Leadership with Certificate at Western Michigan University (WMU), all students must enroll in PADM 3210 and 3220, which are one-credit courses two different semesters. The difference between earning a nonprofit minor with certificate versus without certificate is a 300-hour internship, enrolling in PADM 3210 and 3220, and attending the Alliance Management Institute Conference (AMI). At AMI, which happens for three days every January, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) will give graduating students their credentials of Certified Nonprofit Professionals (CNPs).

This course, PADM 3210/3220 is direct involvement in the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association (NLSA). I served as the President of the NLSA from April 2018 to April 2019 and observed as well as experimented with many different best practices. This thesis is comprised of 3 main parts:

First, revised NLSA Bi-Laws within the parameters set by WMU and the Registered Student Organization (RSO) Office of Student Engagement that I think should be set for NLSA. Major changes from previous years include governmental structure / layout of student officers, membership criteria and accountability rules, and involvement of faculty adviser. Second, a strategic business plan outlines for NLSA with specific goals applying what exactly we did this year with the programming. This section explains the vision / mission and describes concrete goals. It also answers the who, what, where, when and how of NLSA. Third, proposed Best Practices / instruction manual for PADM 3210/3220 including grading scale and scope of course with in-depth proposed expectations for all members involved.

The results of the study found that to ensure more success and continuous improvement, clearer distinctions need to be made between NLSA and PADM 32210/3220 specifically with relation to the institution. There also needs to be more accountability within the Nonprofit Leadership community, and more collaborations which would spark interests and allow more students to take ownership. The proposed plans, if executed, I believe would create effective change and guide NLSA to being as robust as it once was. It was an honor to serve as President of this registered student organization for the year, and I am proud to pass along this continuity plan to the next round of nonprofit leaders. Thank you.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Business Commons