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City of San Diego Wins International Award for Nonprofit Education Program

SAN DIEGO – The City of San Diego received a 2017 Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in the Partnerships With Educational Institutions category for its creation of the Nonprofit Academy (NPA). The award will be presented at the IEDC 2017 Annual Conference on Sept. 19 in Toronto.

Launched in August 2016 and held twice a year, NPA is a partnership between the City and The Nonprofit Institute at University of San Diego, offering free, two-day educational workshops to more than 100 local nonprofits that provide – or intend to provide – essential services to San Diegans. NPA’s goal is to increase the quantity, quality and diversity of nonprofits applying each year for City service contracts worth millions of dollars in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and other economic development grant funding. There are more than 10,000 registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charities in San Diego.

"City-university partnerships are being used to tackle the toughest problems that metros face, and USD is an ideal partner in growing the quality of our nonprofit community,” said City of San Diego Deputy Chief Operating Officer David Graham. “The Nonprofit Academy collaboration uses data and academic expertise to provide real-world skills that improve the competitiveness of our local organizations."

The core courses (including Program Design and Three Indicators of Fiscal Competence) and electives (like Partnering with the City and Building an Effective Board) are the applied learning designed to strengthen a nonprofit’s effective management and organizational capacity. The curriculum was developed under the direction of Dr. Laura Deitrick, Associate Director of the Nonprofit Institute. Instructors include faculty from USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences, which offers a master’s in nonprofit management, as well as leading nonprofit experts and members of the City’s Economic Development Department.

"As an anchor institution, the University of San Diego is very pleased to have its Nonprofit Institute partner with the City of San Diego on the Nonprofit Academy,” said USD President Dr. James T. Harris III. “Partnerships such as this one only enhance economic development and serve as a catalyst for community development and continued partnerships moving forward."

The innovative NPA has already made a positive impact, boosting the number of qualified CDBG applicants by 33 percent in one year to 76 nonprofits in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. Of the 27 nonprofits awarded FY 2018 grants, 14 were NPA participants. In post-NPA surveys, 75 percent of respondents indicated a better understanding of City funding opportunities, and 70 percent had taken steps to
implement new practices. The next NPA is scheduled to be held in the Spring 2018.

The City of San Diego also received an IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award for the Naval Training Center/Liberty Station Redevelopment project.