Marcus Lam

The Changemaker Faculty Fellows Development Program is a great opportunity to connect with faculty from across campus and, more importantly, to learn to practice and integrate changemaking into my teaching, research, and community engagement. Through this fellowship, one of my goals is to learn from faculty from different disciplines and to make connections with my own work in order to foster and implement changemaking into my research and teaching.

The Changemaker Hub’s value of connecting and translating research to community engagement is very important to me. Often research in academia is isolated from practice and I strive to think critically about how my research is relevant to practitioners on the ground. Through this Fellowship, I hope to learn ways to make a stronger connection between my research and practice and to have my research be relevant and make a difference for nonprofit management professionals.

Changemaking is not a solitary endeavor, nor is it under the auspices of a single field. Rather, changemaking requires the coordinated efforts of many scholarly disciplines and I joined the Fellowship to be a part of this effort.

My research in the nonprofit sector will add a unique, organizational perspective to the Faculty Fellows program. Specifically, my research on nonprofit management, resourcing strategies and financial health will offer ideas on how changemaking can be sustained and carried on over the long term.

Social change and movements are catalyzed and sustained through organizations, in particular nonprofit organizations. For example, the feminist movement spawned nonprofit organizations such as domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers. There are countless examples of other social change movements that have led to the creation of nonprofit organizations to maintain and advocate for the movement’s core values.

However, once created, nonprofit organizations may become bureaucratized and grapple with many of the management challenges facing other organizations, such as financial sustainability, performance measurement, and demonstrating overall effectiveness.Thus, what I can offer are three things:

  1. discuss the role of nonprofit sector in fostering social change;
  2. articulate some of the major challenges in the nonprofit management field and link ideas from the Changemaker Fellow program to these challenges;
  3. input and insights on how the nonprofit sector can play a role in disseminating and sustaining the ideas created through the Changemaker Faculty Fellows Development Program.