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Former Journalist Turned Teacher Focuses On Nonprofit Sector

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript, Okla.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Diana Hartley, the University of Oklahoma’s first professor of practice in the Nonprofit Management Program says nonprofits appeal to students looking for a “compassionate career,” but they are businesses and, in many ways, must be run like businesses.

The Norman Transcript, Okla.

One out of 10 jobs are with nonprofit organizations, said Diana Hartley, the University of Oklahoma’s first professor of practice in the Nonprofit Management Program.

“If you want to earn a paycheck, you can do that anywhere,” Hartley said. “But if you want to make a difference, maybe a career in the nonprofit sector is right for you.”

Some may think jobs in the nonprofit sector are a poor choice during bad economic times, but Hartley said less public funding doesn’t mean fewer jobs.

“The perspective that I look at it from, if the state dollars are not there to go to nonprofits, the need is still going to be there,” she said. “I think the demand for their services is going to be greater than ever. You could argue that it will create more job opportunities for students, certainly within the fundraising arena, program management and volunteer coordination.”

Nonprofits appeal to students looking for a “compassionate career,” Hartley said, but they are businesses and, in many ways, must be run like businesses. Still, the human factor can’t be ignored when looking at the demand for college classes on nonprofit management.

“I don’t think [career choice] should be based on how much money you’re going to make when you get out of college,” Hartley said. “If you do what you like, it doesn’t feel like drudgery. I see too many people walking around in life like they’re on the way to a funeral when they’re on the way to their jobs.”

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