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JSU class to offer insight on nonprofits

By Michael A. Bell, The Anniston Star

December 02, 2009

Nov. 27—Jacksonville State University will soon offer a program to those interested in launching or managing a nonprofit.

“We’re going to teach you from start to finish how to have a successful nonprofit, how to successfully start it, maintain it and have a good longevity here,” said Laura McCullars, an instructor at JSU’s Continuing Education department at McClellan, who will teach the course.

They’re called introduction to nonprofit management, starting a nonprofit and marketing a nonprofit.

By Michael A. Bell, The Anniston Star, Ala.

Nov. 27—Jacksonville State University will soon offer a program to those interested in launching or managing a nonprofit.

“We’re going to teach you from start to finish how to have a successful nonprofit, how to successfully start it, maintain it and have a good longevity here,” said Laura McCullars, an instructor at JSU’s Continuing Education department at McClellan, who will teach the course.

Three courses will be offered starting Jan. 19 and ending Feb. 23. They’re called introduction to nonprofit management, starting a nonprofit and marketing a nonprofit.

“We discovered that there is a need for this in our community and a lot of interest in it,” said Belinda Blackburn, director of the Continuing Education program.

The courses can be taken online or in class. Upon completion, the student earns a nonprofit management certificate.

McCullars, a nonprofit consultant, said billions of dollars are coming from the federal government, and local agencies should be applying for these funds, especially during such tough economic times.

“I want to see Anniston go after the federal (money),” she said. “And we teach them how to do it.”

But in Calhoun County, there’s plenty of competition for that money.

The county has more than 500 nonprofit agencies carrying multiple classifications, from the Salvation Army to amateur sports to sororities and fraternities.

That’s about one agency for every 226 people in the county.

They serve the poor, families, children, homeless, elderly.

“Because of the funding, people are literally fighting for the money,” she said.

To start a nonprofit, it costs $20 and a sheet of paper to send to the state Secretary of State’s Office.

But there’s a lot more to it than that. That’s why people should take the course, McCullars said: It could help nonprofits improve their chances at running a successful agency, and separate them from the competition.

She said she believes the class is the first such program offered in the state. Georgia, among many other states, offers similar programs.

For more information on the course, including the costs, call 782-5918.

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