ASU Lodestar Center receives Bank of America grant to train the next generation of nonprofit and civic leaders

ASU Lodestar Center receives Bank of America grant to train the next generation of nonprofit and civic leaders

Bank of America grant logos

August 20, 2021 (Phoenix, Ariz.) – Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation is pleased to announce a grant award from Bank of America to support educational and professional pathways for members and alumni of its Public Allies Arizona program. The grant-funded Public Allies Arizona National Service and Workforce Development initiative taps into the unrealized power and potential of these emerging leaders, many of whom come from disadvantaged or overlooked communities.

Public Allies Arizona is a program of the ASU Lodestar Center, supported by AmeriCorps, that develops young leaders from diverse backgrounds, places them for 10 months at a nonprofit or public organization, and prepares them for lives and careers devoted to social change. The $50,000 Bank of America grant will allow dozens of Allies to receive enhanced professional development education with courses at the ASU Lodestar Center’s Nonprofit Management Institute (NMI). NMI is a premier provider of certificate programs and training for members of the nonprofit and philanthropic community, taught by ASU faculty and knowledge specialists on topics from nonprofit leadership to fundraising.

“We value the strategic alignment between our Center’s nonprofit capacity building mission and Bank of America’s priority to assure a prepared and vibrant workforce,” said Dr. Robert Ashcraft, executive director of ASU’s Lodestar Center and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise. “This latest investment builds on years of active engagement in our Center’s portfolio, most recently by current Bank of America leader Chad Wolver, Vice President of Global Commercial Banking, who serves on our Center’s Leadership Council,” Ashcraft added.

Through direct action and investment, including its recently expanded $1.25 billion, five-year commitment, Bank of America is focused on creating economic opportunity and advancing racial e quality in the areas of health, jobs, small business support and affordable housing, as these are areas where systemic, long-term gaps have existed. Locally, during its first round of grant awards this year, Bank of America invested $1.3 million in 48 Greater Phoenix organizations that are creating economic mobility across communities.

“We fully recognize that continuous education and workforce preparation is critical to helping those who are under-resourced build the necessary skills and experience to achieve long-term success,” said Benito Almanza, president, Bank of America Phoenix. “ASU Lodestar Center’s Public Allies curriculum builds on Bank of America’s unwavering efforts to advance economic mobility with a targeted focus on job training and professional development within underserved communities. We look forward to helping create sustainable career pathways and connecting nonprofit leaders to accelerate social impact, now and in the years ahead.”

The Public Allies Arizona curriculum gives members a solid foundation to advance to their pathway objective — be it education, career or a second term of service — but gaps in their preparedness sometimes remain. Thanks to the support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the Public Allies Arizona National Service and Workforce Development initiative and its NMI training will launch Allies into new careers as change-makers or into higher education to further their knowledge and skills. This proven program model transforms the lives of participants to become educated, engaged and productive citizens. It not only creates more access to higher education and workforce development, but also changes communities by developing the leadership skills of young people committed to making a difference.

“The Bank of America grant will provide the participants with certified learning experiences and career competencies which prepares the participants to lead in the nonprofit sector,” said Cynthia Thiede, director of professional development education at the ASU Lodestar Center. “It is a great opportunity for these participants to engage with one another and learn the necessary tools, skills and competencies needed for employment in the nonprofit sector.”

“Our Allies are passionate and eager to offer their wealth of assets to our communities. I am continuously amazed by their energy and creative solutions to our persistent social problems,” said Lou Haiduk, co-director of Public Allies Arizona.

The ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation is a global leader in advancing understanding and effective philanthropic and nonprofit practice as a distinctive community development strategy. Through research, education, technical assistance and convenings, the Center focuses on advancing nonprofit leaders and philanthropists to solve problems, to realize a community's highest aspirations and to accelerate social impact.

The Center launched Public Allies Arizona in 2006 in Phoenix communities and now serves both Maricopa and Pima counties. More than 400 Allies have completed the 10-month program, serving at more than 100 different nonprofit and public organizations. Since 1993, the ASU Lodestar Center's Nonprofit Management Institute (NMI) has taught nonprofit professionals the most up-to-date trends affecting the sector today; how to lead and manage staff, volunteers and board members more effectively; and how to make strategic planning, marketing, fundraising and resource development work more impactful.