ASU Lodestar Center


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Arizona State University's Nonprofit Leadership Alliance program receives the Campus Program Excellence Award

In front of a large dark blue curtain, Nonprofit Alliance Leadership members gather for a photo.

Phoenix, Ariz. (January 5, 2018) – Recognizing the program’s growth and success, the national Nonprofit Leadership Alliance gave its Campus Program Excellence Award to the Arizona State University affiliate, a program of the ASU School of Community Resources and Development and supported by the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation.

The prestigious award, announced at NLA’s Alliance Management Institute on Jan. 5, 2018, in Kansas City, Missouri, is given to the campus partner that evidences the best practices in nonprofit career preparation and growth. NLA, founded as American Humanics in 1948, is a national network of educational institutions and nonprofit partners that aims to strengthen the social sector.

ASU’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, newly energized under the leadership of Sr. Program Coordinator, Anne Kotleba, and with the continued guidance of the ASU Lodestar Center’s Executive Director and Professor Dr. Robert Ashcraft, has again thrived in recent years, earning initial consideration for the award last fall. Only campus programs that have earned “4-Star” status can apply for the award. Two major components of the “4-Star” rating are significant increases in the number of students recruited and in Certified Nonprofit Professional credentials awarded. ASU’s NLA smashed through both of those benchmarks.

“There is no better example of our College’s commitment to community engagement and positive social impact than our Nonprofit Leadership Alliance program,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of ASU’s College of Public Service & Community Solutions. “Our alumni populate nonprofits as staff professionals throughout Greater Phoenix, across Arizona and around the nation and world. Our longstanding model of curricular and co-curricular activities that fully support the development of competencies in our NLA students, leading to their Certified Nonprofit Professional credential, has earned a rightful reputation as an essential provider of talented, diverse, capable professionals who graduate into the ranks of those leading our community’s most essential social sector organizations.”

“ASU blazed the trail in the field of nonprofit leadership and management education,” said Dr. Robert Ashcraft, executive director of the ASU Lodestar Center and the Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise in ASU’s School of Community Resources and Development. “It is encouraging that a program with a nearly 40 year history at ASU continues to earn national accolades for how we ‘educate for community impact,' in building on our proud heritage,” he added.

The award recipient was chosen by a national selection committee of faculty, CNPs, workforce partners, board members and sponsors. Committee members evaluated each program’s recruitment strategies and hands-on learning activities, the strength of its student group interaction and the relationships forged with the local nonprofit community.

“Arizona State University is exemplary in its dedication to training the next generation of social-impact leaders,” said Susan T. Schmidt, CNP, president of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. “ASU was selected based on the quality of its program, its close connection to the nonprofit community, and the extraordinary experience it provides students.”

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance has a nearly 40-year history with Arizona State University, whose NLA program has become a leader among the more than 50 university affiliates. Students who complete the program earn the NLA’s national certification and the Certified Nonprofit Professional credential.

Part of the students’ hands-on learning is fundraising to travel to the NLA’s Alliance Management Institute each January, at which the Campus Program Excellence honor is awarded. NLA students raised more than $30,000 to meet their fundraising goal and sent 17 students to the largest national conference for future nonprofit professionals. The Helios Education Foundation supported the students with a major gift.

Of the NLA’s positive community impact, Dean Koppell said, “I view our NLA program, and the students who comprise its Student Association, as being an essential ingredient in helping lead our College to assure our full potential as we partner with communities to realize our highest aspirations. We produce high-quality graduates who provide countless service hours while in school, who engage in senior internships and who readily accept employment opportunities to fill much-needed positions across the nonprofit sector.”

The ASU Lodestar Center supports the NLA program as part of the Center’s mission to build the capacity of the social sector by enhancing the effectiveness of those who lead, manage and support nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.

For additional information regarding any of the ASU Lodestar Center’s programs, visit If you have questions, please call 602.496.0500 or email

 Thank you to the Helios Education Foundation for your support.