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Research Colloquium Series

The Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management invites all interested UWM faculty, students and community members to attend the HBI Colloquium series, which meets on the UWM campus several times per semester.

Presenters at the HBI Colloquium are UWM faculty, UWM Ph.D. students or invited speakers involved in research focusing on a broad array of topics related to nonprofit and civil society studies. The colloquium is an opportunity for academics and practitioners to get together to hear about and engage in critical conversations on essential issues impacting our community and nonprofit sector at large.

Please note that our Research Colloquium Series is free to the public. No advance registration is required.

Coming Up...

October 20, 2016 - 5:00- 6:00pm - UW-Milwaukee, Kenwood IRC Room 1180

The Importance of Inclusive Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations


  • Troy Washington, Doctoral Fellow, Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management, UW-Milwaukee

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this presentation has been cancelled. We hope to offer this topic again in the future.


November 10, 2016 - 5:00- 6:00pm - UW-Milwaukee, Kenwood IRC Room 1180

City Council Member Attitudes Toward Nonprofit Policy Roles and Assessments of Nonprofit Capacity in Small Wisconsin Communities


  • Douglas Irhke, Executive Director, Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management, UW-Milwaukee
  • Michael Ford, Assistant Professor, UW-Oshkosh

The purpose of this presentation is to share what we have learned about how local elected officials view the nonprofit sector in their communities.  The last 30 years or so have brought about a fundamental change in the dynamics of governing local communities.  This change has been brought about by a number of forces working on local communities.  One of the ways in which local governments have dealt with the new forces is to engage with the nonprofit sector to deal with issues in different policy areas.  Engagement with the sector comes in numerous forms, yet newspaper accounts and the academic literature are both filled with accounts of how difficult it is to successfully engage governments and nonprofits. Here we use originally collected data from city council members in Wisconsin communities with populations less than 10,000 to determine their attitudes toward the role of nonprofit organizations in different policy areas and their assessments of the capacity of nonprofits to deal with the challenges inherent in each policy area.  Specifically, we examine council member attitudes about the role of the nonprofit sector in their communities in 14 different policy areas and we then look at council member assessments of the capacity of the nonprofit sector to deal with the issues in each of these policy areas.  The results should be of interest to academics and practitioners studying the role of the nonprofit sector in the hollow state.


December 7, 2016 - 5:00- 6:00pm - UW-Milwaukee, Kenwood IRC Room 1180



  • Fredrik O. Andersson, Assistant Professor, Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management, UW-Milwaukee

Last year...

(Please click on the title to view each presentation in its entirety.)

October 14, 2015 - 5.00 - 6:00pm, UW-Milwaukee, Lubar School of Business, Room S165

Determinants of School Failure in the Milwaukee Voucher Program


  • Michael Ford, Assistant Professor, UW-Oshkosh
  • Fredrik O. Andersson, Assistant Professor, Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management, UW-Milwaukee

In this presentation we use 25-years of data to map out instances of nonprofit school failure in Milwaukee's longstanding voucher school program.  The study builds on previous work by Andersson and Ford (2015) connecting the Milwaukee voucher experience to literature on social entrepreneurship.  Specifically, we argue that the Milwaukee voucher program is a policy designed to foster social entrepreneurship, and that both organization- and environmental-level factors influence the lifecycle of these schools. Specifically, we use quantitative techniques to explore the determinants of school failure, a common occurrence throughout the Milwaukee voucher program’s history.


November 5, 2015 - 5.00 - 6:00pm, UW-Milwaukee, Curtain Hall, Room 124

Nonprofit Fiscal Sponsors: An Overview of a Vital Yet Unacknowledged Nonprofit Industry



  • Dan Neely, Associate Professor, UW-Milwaukee

This presentation describes and examines nonprofit fiscal sponsors i.e. an already existing nonprofit organization agreeing to provide a legal home and support for currently unincorporated nonprofit entities. Using data from a national fiscal sponsor directory containing over 200 fiscal sponsors this presentation addresses a range of questions including: what type of nonprofit organization serves as fiscal sponsors, how many projects do they sponsor, what type of projects do they sponsor, and what type of support do they offer, and to how does the answer to these questions differ by the type, size and age of the fiscal sponsor? Finally, what do the fiscal sponsor receive in return, if anything, for their services?


December 10, 2015 - 5:00-6:00pm, UW-Milwaukee, Bolton Hall, Room B92

Active Charter School Board Member Governance and Performance: Perceptions and Reality

(this presentation was not recorded)


  • Douglas Ihrke, Professor, UW-Milwaukee

This research presentation builds on the existing literatures on small group dynamics and public and nonprofit organizational performance, and explores the link between governance on Minnesota nonprofit charter school boards and school level performance data. Using survey data collected from 166 charter school board members this presentation examines how various elements of small group dynamics are related to key governance areas, and how governance is linked to students outcomes.


February 9, 2016 - 10:30am - 12:00pm, UW-Milwaukee, Lubar School of Business, Room N440

The Use and Consequences of Perquisites in Nonprofit Organizations


  • Erica Harris, Villanova University

Using a diverse sample of over forty-four thousand nonprofit year observations, we find that perks are used in approximately 40 (37) percent of nonprofits (nonprofit-year observations). We find that perks are more likely to be used in larger nonprofits with poor governance, and less likely to be used at organizations with an independent board and those that are charitable in nature. In aggregate we find that perk disclosure has no impact on future donations. However, when we look more closely at the types of perks disclosed, we find that perks which could be construed as likely to enhance the managers’ fundraising ability are associated with higher future donations; while those that are not are associated with lower future donations.


March 31, 2016 - 5:00 pm - 6:00pm, UW-Milwaukee, Engelmann Hall, Room B38

Discussing the Importance of Inclusive Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations


  • Troy Washington, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Ph.D. Candidate, Urban Education

Inclusive leadership is the practice of leadership that carefully includes the contributions of all stakeholders in the community or organization. Inclusion means being at the table at all levels of the organization, being a valued contributor and being fully responsible for your contribution to the ultimate result. Inclusive leadership creates an organizational culture that consistently produces results that benefit all of those stakeholders.

It is further defined as a functional practice required of all stakeholders, where individuals are fully responsible for their contribution, internally committed to assessment and growth and outwardly committed to a culture that invests in this same growth for everyone.


April 19, 2016 - 5:00 - 6:00pm, UW-Milwaukee, KIRC, Room 1180

An Overview of Nonprofit Affiliate Structures


  • Stephanie Zito, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership

This presentation explores the major nonprofit models of affiliate organizations under the umbrella of a lead or parent organization. Affiliate programs allow nonprofits to reach a wider range of communities for various reasons including franchising and membership opportunities. However, these relationships have inherent challenges for both lead and affiliate organizations. Examples of affiliate structural models along with terminology, governance challenges, and other implications will be discussed during this session.