AUM’s future nonprofit leaders continue nationally recognized excellence
They’re not the largest chapter, they’re not at the largest school, and they don’t have the largest budget. But the students in Auburn Montgomery’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance make the most of what they have to lend a helping hand in the community.
Case in point – the recent Find a Friend at AUM pet adopt-a-thon. Six humane shelters from across the River Region, as well as Perry and Houston counties, were hosted on campus and 43 pets found new homes. The annual event is just one of numerous projects hosted by the AUM chapter. In fact, over the past year, only three of the approximately 50 NPLA organizations nationwide completed more than 50 service projects, and AUM was one of them – beating out schools with budgets and student bodies several times larger.
In addition to planning and executing its own service projects, NPLA students also intern at nonprofits in the community. This year, 42 students have interned at 17 nonprofit organizations in the River Region – each contributing 300 hours of unpaid service, or a total of 12,200 hours – for the area’s understaffed nonprofits, including the Montgomery Humane Society, March of Dimes, American Red Cross, River Region United Way, Easter Seals, YMCA, and Aid to Inmate Mothers.
In recognition of its contributions to the community, Hands-On River Region and Montgomery Junior League named the program the area’s Adult Volunteer Group of the Year in 2013. It was named the top program in the nation by its national chapter in 2011.
Established in 2001, AUM’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance provides students with the broad skill set needed to manage nonprofit organizations: grant writing, fundraising, budgeting, risk management, advisory board development, recruiting and managing volunteers, and event planning. It is the only program of its kind in Alabama. Students who participate in the program pursue the undergraduate major of their choice while completing the requirements for the certificate program. They like to say they are becoming “certified to change the world.”
“They’re all good-hearted people,” said Tink Lucy-Bouler, executive director of the program. “They’re just not always sure or confident in their abilities. This program equips them with the tangible skills to hit the ground running after they’ve earned their certification.”
Certification is another of the AUM program’s areas of excellence. According to a recent annual report released by the national chapter, Auburn Montgomery was among the top 10 groups in the nation in the number of certifications earned over the last fiscal year.
Want to get involved? The program has organized its fourth annual hygiene drive to collect essential toiletries for children in Malawi, Africa. Throughout October, students are collecting soap, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper, and other necessary items to donate. Volunteers and donations are also needed in December for the NPLA’s Christmas program for underserved children in the community. For more information on these initiatives, contact Lucy-Bouler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334-244-3350