Category Archives: Nonprofit Education & Policy

Tom Teaches Workshop On Nonprofit Basics

Holding_earthIs there a cause you feel passionate about? Is there an injustice that needs righting? Are you inspired to serve and innovate for the common good?

If so – then you may be thinking about starting a nonprofit organization to channel your efforts and deliver new solutions for your community.

This two hour workshop will walk you through the reasons to and NOT to start a nonprofit organization and what your first steps should be in you DO decide to start a new organization.

$15. Please register online via EventBrite =

You will learn:

  • Basic distinctions of the nonprofit organization
  • Origins and place of nonprofits in American society
  • Size and scope of the nonprofit sector
  • Pathway to incorporate and get tax-exempt status

Tom TresserTom Tresser is the instructor for this class. Tom is the co-founder of the CivicLab, which is the 13th nonprofit enterprise he has founded or led. He teaches nonprofit management for the Graduate School of Social Work at Loyola University and a number of classes on civic engagement, public policy and leadership for other local educational institutions.

Print Friendly

Watch Feb 12 TIF Town Meeting

Thanks to the great folks at CAN-TV you can watch the February 12 TIF Town Meeting produced by The Tax Integrity and Fairness Alliance at the Chopin Theater (1  hour, 22 minutes). View the media coverage and my presentation materials on the impacts of the 12 TIFs inside the 27th Ward here.

Print Friendly

Power For Social Change

I’m doing a webinar on December 13 for the Northeast chapters of the National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks on power and social change. “Are nonprofit leaders, workers and constituents doing enough to advance the causes of social change, social justice and compassion in America? How is the nonprofit sector doing, as a whole? Are we strong, healthy, powerful, fighting and winning for the kids we care so much about? Who is winning politically and policy-wise in America and what can we learn from them? Is there some uncharted territory that may hold NEW solutions to old problems in this arena?’

Print Friendly

We Need To Upgrade US Education

From the Center for American Progress comes a new study, “The Competition That Really Matters: Comparing U.S., Chinese and Indian Investments in the Next Generation Workforce.” Download summary (12 pages) = The Competition That_Really_Matters-summary.

“To position the United States for the future, substantial investments are needed in research, infrastructure, and education. The most important of these areas to address is education. Why? Because as this report shows, the overwhelming economic evidence points to education—and human capital investments, generally—as the key drivers of economic competitiveness in the long term.”

Are you hearing anything like this in the current flurry of ads around the Presidential race?

Print Friendly

Jane Addams Was Tough, Played Politics – America’s Nonprofits, Take Note

With the demise of Hull House one of the issues that lingers over the disaster is how nonprofit leaders have strayed so far from Jane Addams fighting spirit. From The Chicago Tribune:

“Chicagoans know Addams as a leader of the social settlement movement and co-founder of Chicago’s famed Hull House, which abruptly closed Friday after 122 years. But she was so much more. She was a tireless and strident peace activist, an invaluable voice demanding the right of women to vote and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. She became one of the most famous women in America and one of the most famous and highly respected Americans of her time.

She strongly felt that social services meant more than just feeding mouths and clothing bodies. Addams created a community, living with and getting to know the people she helped. She respected immigrant cultures, and provided education, training, citizenship classes and child care for working parents. She fought to improve their employment and living conditions.

But the gentle Jane Addams, whose father had been a banker and state senator, also turned out to be a politically savvy, down-in-the-wards street fighter, who wasn’t so gentle when it came to public corruption.”

The story recalls how she took on local ward boss Alderman John Powers and challenged his corrupt reign over the 19th Ward.

If America’s nonprofit leaders and Illinois’ nonprofit leaders had the will to fight that Jane had, perhaps our country and our state would not be in the pitiful state they are in. If Chicago’s nonprofit leaders had been in the political arena as Jane had been – perhaps there would’ve been more interest and support for Hull House as it hit the skids.

Let Jane have the final word (from Twenty Years at Hull House)

“Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.”

Print Friendly

Good Bye, Jane. Shame On Chicago. What Now?

So Hull House closed on Friday without a whimper. No one put up a fight. So maybe it deserved to die. Over 635 people have signed the online petition to save Hull House by the time of this writing but no one organization took the issue on.

I spoke to or reached out to leaders of organizations that had Jane Addams in their names. UIC’s Jane Addams College of Social Work (http://www­­addams/col­lege), the Jane Addams Hull House Museum (http://www­­addams/hul­l) – both creatures of the University of Illinois at Chicago and therefore PUBLIC institutio­ns supported by our tax dollars and the Jane Addams Senior Caucus (http://www­.seniorcau­ They had no interest in pushing back.

What about the professional associations of social workers around the world and the ones that represent Illinois social workers? Nothing.

What about schools of social work, schools of public policy, schools of public health and schools that teach about good government? Nothing.

Did the legislators of Illinois and Chicago who lavish hundreds of millions of PUBLIC dollars on greedy private companies raise a stink or offer solutions. Nothing.

Shame on them. Shame on all of us.

OK, that’s the past – what about the future?

What can we learn from this sad story?

Who will bring us together to discuss public priorities and public disasters such as this one?



Print Friendly