Nonprofit Capacity-Building Project

The McDonough Center recently completed a year-long analysis of nonprofit capacity in the Mid-Ohio Valley. The project was funded by a grant from the Sisters of St. Joseph Charitable Fund, a local funder who has long demonstrated an interest in facilitating the development of organizational capacity. The research was conducted by Dr. Tanya Judd Pucella and a group of research assistants, including Saira Khan, Abbey Sullivan, and Mike Judd. The quantitative portion of the study was based on an instrument developed by Dr. Kirsten Gronbjerg of Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis.

The study consisted of a quantitative phase in which organizations were asked to complete an organizational assessment, as well as a qualitative phase that included a number of focus groups. The research found that of the seven dimensions of capacity analyzed with the instrument, financial resources were by far the most problematic for area nonprofits. In fact 7 of the top 10 most pervasive challenges overall were under the financial resources category. Human resources and information technology rounded out the top three overall categories in terms of challenge levels. These results were largely supported by the qualitative results as well, though the focus groups also ranked a specific concern, board development and training, as a major challenge as well.

The research also attempted to identify the most useful types of assistance for nonprofit organizations. The most helpful types of assistance identified by participants were related to financial resources, such as multi-year funding and general overhead funding. Student interns were also one of the higher ranked forms of assistance, as were peer interaction and collaborative activities. Several of the recommendations from the report are already underway. Marietta College and the Sisters of St. Joseph are sponsoring an AmeriCorps VISTA position that will be working specifically on capacity-building projects in 2010-2011. In addition, several student intern positions and board retreats are being funded through a student philanthropy initiative that comes from a mini-grant through Ohio Campus Compact. These mini-grants were awarded by the senior McDonough Scholars in the Senior Seminar class, who each wrote capacity building grant proposals on behalf of local agencies. These grants were done based on community based research that stemmed from the nonprofit report. The group then deliberated as a grants committee and determined how to divide up the $4,500 they were awarded among several very worthwhile capacity building initiatives. The AmeriCorps VISTA will be assisting these agencies as they implement their grant activities.

For a pdf file of the Capacity-Building Report, please click the link below:

Capacity-Building Report

Recent Faculty Publications

Eric J. Fitch Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Leadership

Book Chapter:  “Stewardship of the Land.”  In Critical Food Issues: Problems and State-of-the-Art Solutions Worldwide, Walter, L., and L. Pheonix, eds. Praeger/Greenwood Press (2010).


James H. O’Donnell, III McCoy Professor and Andrew U. Thomas Professor of History

Book:  Out of the Mud: Hiram Carpenter and the Ohio River Valley, 1880-1951.  Huntington, WV: John Deaver Drinko Academy of American Political Institution and Civic Culture, Marshall University (2010).


Janie Rees-Miller  Professor of Language and Linguistics, Director of English as a Second Language

Book:  O’Grady, W., J. Archibald, M. Aronoff and J. Rees-Miller.  Contemporary Linguistics.  6th edition. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press (2010).


Luding Tong Associate Professor of Chinese

Article:  “’The fairest of them all’: Finding one’s self through advertising.”  Education About Asia 14:1 (2009).


Gama Perruci, Dean of the McDonough Center and McCoy Professor of Leadership Studies

Book Chapter: “General Education as the Nexus Between the Liberal Arts and Leadership Studies.” In Leadership and the Liberal Arts, Wren, T. et al., ed. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

Recent Faculty Conference Presentations

William M. Bauer McCoy Associate Professor of Education

Paper:  “What about teaching in Ohio?”  OCTEO Conference, Columbus, OH, 2009.


David Brown Associate Professor of Biology

Paper:  Brown, D., et al. “Comparison of manganese personal sampling results with those obtained by stationary sampling.”  Industrial Hygiene Conference, Toronto, Canada (2009).


Liane Gray-Starner Associate Professor of Communication

Paper:  “Innovative techniques for training professionals.” National Communication Association, San Diego, California (2008).


Mabry M. O’Donnell McCoy Professor of Communication and Hillyer Professor of Literature, Rhetoric, and Oratory, Director of Individual Events.

Paper:  “An UnCONVENTIONal dialogue of the discipline.”  National Communication Association, San Diego, California (2008).


Jolene Powell Assistant Professor of Art

Paper:  Powell J.L., J.L. Bland and B.J. Hogue “Creative process research at Marietta College.” English Association Convention, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2009).


Mark Schaefer Assistant Professor of Political Science

Paper:  Schaefer, M.E. and J.G. Poffenbarger.  “Searching for acceptance: The United States and South America (The China Side Project).”  International Studies Association Annual Conference, New York, New York (2009).


Luding Tong Associate Professor of Chinese

Paper:  “Interplay of ‘cultural imperialism’ and ‘cultural nationalism’ in multinationals’ advertising strategies in China.”  Global Conference on Business and Finance, San Jose, Costa Rica (2009).


Ena C. Vulor McCoy Associate Professor of French Language and Literature

Paper:  “The Black European experience:  Remapping the French literary and cultural landscape.” 35th Annual Conference of the African Literature Association, Burlington, Vermont (2009).


Xiaoxiong Yi Director of China Institute, Associate Professor of Political Science

Paper:  “Teaching International Relations in the U.S.”  University of International Relations and Qingdao University of Science and Technology, China (2009).