Business Essentials for Nonprofit Organizations

Business Essentials for Nonprofit

An In-class Course
Course Description

The Business Essentials for Nonprofit Organizations is a series of nine skill-building courses designed to strengthen the capacity of students and professionals pursuing careers in the nonprofit sector or those interested in updating their knowledge and skills. Classes are open to the community. Nonprofit board members, staff and volunteers are encouraged to attend. Classes cover a range of topics essential to the governance and management of nonprofits.



Sessions will be offered monthly from August 2017 to May 2018. Classes are held at the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM and includes lunch. Students have two years to complete all nine classes, with the option of watching one missed class online for credit. It is recommended that students take the Introduction class first and the Capstone class last. After finishing all sessions, participants will receive a certificate of completion from Wake Forest University.


Introduction to Business Essentials for Nonprofit Organizations
August 24, 2017
Faculty: TBD

Too often nonprofit organizations are run first on passion and then on proven strategies and tactics.  In this class we will explore the value of integrating road tested strategies for improving organizational performance from governance to day to day operations. In this class, the first in the series, we will orient the students to the program; provide an overview of the series, the expected outcomes, and define goals for the class.  During this class students will create their own goals for the series and then be able to reflect on their progress during the Capstone class.

Strategic Thinking
September 14, 2017
Faculty: Dan Fogel

Learn how to think strategically using critical questions to develop a successful strategy for your organization.  We will ask who are your core stakeholders, how can you best address their needs, and what sequence of activities will ensure successful outcomes. We will use case studies and discussion about your organization to examine effective strategies and to assess the importance of the organizations position in the external market.  At the end of the session you will understand how to select an analytical and organizational approach to strategy formation and implementation, and overcome strategic myths.

Governance and Compliance
October 19, 2017
Faculty: Diane Bailey

Dianne Chipps Bailey, Nonprofit Organizations and Foundations Practice Group Leader, Robinson Bradshaw

Review best practices for governance and legal compliance for nonprofit organizations. The class will explore the role of the board, building an effective board, and managing the relationship and roles of the board and staff. Learn successful advocacy strategies used to advance an organization’s mission for public good, and how to address related tax compliance issues. Other compliance to be addressed include charitable solicitation rules, state taxation matters, and hot topics in employment law for nonprofits. Finally, gain tools to minimize exposure to liability for the board and the organization.

Budget and Finance
November 16, 2017
Faculty: Matthew Socha

An organization’s marketability improves with greater financial clarity for the donor.  Nonprofit Board members and staff are more effective when they understand the impact of decisions on the organization’s financial health.  In this course we will explore nonprofit budgeting and finance, including finance terminology, the components of nonprofit financial statements, the 990 and a working understanding of income statement and balance sheet. Discuss the best ways to communicate financial data to internal and external constituencies.

Human Resources
January 11, 2018
Faculty: Holly Brower

The most important part of any organization is its people. This course will address key topics such as recruitment, retention, development and evaluation of staff, volunteers; the importance of diversity in the nonprofit workforce; and specific strategies to create a motivating and rewarding work environment.

Fund Development
February 15, 2018
Faculty: Joanne O’Brien Beam

Learn key strategies and tactics for successful fundraising, including developing and sustaining donor relationships, understanding the critical role of board members and volunteers in successful fundraising, creating a plan to guide your efforts and monitoring your effectiveness, and planning effective donor communications. Explore how technology can enhance development efforts by being used as a fundraising, communications and marketing tool.

March 15, 2018
Faculty: Adam Bernstein

Saving time, money and resources through collaboration with other organizations sounds like a good idea, but what are the key principles that should be considered? Learn best practices for nonprofit collaborations and how to make these partnerships legally sound and successful. Discuss how to plan the communication about collaboration.

April  19, 2018
Faculty: Kathy Ridge

The Nonprofit sector is under pressure to show meaningful results. This class will examine different evaluation models and lead you through the process of designing an approach to measure programs, create meaningful measures, collect and analyze data, generate a report, and communicate results to document impact, improve services, and support fundraising efforts.

Capstone Session
May 17, 2018
Faculty: TBD

The last course in the series will focus on lessons learned, best practices, and current issues facing nonprofits regionally and globally. We will also examine leadership styles and the different roles leaders play in an organization.

Instructors Biographies

Dan Fogel

Director, Masters in Sustainability program

Dan Fogel

Dr. Fogel is an Executive Professor of Strategy. He specializes in strategic management, especially innovation processes in firms, including those located in emerging and transition economies and in emerging industries.  His research and teaching interest are on sustainability practices and principles, international business and strategy development, and innovation for large organizations.  He has worked extensively as a consultant nationally and internationally for diverse organizations, such General Electric, Motorola (Brazil), Lockheed Martin, Lucent (Brazil), TESS (Brazil), AT&T and Bank of America.  His awards include research grants, several teacher of the year awards, a Fulbright Scholarship to Brazil, the 1988 Winner of the Yoder-Heneman Award, and several times the Distinguished Professor Awards. Dan Fogel has served and is serving on Boards of Directors or Advisory Boards within the United States and abroad.

Contact Information:
Dan Fogel

Phone: 704.604.0085

Joanne O’Brien Beam

Director of Non-degree Programs – Charlotte

Joanne O'Brien Beam

Joanne O’Brien Beam is an experienced fundraiser, planner, and presenter.  She joined Wake Forest in April 2014 for the second time to lead the creation of new programs which include the Essentials of Business for Nonprofits, College LAUNCH, High School Summer Immersion Program, and to work with major donors as part of the Wake Will Campaign. Prior to joining Wake Forest, Joanne was the founder and president of Capstone Advancement Partners, a consulting firm serving nonprofit organizations through relationship and result driven fundraising strategies.  Over her 15 year career as a consultant, Joanne served a diverse group of nonprofit organizations with her thoughtful and pragmatic fundraising, governance and strategic advice. Her fundraising experience began in the development office at Wake Forest University where she served as Associate Director of Advancement. Prior to becoming a fundraising consultant, Joanne was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at the North Carolina Trust Company. Joanne’s career also includes five years as a commercial banker. Joanne is a cum laude graduate of Wake Forest University where she was President of the Student Government. In 2013, the Charlotte Business Journal named her one of the Top 25 Women in Business and in 1998, Joanne was named one of “Forty Leaders under Forty” in the Piedmont Triad.  In May 2014, she was named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte by the Mecklenburg Times. Joanne is an active athlete and an avid golfer. She is married to Steve Beam and has one son.

Contact Information:
Joanne O’Brien Beam

Phone: 980.224.9297

Carolina PR

Adam Bernstein, APR has more than three decades of experience providing public relations and strategic communications counsel with expertise in internal/external communications planning, community relations, media relations, crisis communications, issues management, public affairs and marketing communications. He has worked extensively in healthcare, professional services, non-profit, real estate development and education. Adam is an Accredited Member of the Public Relations Society of America, as well as former president, board member and International Assembly delegate for the Charlotte Chapter of the organization. In 2015, he was awarded the chapter’s Infinity Award, given annually to a member “whose character, career and service represent the highest standards and who excels in the practice of public relations.” Adam has chaired the boards of numerous community organizations including the Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community, Temple Beth El and the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, and served as trustee of many others including the Charlotte Symphony, Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, Wildacres Leadership Initiative and United Family Services Men for Change campaign committee. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently working toward a Masters in Communications from Queens University in Charlotte.


Amanda DeWeese, APR works with some of the most recognizable companies in the Carolinas and is a leader in Charlotte’s public relations industry. She provides strategic public relations counsel and media relations to clients in a wide range of industries such as education, engineering, professional services, public works, nonprofit and construction. She is also skilled in social media strategy, branding, advocacy, public affairs and project management. Amanda’s career began at Drayton Hall, a National Trust Historic Site in Charleston, SC, where she handled news media relations, planned events and assisted with marketing communications for more than two years. A College of Charleston graduate, Amanda received her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2011 and served as president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Charlotte Chapter in 2014. She has held various leadership roles within the chapter since 2006 and was the recipient of its Young Professional Award in 2009. In 2015, she was appointed to the board of directors of The Housing Partnership, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing for low-income families in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.


Kathy Ridge

Founder, Levridge Resources, LLC

Kathy ridge

Kathy Ridge is the founder of Levridge Resources, LLC, based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Formerly a corporate Executive Vice President of Wachovia Corporation and then, the Executive Director of two nonprofits, Kathy has deep experience in leadership, problem assessment and organization ‘turnarounds’. Kathy’s finance background, coupled with her years in the nonprofit sector, has given her knowledge and practical application in being an innovative visionary who can get her hands dirty in tactical implementation.

Kathy has served on the boards of the Charlotte Symphony, Child Care Resources, The Women’s Impact Fund, the Davidson College Friends of the Arts Board, The Arts Education Committee of the Arts and Science Council, and the Community Service Committee of First Presbyterian Church. She is serving on the board of directors of the Humane Society of Charlotte. Kathy has participated in Leadership Charlotte, The Wachovia Kenan Flagler School of Business Leadership Program, and has completed the McColl Center’s Innovation Institute and the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership.  She is currently on the Leadership Team for the National Alliance of NonProfits and serving as Co-Chair on the National Alliance’s task force on executive transitions.

“I love working in partnership with the people dedicated to nonprofit work. I am very lucky each day to support nonprofit organizations that are changing the world around them.  I believe social change happens because of nonprofit leaders.  We are able to help strengthen their leadership and their organizations through working together on the best business model, ensuring alignment between their efforts and mission, and developing more capacity for them to serve.”   

Contact Information:
Kathy Ridge

Phone: 704.366.6680

Dianne Bailey

Diane Bailey

Dianne Bailey’s practice is dedicated to the representation of nonprofit organizations, their senior management and volunteer leaders. She has extensive experience advising a diverse group of nonprofits in all aspects of their organization, administration and management. She has represented schools and universities, churches and other religious organizations, endowments, supporting organizations, corporate and family foundations, sports philanthropies, museums, business leagues, social clubs (including fraternal organizations), trade organizations, and a complement of charitable groups.

Dianne writes and speaks nationally on topics related to nonprofit organizations, focusing in particular on corporate governance and tax compliance. She has been engaged as an expert witness in state and federal litigation matters, providing strategic counsel and trial testimony. In addition, Dianne has guest moderated Carolina Business Review, the most widely watched broadcast program on business and public policy in the Carolinas. She also has taught as an adjunct professor at Charlotte School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center.


  • The Mecklenburg Times, 2015 Woman of the Year
  • Women Executives, Spirit of WE Award, 2013
  • North Carolina Lawyers Weekly,Women of Justice Awards, Public Service Practitioner Award, 2012
  • Charlotte Business Journal,Women in Business Achievement Award, 2011
  • Charlotte Business Journal,Charlotte’s “40 Under 40,” 2005
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated

Contact Information:
Dianne Bailey

Phone: 704.377.8323

Matthew Socha

As an Audit Senior Manager in the Charlotte practice of Cherry Bekaert, Matthew has a profound passion for serving educational and not-for-profit organizations. As a member of Cherry Bekaert’s Education and Not-for-Profit Industry Groups, Matthew provides audit, assurance and advisory services to private and public colleges and universities, community and technical colleges, independent K-12 schools, educational foundation and charitable organizations.

Clients depend on Matthew for timely, practical guidance on many technical accounting and compliance issues such as implementation of new standards, compliance with federal and state laws and grant programs, fair value matters, endowment accounting, and more. Matthew also specializes in accounting and tax issues for private clubs.

Professional Involvement

  • Hospitality Finance & Technology Professionals – Charlotte Blue Ridge Chapter
  • Charlotte Chamber’s Young Professionals
  • SACUBO Benchmark Project


Series will be held at the Wake Forest University Charlotte Center in Uptown Charlotte: 200 N. College St. Ste 150 Charlotte, NC 28202


Cost is $150 per person per class. Register for all nine classes for $1,200. Scholarships are available. If you or your agency needs financial support for the certificate enrollment, please email Olivia Bacon at and submit a brief yet thorough justification of your request for scholarship. In your letter please address how this certificate would benefit you as a student and the nonprofit with which you are affiliated. Please provide your bio or resume as part of your scholarship request. Scholarship requests will only be considered prior to registration.

Registration and Payment Form

This certificate is an open enrollment program. Application is not required. Course registration is complete when payment is processed and you receive a confirmation email. In order to register, you will need to render payment. Please begin registration when you are ready to render payment.

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What’s Included

Class fees include parking, all class materials, and lunch.


All classes are held on Thursday from 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Missed classes will not be refunded; however, students have two years to complete the program and may watch one class via video.

Registration & Questions

For additional details please contact Olivia Bacon at 980-224-9297 or