Bridging the Divide Between the Research and Practitioner Sectors: A New Collaborative Initiative Between the Alliance for Nonprofit Management and the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action Pracademics Section




research to practice, pracademic, collaboration, practitioner, boundary spanner


For many years, the nonprofit research community and practitioner sector have existed in two distinct silos, which has resulted in the limited influence of research findings on how capacity building is practiced in the field. At the same time, nonprofit research is often conducted in isolation of nonprofit practice, which contributes to practice often based on anecdote and conventional wisdom. With the goal of bridging the two sectors and influencing the field with research to practice, the Alliance for Nonprofit Managementand the Pracademics section of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Actionorganized a joint initiative to promote research to practice and work together to influence the nonprofit sector. As a first step, the two organizations hosted a half-day working session to identify possible strategies for working together to develop a new model of research-to-practice collaboration, and take concrete steps in informing practice with research. Subscribe to JNEL

Author Biographies

Catherine Vrentas

Catherine Vrentas, Ph.D. has worked with management of volunteers for public science outreach and engagement for the past decade, with a particular interest in graduate student voluntarism and community engagement, and is currently the chair of the ARNOVA Pracademics section.

Judy Freiwirth

Judy Freiwirth, Psy.D is the Principal of Nonprofit Solutions Associates and Chair of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management’s Governance Affinity Group. She also serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership.

Sylvia Benatti

Sylvia Benatti, Ed.D. brings more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and as a university professor. Currently, she is an associate professor, coordinator for the MPA program and Nonprofit Management graduate & undergraduate certificate programs. As the Director of Training for the Support Center of Washington, DC, she planned, scheduled, published, and managed a full time public training program with an average of 60 workshops per quarter.

Curdina Hill

Curdina Hill is an organizational development consultant and leadership coach. Her practice focuses on strategic planning, program evaluation, and the building of equitable organizations and coalitions. She currently serves on the board of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management.





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