Frequently Asked Questions about the Nonprofit Clinic


What’s the benefit of taking the Nonprofit Clinic (NPC)?

In the NPC you will work on real projects for actual clients –Oregon nonprofits. You’ll get practical experience, build skills, and provide a valuable service to clients. It’s very different than studying. The experience may help you make decisions about your career path and will be an asset that prospective employers will recognize. In some cases students have earned an enthusiastic reference from their clinic clients, and in other cases employment opportunities have resulted.

Is the NPC only valuable to those who wish to work in the nonprofit sector?

Certainly if you wish to work with nonprofits the exposure you gain in the NPC is invaluable. However, much of what you’ll learn applies to work in organizations of all sorts. The skills you’ll practice are applicable in most careers, as is what you’ll learn about managing organizational dynamics. These skills apply to for-profits as well as to work you are likely to do as a manager in your career.

Since there is no court component to the clinic, what is the work?

Our client nonprofits receive a governance assessment. Students review the organizations’ legal documents, policies, board structure, and practices.

Working on a team with three other students and an experienced consultant, you’ll examine submissions from two nonprofits, and interview their board and staff about operations and concerns. You will create a written report of your findings and your team will make a presentation about its recommendations, in addition to providing various other services and resources.

How will I know what to do for the organizations?

Early in the term the NPC’s trainings and class sessions focus on models to evaluate the life stage and needs of a particular organization; best practices for nonprofit governance and how to assess for them. The coursework elaborates on concepts covered in the prerequisite courses.

What skills will the clinic involve?

The trainings, classes, and work with the team consultant focus on a range of skills that you also get to practice in the clinic. These include: interviewing and soliciting information; evaluating organizational dynamics; how to plan and facilitate meetings; writing and presenting a co-created work product. You will receive feedback and in many cases get a chance to practice and improve throughout the course of your clinic work.

Below are links to a course description with important dates for the 2022 clinic as well as a memo for term students about taking a semester based course.

Contact Beatrice Dohrn for more information.