To the editor:
It was good to read Mark Fagan's Aug. 12 article on leadership needs among area not-for-profit organizations, and I add my own welcome to Jane Blocher, the new executive director of the Douglas County chapter of the American Red Cross.
However, in describing Blocher as "a businesswoman, not a social worker" Fagan may have inadvertantly given the impression that not-for-profit organizations must choose between leaders who have professional social work training and those who have excellent management skills.
In fact, many social workers specialize in the management of not-for-profit organizations. Students in KU's graduate social work program, for example, have the option of concentrating their studies in administration. These students complete advanced course work and internships in a number of areas, some of which Fagan highlights in his article budgeting and financial management, designing and managing programs, grant writing, monitoring organizational outcomes, managing human resources and building workforce diversity.
Social workers who are not-for-profit administrators keep their eyes on the bottom line in order to increase the well-being of individuals and families in our community. Their social work skills and their management abilities go hand in hand. Given the increasing focus on outcomes and accoutability in the not-for-profit sector that Fagan correctly describes, it may be helpful for your readers to know of this KU resource that prepares social workers for not-for-profit leadership roles in Douglas County and beyond.