QENO Celebrates a Decade of Working with Local Nonprofits

Thursday, August 18, 2016

QENO (Quality Enhancement for Nonprofit Organizations) is celebrating 10 years of helping strengthen nonprofits in southeastern North Carolina with an expansion of its services and initiatives. The innovative partnership between UNCW and the community will unveil its 2016-17 training calendar during a kick-off event at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 18 in the Wrightsville Beach Room of Fisher Student Center.

“UNCW is committed to using our resources and expertise for the benefit of the community,” said Provost Marilyn Sheerer. “QENO is a wonderful example of collaboration between the university and private partners to support local nonprofit organizations, which have limited budgets for training and professional development.”

The UNCW community, local nonprofits and the public are invited to attend the kick-off event and receive more information about the services offered by QENO. New programs in the coming year will include an academy for new executive directors, expanded organizational coaching and more.

QENO provides training in finance, board governance, leadership and other topics. Most workshops offered are free of charge or for a nominal fee. In the 2015-16 fiscal year, the program provided 2,257 hours of training and 423 hours of coaching.

The initiative was launched in 2006 through a public-private partnership involving local funders, community leaders and faculty and administrators from UNCW’s Master of Public Administration program in the Department of Public and International Affairs. The founders wanted to provide networking opportunities and training in nonprofit management best practices for local organizations.

“This year we will take a deeper dive with organizations and focus more on site-specific, intensive organizational coaching,” said QENO Director Natasha Davis. “All of our programmatic changes are based on feedback we received from nonprofit board and staff members. We are fortunate to have the support of UNCW and our funders, which positions us to improve our services while increasing our impact.”

In conjunction with the program’s 10th anniversary, QENO joined the UNCW Office of Community Engagement, which also encompasses the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and the new Continuing and Professional Education Office. By bringing these groups together, UNCW will enhance its opportunities to better identify and meet the need for non-credit educational programs in the region.

The move to Community Engagement will provide increased resources, support, visibility and greater ability to market QENO services and to collaborate with other UNCW departments and programs.

QENO’s funding partners include Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina; the Duke Energy Foundation; United Way of the Cape Fear Area; the Cape Fear Memorial Foundation; and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. The Duke Foundation is new to the collaboration and recently made a $25,000 grant in support of QENO’s mission.