The mission of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership (MCNL) is to enhance the performance and effectiveness in the nonprofit sector through high quality community-oriented education, applied research, problem solving and service. MCNL applies the resources and talents of the University and the sector to the problems and issues facing the nonprofit sector so its members are better prepared to serve their communities. MCNL creates opportunities for the leaders of this vital community to come together as colleagues to learn, network and support each other, and to encourage personal, professional and organizational renewal and effectiveness.
The Midwest Center is a service and outreach unit of the Department of Public Affairs in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Its programs complement the degree-oriented education and development opportunities offered by the Institute, including a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) degree with a concentration in nonprofit management and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program.
The center was created in 1991 to serve the nonprofit community in Kansas City and the adjacent six-state region of Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
The Midwest Center aspires to model and exhibit entrepreneurial and innovative leadership in all that it does. Seven core principles guide and differentiate the work of the Midwest Center:
- High Quality and Continuous Improvement: All that the Midwest Center does will be of high quality. Our programs and services must be second to none. Further, to meet the ever-changing and dynamic needs of the community, the Center continuously will assess and improve the quality and value of its programs and services. Three elements comprise this principle:
- Customer and Client Satisfaction: The Midwest Center will strive to understand and exceed the expectations of its customers and clients, so that they receive high value and are fully satisfied with all aspects of our education and service.
- Highest Standards of Professional Quality: The Midwest Center will continuously monitor and improve the quality of its programs and services. We will apply the highest standards for university-based programs of education and research to judge our effectiveness and quality.
- Value-Added Programming: Every program and service provided by the Center must be justified in terms of the value it offers its customers and clients, and the community.
- Responsiveness: The Midwest Center will focus on understanding the community's needs and expectations and developing appropriate and timely ways to meet them. We will offer a range of teaching and experiential learning approaches to respond to the needs of our adult learners. Our staff, advisory groups, and student body will reflect the richness and diversity of our community, and we will make a special effort to understand and respond to the needs of minority and disadvantaged citizens. The Center will serve organizations of all sizes, urban, suburban, and rural.
- Integrate an Ethical Perspective in All Programming: Public service leadership and management can be understood and practiced in a responsible and effective manner only when grounded in an informed ethical perspective. All Center programs will include an ethics element, and will encourage the participants to understand the ethical implications of their service.
- Collaboration and Partnerships to Increase Leverage: The Midwest Center will strive to maximize its impact and effectiveness through strong and effective working relationships with others. Using quality service as the criterion, the Center will work with other organizations and institutions in the public service community, the nonprofit community, with other units of the University, and with other academic institutions, nationally and regionally. We will model effective collaboration in our work.
- Planned Growth and Expansion: We recognize our obligation to provide all programs and services in a well-planned and high quality manner that truly responds to the needs of our community. We can best address the needs of our community through thoughtful and carefully planned growth and program development, consistent with the capacity and resources of the Center.
- Fiscal Responsibility and Efficiency: The Center will be a thoughtful and careful steward of the resources entrusted to it by the community. We will be efficient and responsible in our use of our financial and other resources as we provide the best in programs and service.
- Effective Use of Technology: We will demonstrate the effective and responsible use of current and emerging technologies to enhance the impact, reach, and value of the Center's education, research, and communication activities. We will use personal computers and high quality user-friendly software and, as appropriate, pilot the use of interactive voice, data, and video technologies and communications networks.