By Elizabeth Scarpelli, University of Cincinnati Press Director
Over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations carry out mission-driven work to benefit public good in the U.S each year. Varying in size and scope, nearly 45% struggle with rising operating costs, staffing challenges, lack of funding and policy challenges.
After nearly 40 years leading and supporting nonprofit work around Cincinnati, Judith Van Ginkel shares her insight and perspective on nonprofit sustainability and success in a new book titled “Chasing Success: The Challenge For Nonprofits,” published by the University of Cincinnati Press. Van Ginkel draws on her more than 20 years of experience as founding president of Every Child Succeeds (ECS), an in-home nonprofit service focused on improving health and development outcomes for children age 0-3 in low-income families from Butler, Clermont and Hamilton counties as well as Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties in Kentucky. Van Ginkel navigated shifting policies and funding dynamics emblematic of the challenges that nonprofits face daily. Although ECS began with adequate funding, excellent community and business support and a strong scientific case for the mission, they, like most nonprofits, still encountered roadblocks that ultimately did not allow for the growth needed to serve the community.
Elizabeth Scarpelli, University of Cincinnati Press director calls Van Ginkel, “an innovative nonprofit strategist and leader. As the founding director of a nonprofit publisher, her experiences and strategies immediately resonated with me. The book is a natural fit for our social justice and regional list. It’s timely in an age when so many public services and nonprofits are succeeding in their mission yet struggling to thrive and scale with diminishing funding.”
Van Ginkel has won numerous awards including the prestigious AARP Purpose Prize honoring social innovators who use their life experience to make a difference. She was named a Great Living Cincinnatian for her work at ECS and extensive contributions to the community. She is a champion for women’s and children’s health and nonprofit initiatives guided by sound research. She now shares her nonprofit leadership strategies in “Chasing Success;” strategies that will resonate with anyone affiliated with an organization that relies on donor and legislative funding to create public good over profit. “Chasing Success” includes lessons for developing a new nonprofit, utilizing research and best practices and maintaining agile and accountable operations critical to stakeholders. Van Ginkel also explores how changing policies and funding priorities of state and federal governments and philanthropic organizations impact nonprofits. She describes how nonprofit volunteers, staff, leaders, board members, funders and policy makers can work together to optimize success.
Van Ginkel will be featured at nonprofit workshops around the country this fall kicking off at UC on November 16th where she will be sponsored by the Organizational Leadership Program (Nonprofit and Community Leadership concentration), part of the MA Psychology program. Nonprofit and Community leadership is one of three areas of concentration that also includes Talent Development and Organizational Leadership. Additional events at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Cincinnati Public Library and a nationwide virtual event hosted by AARP will be posted on the University of Cincinnati Press website soon.