Dr. Memcha Loitongbam brings valuable global research exchange in nonprofit management
Dr. Memcha Loitongbam – a Fulbright Scholar from Manipur, India – wanted to conduct her research with one of the top centers for nonprofit leadership in the U.S.
The research, which broadly addresses how the U.S. provides resources and education to develop successful nonprofit leadership, led her to seek university-based centers that specialize in nurturing nonprofit leaders.
“In my search, I came up with Harvard and the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at UMKC,” Loitongbam said. “They were the top two universities in the type of research I was looking for, but the Midwest Center’s research was easier to access and when I contacted them they were very responsive. I knew it was the right place for me.”
In her research, Loitongbam stated that the nonprofit sector in the U.S is contributing immensely to the economic growth of the country. Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) today exercise enormous spending power and offer more jobs than in the past. Also, India has between one million and two million NPOs (www.Indiangos.com, 2007).
“Manipur is a small state in the northeast region of India,” said Loitongbam. “There are more than 18,191 NPOs registered under Manipur Societies Registration Act, 1989 (Administration Report 2007-08, Cooperation Department, Government of Manipur), but the knowledge of how to manage them strategically is not well known.”
The NPOs in Manipur face the complexities and challenges that include resource development and institutional and technical demands. They are undergoing transformations – especially those engaged in microfinance – calling for a strategic approach in the successful management of these organizations.
By studying successful nonprofit organizations in the U.S., Loitongbam hopes to take the knowledge and a better understanding to NPOs in India, focusing on the strategic management process and how it affects performance.
“Nonprofit organizations play an important role in U.S. society. They have continued to grow in size and number to meet the increasingly diverse needs of the public,” said Loitongbam. “In addition, there are universities in the U.S. with research centers – such as the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership – institutes and business schools highly specialized in the area of nonprofit management, which create an academic atmosphere highly conducive to research that is not available in a region like Manipur.”
But India won’t be the only beneficiary of Loitongbam’s research. One of her research vehicles will be a survey of approximately 80 nonprofit organizations in the Kansas City area. The data she gathers also will benefit those organizations as she looks closely at how aspects like financial literacy and strategic planning help or affect performance in nonprofit organizations.
“By conducting this research to take back to India, I also hope to uncover information that will be helpful to local organizations and allow them to learn more about how planning and strategy affects performance and ways it can be improved,” Loitongbam said.
Dr. Loitongbam will be in Kansas City through April 30, 2011 conducting her research.