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PADM 4226 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

PADM 4226 - Introduction to Non-Profit Organizations

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

Historically, private nonprofit institutions have served as mechanisms for citizen participation, social responsibility, and collective action in the resolution of societal problems. From social service agencies, foundations and churches to museums, schools and professional associations, the nonprofit sector includes a diverse array of organizations, all chartered with a particular public or collective purpose. This course introduces the nonprofit sector of organizations and the role(s) it plays in society.

Course Outcomes:

This is a survey course examining theoretical, philosophical, practical and ethical perspectives related to nonprofit organization creation and administration. Upon completion of the course, the student will possess an understanding of:

  • the historical development of the nonprofit sector,
  • the multiple rationales for the existence of the nonprofit sector,
  • the distinctive characteristics of nonprofit organizations,
  • the structures, processes and complexities of organizational governance shared by volunteer board members and professional staff,
  • the dynamic environment of the contemporary nonprofit organization, and
  • the current issues of importance to nonprofit decision makers. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:


Course Topics:

History and Scope of the Nonprofit Sector; Nonprofit Governance; Legal Framework; Strategic Planning; Program Evaluation & Accountability; Volunteerism; Ethics; Marketing & Fundraising; Nonprofit Enterprise; Financial Management; International Issues; Nonprofit Careers & Current Issues. 

Specific Course Requirements:

See Assignments and Assignment Schedule links in the course menu. 

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Will be sent via www link or via email

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

Exams will be open-book. Exams are designed to both reinforce key concepts and allow the individual student to expand his or her knowledge base through personal research work or from other students in the class via Class Discussions. 

Grading Procedures:

All assignments will be provided on-line a minimum of seven days before the due date. Late assignments will be penalized one letter grade for each 24-hour period late up to 72 hours. Any assignment over 72 hours late will receive a failing grade and not completing the final exam will result in an automatic failing grade. All assignment dates are provided in the Course Content Link and the course calendar. While the grading emphasis of the assigned written assignment will be on their topical content and quality, consideration will be given to the technical quality of the writing; therefore grammar, spelling, sentence structure, organization, and the like. 

Grading Scale:
A100-91 points
B90-81 points
C80-71 points
D70-61 points
F60 points and below
Assignments and Projects:

The course will be structured into learning modules. Each module will have readings and graded activities. Please see the Course Content Link which provides the readings and student responsibilities for each week of the course. The graded assignments are described in the Course Content Link in the course menu:

Point spread
Info sheet – 1 point
Mission Analysis – 5 points
Case study – 14 points
Funding proposal (group project) – 10 points 
Mid-term – 10 points
Word press set-up – 1 point
Volunteer blog – 15 points
Advocacy blog – 10 points
Mini-quizzes – 6 points (3 at 2 point each)
Discussion – 8 points (Choose four out of six questions – 1 point for initial post, due Saturday; 1 point for response post – due Tuesday)
Final – 20 points
Extra Credit may be available by participating in additional discussion board opportunities. 

Class Participation:

You will be expected to participate in all interactive aspects of the course. For example, you will be assigned to discuss and answer instructor-provided questions. You are also expected to communicate with the instructor as a learning resource. Students must check the course home page frequently for announcements and must actively participate in threaded discussion events. 

Late Policy:

The course is divided into modules to give you a structure to your progress through the course material. You need to meet deadlines or due dates of projects, discussions, assignments, exams, and all aspects of the course. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on April 28, 2017