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Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Laurie Alpern


Ms. Alpern, President of Open Door Advisors, is a seasoned social venture business adviser. She started ODA to follow her passion—working with the new breed of entrepreneurs seeking both income and social impact. ODA helps entrepreneurial nonprofits, social purpose and green businesses achieve financial sustainability through strategy development, business planning and investments.

As a technical advisor for Illinois ResourceNet at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Ms. Alpern advises nonprofits on capacity building strategies with an emphasis on successfully securing federal grants. She has extensive experience in the federal grants arena where she has led teams submitting complex, multi-year grants and served as a lead writer. She has been selected as an expert reviewer by the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Corporation for National Service and Social Innovation Fund competition.

Additionally, Ms. Alpern has held leadership positions in community relations and community development. She helped found the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she served as associate director, creating new resources and partnerships between faculty, students, community and corporate partners all seeking to improve the quality of life in Chicago and other cities. Ms. Alpern serves on the board of Growing Home, Inc., a nonprofit social enterprise, which provides job training through an urban organic agriculture business, the Capital Campaign Committee of Inspiration Corporation and the Business Advisory Board of Sweet Miss Giving's.


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