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Alliance Magazine Columnists

Nonprofit Law

  • Explores a variety of legal issues that are, many items, unique to nonprofit organizations
  • Provides easy-to-understand analysis to help nonprofits ensure they are minimizing risk and operating effectively

About the Author: Kathryn M. Vanden Berk practiced law for nine years before serving as president of two residential treatment centers for children. Now practicing in Chicago, she focuses on nonprofit start-ups, corporate and tax law, and employment issues. She serves as adjunct faculty at several Chicago universities, and is a member of the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management Advisory Board at North Park University.

She authored a handbook on starting nonprofits that is available from the Nonprofit Financial Center in Chicago, and a chapter in the Illinois attorney’s handbook Not-for-Profit Corporations, 2004 Ed., Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. In 2004 she authored Retooling Employment Standards for the Future, a publication of the First Nonprofit Educational Foundation, Chicago.

She can be reached by email or at 312-558-1690.

Fund Development

  • Covers a variety of topics related to improving strategies, developing new practices, and aligning with best practices
  • Aims to increase nonprofits’ capacity of to raise funds

About the Author: Bob Jones, Ph.D., is chair of the Alliance's Resource Development Advisory Committee. He is president and CEO of Alliance member Children's Aid and Family Services in Paramus, N.J., and an adjunct professor with the Master of Nonprofit Administration program at the University of Norte Dame Mendoza College of Business.

On Board

  • Discusses issues related to strategic governance, high-performing boards of directors, and board chair/CEO relationships.
  • Aims to develop the capacities of nonprofit boards of directors

About the Authors: From left, Thomas J. Harvey, MSW, is director of the Master of Nonprofit Administration Program at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business.

John Tropman, Ph.D., is professor and associate dean for faculty affairs at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. He’s also an adjunct professor at the university’s Ross School of Business.

Harvey and Tropman are co-authors of Nonprofit Governance, a book published in 2009 that offers modern information and practical guidelines for directors and executives of nonprofit organizations of all sizes.

Capitol Connection

  • Updates the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities membership network about ongoing work by the public policy staff in Washington, D.C.
  • Provides information about how the public policy office sets its agenda, as well as how it responds to a variety of issues and legislative measures that impact the nonprofit human services sector

About the Author: Katherine Astrich is senior vice president of public policy and mobilization for the Alliance.

She previously worked as a consultant for The Lewin Group, a national health and human services consulting firm. She has advocated for Medicaid, early education, and workforce assistance programs that benefit vulnerable children and families.

Her expertise includes regulatory and information collection policy. She also has eight years of experience working for the Office of Management and Budget.


  • Provides updates about Alliance programs and initiatives, as well as national nonprofit human services sector news
  • Shares personal observations and experiences from interactions with a variety of nonprofit leaders and organizations throughout the country

About the Author: Susan Dreyfus is president and CEO of the Alliance.

Prior to joining the Alliance on Jan. 3, 2012, Dreyfus was Secretary for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. She was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in May 2009 and served as a member of the Governor’s Executive Cabinet. She had responsibility for Medicaid, aging and long-term care, child welfare, behavioral health care, juvenile justice, economic assistance, and other human services.

Dreyfus previously served as senior vice president and chief operating officer for both the Alliance and Families International from 2003-2007.

In 1996 she was appointed by the Gov. Tommy G. Thompson Administration in Wisconsin to be the first administrator of the Division of Children and Family Services. Her responsibilities included child welfare, child care quality and licensing, youth development and an array of emergency assistance and other community programs.


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