Gordon in the News: last updated 03/26/2010

Investing in the Community: New Event Helps Nonprofits and Businesses Work Together

February 22, 2010
Jo Kadlecek
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA—Even with a downsized economy, many businesses still want to find meaningful ways to contribute to their communities, especially in support of neighboring nonprofit organizations doing valuable work. How to approach such partnerships, though, isn’t always easy.

In an effort to address these challenges and to bring together representatives from the for-profit sector with nonprofit agencies, the Gordon College Center for Nonprofit Studies and Philanthropy along with Gordon’s Cooperative Education and Career Services Advisory Board and the Career Services Office will host a free panel discussion and networking reception open to the public on Wednesday, March 24, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., in the Ken Olsen Science Center (255 Grapevine Road, Exit 17 from Route 128).

The event, “Investing in the Community: the Intersection of Nonprofits and For-Profits,” will feature representatives from a variety of organizations, businesses and corporations. Guest speakers and panelists include Esther Schlorholtz, senior vice president and director of community investment at Boston Private Bank (panel moderator); Robert Lubrano, underwriting implementation team leader for the Community Involvement Team at Electric Insurance (CITE); Julie LaFontaine, executive director of The Open Door; and Valerie Buchanan, director of Gordon College’s Office of Community Engagement and Gordon in Lynn program.

“This event provides a unique opportunity to help us all think better about innovative ways we can help our communities,” said Ted Wood, professor of economics and business and codirector of the Center for Nonprofit Studies and Philanthropy. “How can businesses partner in creative ways with nonprofit groups and vice versa? What can we learn from those who are already doing this? That’s what we hope to discover by coming together.”

The service-oriented gathering is an idea that’s been in the works for some time, Wood says. Regardless of what the economy is—or isn’t—doing, Wood believes the principles behind effective partnerships will always be helpful for both the organizations and the communities in which they serve.

Pam Lazarakis, director of Gordon’s Career Services, expects to draw 200–250 professionals from both sectors across the North Shore as well as interested students to the event. She emphasized the unique opportunity as well to network with other agencies and businesses.

“This is a great way for people to take advantage of so many professionals in the same room,” said Lazarakis. “It’s one of many helpful events we offer, but it’s uniquely designed to address the specific issues facing so many nonprofits today.” A press conference will take place prior to the event at 4:30 p.m. with Wood and several guest speakers in the KOSC. The event 

“Investing in the Community: the Intersection of Nonprofits and For-Profits” begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes a panel discussion, question and answer time, and a networking reception.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.


Gordon College is a multi denominational Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston’s North Shore, offering majors in 36 fields with graduate programs in education and music education. Gordon is nationally recognized for excellence in academics and in character building, and ranks as one of the nation’s top Christian colleges. www.gordon.edu


Investing in the Community graphic