Now in its sixth year, the IUPUI Nonprofit Expo brings together nonprofit, government and community partners that offer internship, volunteer and job opportunities for IUPUI students and alumni.
This year’s event will take place March 22 from noon to 4 p.m. at the IUPUI Campus Center.
“The Nonprofit Expo at IUPUI is a great way to connect with emerging nonprofit practitioners,” said Alyssa Starr Newerth, the deputy director of Indy Reads. “The students are always very interested in our work and we have made many connections over the years at the expo. We have hired interns and met future and current community partners at this event.”
The expo is a collaborative effort among six IUPUI’s schools. Annually, it is coordinated by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI, IU School of Social Work, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, IUPUI Center for Service and Learning and the IU School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences.
Since the first expo in 2011, the number of exhibiting employers has more than doubled. Last year, more than 70 organizations took part in the expo, and nearly 450 students and alumni attended the event.
“The potential volunteer-turnout-per-minute is really high,” said Susan Norman, regional volunteer services officer for the Indiana Region American Red Cross. “We can go to other exhibits in other places and talk to maybe three people the whole time because of the nature of the event. These folks are there because they want to be involved with organizations like ours. It helps us do targeted marketing and is a great venue for discovering where students’ interests and our needs overlap.”
Norman called the Nonprofit Expo one of the top three events that the organization attends. She says the skills that students and young alumni bring with them to the job allows the Red Cross to use them in a variety of positions. The fact they’re eager to learn and try different things is an added bonus.
“I know the quality of volunteer I’m going to walk away with,” she said. “I know they’re going to be people who are really interested in our mission, and I know they’re going to be fully engaged and active during the time they’re with us.”
In 2013-2014, the IUPUI Center for Service and Learning survey found an estimated 8,570 students, slightly fewer than previous year, contributed 303,061 hours of service to the community.
“We have so many students on this campus who are connected to the mission of nonprofits,” Hursh said. “This is really just a fabulous opportunity for everyone – employers, students and alumni – who are committed to community engagement.”
Added Newerth, “As a (SPEA) alumna, the Nonprofit Expo makes me hopeful and excited about the future of my profession.”