Meet Michael McGough


Michael C. McGough

Twitter: @mikemag00

Position: Grants Coordinator, UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS)


Class: MA NPO 2009

It wasn’t my plan to work at the University of Georgia when I entered the MA NPO program, but the experience certainly prepared me for the complex environment of academia. This became apparent when UGA was awarded a grant under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide consumer education about the healthcare law and consumers’ new health insurance options. As the grants coordinator, my role in grant proposals typically ends once the grant is awarded, but this is not a typical grant. Given the politically-charged discourse surrounding the ACA, also known as Obamacare, it was not surprising that a wide range of people and organizations would be interested in this grant.


To date, the highest level of interest came before the work funded by the grant had even begun when the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives investigated 51 of the more than 100 organizations that had received the Health Navigators grants, including UGA.  As the grants coordinator for this project, I worked with UGA’s Director of Federal Relations, legal counsel, and faculty involved with the project to assemble our response to the Committee’s letter in just over a week. The Committee’s response was favorable, with one member referring to UGA’s program as a ‘model program’ given the quality of both the program and our response to the inquiry.


Interest in the Navigator program remains high as the 12 UGA Navigators educate Georgians across the state about health insurance, and I am regularly called upon to assist faculty and administration in responding to specific inquiries about the grant. In addition to my duties of preparing and submitting grant proposals, I’ve been called upon to serve on faculty and staff search committees and assist the Dean in encouraging and promoting research within FACS. Many of the skills learned in the MA NPO program have proven invaluable, and I am proud of the role I’m playing in providing Georgians “Knowledge for Real Life.”

MCM w Hairy Dawg EDIT UGA Health Navigators


Tim Echols: A Journey to the Capitol

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Meet Tim Echols, C/O 2006

Employed As: Commissioner, Georgia Public Service Commission (elected statewide office)

Reconnect with Tim:




UGA History:

2006- Master of Arts in Nonprofit Organizations

2009 – Master of Arts in Journalism

Tim’s Story:

Getting elected and serving in a statewide office was a dream I had as an undergrad at UGA back in the early 80s. Before that could happen though, I had an opportunity to work for many non-profits and see the great need we have in our state.  I eventually started my own organization and pursued the MNPO degree in order to help me be more effective.  Dr. Tom Holland and Dr. Jeff Brudney worked closely together in the early days of the program, and I benefited from their collective experiences. My UGA degree along with my personal experience helped me establish myself as a non-profit consultant, and my career was further enhanced.  Now, working in state government, I am having a chance to “give back” and work with many organizations including the Salvation Army, the National Guard Family Foundation and the organizations I regulate like Georgia Power, Atlanta Gas Light and telecom companies across the state.

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Where you can find Tim

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Tim’s Team

Amanda’s Athletic Success Story!

Amanda and UGA IX!

Amanda and UGA IX!

Check out how the MA NPO program brought Amanda back to her childhood with the Foley Field Revival Project:

I am a December 2012 graduate of the MNPO program and since graduation I have been promoted to Assistant Director of Development for The Georgia Bulldog Club at the University of Georgia Athletic Association. The Georgia Bulldog Club is the fundraising arm of the Athletic Association and is dedicated to fostering life-long relationships with athletic donors while inspiring a new generation of Georgia fans.

I am responsible for developing and maintaining a comprehensive and donor-focused stewardship program through events and activities that cultivate, engage, and recognize donors to the Athletic Association. This includes managing gift acknowledgements, fund reporting, donor recognition, donor appreciation activities and events, and other stewardship activities to further engage donors in ways they find meaningful. Stewardship is a rewarding, and often undervalued step in the fundraising process that I thoroughly enjoy.

You may or may not know this but the Athletic Association receives no state money to operate its 21 varsity sports. Meeting some of the 600 student athletes who directly benefit from our fundraising efforts is gratifying.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and talking with student athletes who are named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and will go on to be pharmacists, teachers, and leaders in their communities; some even the first of their family to attend college.

I feel my work in The Georgia Bulldog Club is worthwhile because what we do ultimately prepares outstanding young people to achieve their goals and become positive leaders. Because of individuals’ generous donations to Georgia Athletics, Men’s Basketball sophomore Houston Kessler is able to pursue a degree in Biomedical Engineering while carrying on the legacy of his father and late uncle as UGA Bulldog Basketball Lettermen. When asked about his experience as a student athlete at UGA he said, “I feel blessed and grateful to be able to attend this University and represent the Men’s Basketball program. This opportunity has presented me with other opportunities to succeed that go beyond basketball.”

Overall, I am passionate about helping nonprofit organizations create and strengthen fundraising strategies that will allow them to maximize the quality and availability of services and programs they are able to provide. In short, I want to help nonprofits serve their constituents more effectively.

Through MNPO courses, I gained a solid foundation of nonprofit management theory and practices to build on as well as knowledge of a number of great resources that I continue utilize, but most valuable are the friendships with fellow MNPO students and professors who have the same passion for nonprofit work that I do. Hearing new ideas and different perspectives from students and nonprofit practitioners associated with the program helped me think broader about possible solutions to real issues nonprofits face. If I have learned anything in my fundraising career (and life in general) it’s that sincere relationships are extremely important and you’re never too old to learn something new.

The UGA Athletic Association has just embarked on a $10 million campaign to revive UGA Baseball’s Foley Field. The renovation plans will provide the 25-year-old facility a drastic facelift and directly impact the lives of Georgia Baseball student-athletes, coaches, media, and Georgia fans and supporters. Plans include a new locker room, lounge and training areas for student-athletes as well as brand new amenities for fans, including a larger concourse and two new club-seating areas. It is particularly exciting for me because I grew up watching Georgia Baseball games with my dad at Foley Field and now I get to be part of this revival project that will allow future generations to make fond memories of their own.

For more information or to help support the Foley Field Revival project go to:

Or contact me directly at or 706-542-4058

Website –

Facebook – Georgia Bulldogs

Twitter – @ugaathletics

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Betty’s journey to the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

Betty Barnard

Read about Betty Barnard’s discovery of how meaningful a career in service can be: 

I became a nonprofiteer in 2009. It was the height of the recession. I was 23 years old and had just landed my first “big girl” job, a full-time-with-benefits position at an organization in DC. After a year and a half of dead-end attempts to find a post-baccalaureate calling, I had finally found it in the nonprofit sector. I was at my job a full five work weeks before I was laid off along with eleven others in my office. Within weeks, I was applying to graduate school. Until the time came for me to apply I had never thought it would be for nonprofit administration and management. But once I’d had a taste of what it meant to be in the nonprofit world, I was hooked. After weighing my options I decided to attend the The University of Georgia’s Masters of Nonprofit Organizations program.

The next two years were the most challenging and the most fun of my life to date. The MNPO program pushed me to explore a theoretical approach to nonprofit organizations that I found stimulating and engaging. My professors were excellent. They pressed me to do better, think critically and perform well under pressure. My favorite part of the program was its focus on service learning. I don’t think there are many other graduate students who can say that they made an impact on their community through their studies.

During my time as an MNPO candidate, I was privileged to receive an assistantship working on the Building Community Services to Grow Local Economies program, a grant of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Through my assistantship I gained experience working with dozens of nonprofits across five counties in northeast Georgia. My experience aiding these direct service providers uncovered another calling: capacity building. I was enamored with the work I was able to do with these nonprofits, applying my new knowledge and skills in various different contexts and seeing the many ways that a nonprofit’s unique situation influences its leaders to apply best practices in creative ways. Most importantly, I witnessed firsthand the impact this process can make on a community of nonprofits.

Two years after graduating, I am now working for the state of Georgia to help nonprofit and governmental agencies serve victims of crime. I interpret and integrate federal, state and agency regulations to create policies for direct service provision. It’s immensely rewarding and as challenging as the MNPO program. I couldn’t succeed in my job without the skills I gained from the outstanding faculty and staff there. I never thought my new passions and studies would lead me to public service for the state. Now I have a wonderful opportunity to apply what I learned and make a lasting impact on my fellow Georgians.

Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

The nonprofit I started: Georgia Reproductive Justice Access Network (GRJAN)

Connect with me at LinkedIn

Brent Buice shares his adventures from Georgia Bikes!

Check out Brent’s story! He’s currently the Executive Director of Georgia Bikes! 
Check out Brent  speaking at the state capitol at the March 2013 Ride to the Capitol event!
I graduated from the MNPO program in 2004 with an emphasis in media relations. For several years, I worked at the University of Georgia in various administrative jobs while I volunteered for local nonprofit BikeAthens as Board Co-President. In 2010, I was offered the job of Executive Director for Georgia Bikes, the statewide bicycle advocacy organization. Our mission is to promote bicycling for recreation and transportation and to improve bicycling throughout Georgia. I am the lone staffer for this member-supported organization, working from a home office and traveling occasionally to cities across the state.

The MNPO curriculum gave me invaluable insight into membership management, fund development, and making effective use of limited resources to engage and inform our members and supporters. I have used my MNPO knowledge to help build and foster local advocacy organizations in Augusta, southwest Atlanta, Columbus, Tifton, Alpharetta, Oconee County, Milledgeville, Albany, Rome, and other communities in Georgia.
The nonprofit sector, and advocacy organizations in particular, serve a vital role in Georgia. We provide a coherent voice for important interest groups and offer an official channel for working with state agencies to advance public interest goals. I can say without hesitation that this is work that does not feel like “work” – I love every minute of my job!

In 2013, we were honored by the national Alliance for Biking & Walking with a “Winning Campaign of the Year” award for our successful work with the GA Department of Transportation. We helped GDOT develop and adopt a meaningful policy that will ensure roadways in Georgia include safe provisions for people on bikes, pedestrians, and transit users.
706.372.9529Join Georgia Bikes! in Roswell Oct 18-20 for the 4th Annual GA Bike Summit!
Keep up with them at: and
Check out Brent riding with Lt. Governor Casey Cagle on the Atlanta BeltLine in August as part of the National Conference of State Legislators Summit “Bi-Partisan Bike Ride.”


Welcome to the student blog for the University of Georgia’s Institute for Nonprofit Organizations which offers the Master of Arts in Nonprofit Organizations (MNPO)!

We are so excited to share here the stories of our current and past students in all of the incredible things they are doing within the nonprofit sector all over the world!

The Institute for Nonprofit Organizations provides an interdisciplinary group of graduate teaching, research, and service programs at UGA that focus upon improving the leadership and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations.

The Institute offers an array of opportunities for students, professionals, and scholars of nonprofit organizations as well as those seeking careers in them. It prepares students with knowledge and skills necessary for management and leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, and it develops and disseminates knowledge to strengthen the effectiveness of those already in leadership positions.

The creation of this Institute was in response to current trends in the U.S. economy and in public policy that underscore the need for more effective leaders, managers, and professional staff throughout the nonprofit sector. Labor force statistics project dramatic increases in employment in this sector. Emerging changes in public policy suggest that demands on nonprofit organizations will increase sharply and that well-prepared leaders will be essential for the survival and health of these organizations.

The Institute seeks to prepare leaders who will strengthen the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations throughout Georgia and the nation. Its faculty develop knowledge through research, disseminate it through teaching, and provide services to the State through continuing education, consultation, and technical assistance. The Institute provides students with knowledge and skills necessary to effective performance of nonprofit organizations, and it provides opportunities to disseminate and apply this learning directly with organizations in the region.

You will find on this blog some incredible stories that will inspire and motivate you and hopefully expose you to a more personal aspect of how fulfilling nonprofit work can be! If you are a student interested in being featured, please email the Graduate Assistant, Uzma Chowdhury, at Image