Since the beginning of the semester, Dennis Walcott, GSS ’80, has been delivering talks to the class he teaches in his alma mater’s newly formed Masters in Nonprofit Leadership program. But on Dec. 7, he delivered a talk to the larger Fordham community.
Walcott, perhaps best known as the former chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, spoke on how to manage nonprofits, including managing an agency’s public face.
The day after his nomination for public schools chancellor was announced, and with most of New York City’s media watching, Walcott walked his grandson to school at one of his other alma maters, PS 36 in Queens. “I still get comments about that,” said Walcott.
The instance was one of many examples of using media-savvy messaging, he said, but one that must be backed up with planning, substance, and integrity. He said that no matter the distractions, the message must always remain focused on an organization’s mission.
“One thing you can’t do is lose the perspective of why we’re in this business,” he said. “Whether you’re on the government or nonprofit side, you must maintain your moral compass, because that’s how you will relate to people.”
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