Written by Miles Bilka, CNP
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Happy Birthday to our founder, H. Roe Bartle! Today, we celebrate the foresight and vision he held to start the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA).
Bartle founded NLA in 1948 as American Humanics. Known nationally for his impressive gift for engaging crowds with his sharp wit and booming voice, Bartle was a social entrepreneur, American businessman, philanthropist and two-term Kansas City Mayor. Bartle seemed determined to participate in making the world better, accepting as many as thirty appointments to philanthropic boards and commissions.
As baby boomers began to rise in age, Bartle saw a significant deficit in nonprofit leadership. The impending influx of youth program participants would demand hiring numerous qualified nonprofit staff members. His response to this employment gap was to build a hands-on training ground that would be housed on college campuses. Bartle’s vision lives today in the Alliance: the largest network in the world working to build a pipeline of talented and prepared professionals.
As Bartle once preached, “I want a great America, but if I want a great America I must build my community, and my America is my community”. His legacy has ignited the passion of the Alliance for over 70 years. We are proud to have a founder so passionate about building our sector’s workforce and we are excited to continue to lead by his example.
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