Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management

"Creativity is like a puzzle, and people contribute different pieces to create a bigger picture."  ~Kermit The Frog

Nonprofits build strong communities. We build strong nonprofits.

We’re part of a university. We live the nonprofit life. We give you the time you need…

These are the things that set us apart, and are why thousands of organizations have come to trust the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University as a comprehensive resource for education, consulting, coaching, research, and hands-on solutions for every aspect of nonprofit management.

Learn more:

Classes & Events  |  Programs & Services  | Consulting

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Every one of our solutions is a custom solution.

At the Bayer Center, we build a stronger community by helping to build stronger, more knowledgeable nonprofits. We do this through collaboration, patience and relationships…combined with decades upon decades of diverse success experience.


Our approach to education is to stay on top of what’s happening in the sector, plan for what’s going to happen, listen to you, and offer the ever-adapting menu of classes you see described on our website.

Consulting & Coaching

Our approach to consulting and coaching is, when time permits and circumstances warrant, to enter into a process that builds mutual trust and respect and long-lasting results. And when time doesn’t permit, to help you deal with crisis in the instant and on the ground.

Thought Leadership

Our approach to thought leadership is to leverage our role as a Robert Morris University center, and to listen to you – through conversations, surveys, research, and community gatherings – to bring together the best thinking on how our sector can most effectively enhance our community.

About the Bayer Center

At the Bayer Center, we work with you: To provide effective and practical management and governance tools, information, education and research that strengthen nonprofit missions and multiply all investments of time, talent and money in regional nonprofit organizations.

In twenty years of service to the nonprofit community, the Bayer Center has completed over 2,000 consulting engagements and educated over 11,500 students. Our consulting clients include human service, arts, faith-based, community development, environmental and education organizations with budgets ranging from $100,000 or less to more than $50,000,000. Our intensive and customized Management, Governance, Financial and Technology consulting services are designed to educate leaders and have resulted in:

Higher functioning governing boards
Enhanced financial planning and management
Heightened brand awareness
Increased partnerships and strategic alliances
More effective approaches to fundraising
Better informed, evidence-based decisions for future directions
More capable nonprofit leaders and organizations
Effective management information systems
Prudent software choices and website design
A strategic approach to decision-making

The Bayer Center also offers extensive management education on topics in nonprofit management, finance, governance and technology.

We also provide information and referral services; conduct applied research through initiatives including “74%: Exploring the Lives of Women Leaders in Nonprofit Organizations”; promote nonprofit governance best practices through our “BoardsWork!”program; convene in-depth discussions on issues relevant to the nonprofit sector; and, through the ESC program, provide accomplished retired corporate executives as volunteer consultants to assist nonprofits with a broad range of advisory services and executive coaching.


The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University will provide effective and practical management and governance tools, information, education and research that strengthen nonprofit missions and multiply on all investments of time, talent and money made in regional nonprofit organizations.


On behalf of the community, the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management:

  • Relentlessly pursues excellence.
  • Champions leaders that extend, expand and push our community forward with intelligence, wit, and wisdom.
  • Strives to instill sound, ethical business practices that capitalize on the community's investment of time, talent and funds.
  • Cultivates an engaged, diverse pool of talented community leaders who hunger for a more just and humane world.
  • Flourishes by working with partners - strong leaders and wise philanthropic investors.
  • Lives the nonprofit life with its real management and governance challenges.

We are an active verb.


The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management is proud and privileged to be a part of Robert Morris University.  From your perspective, there are several advantages to our University affiliation:

  • We have access to world-class faculty and dedicated students as resources for our work on your behalf.
  • We have expert researchers to aid and guide our own nonprofit research efforts.
  • The Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program at RMU, led by professional staff from BCNM and the Office of Student Civic Engagement is open to all undergraduates and easily fits with many different majors.
  • We have attractive, comfortable, offices for clients and classes in the easy to locate Benjamin Rush Center at Robert Morris University with free, designated parking.
  • Perhaps most importantly, we are a nonprofit. Like you, we need philanthropic support. Like you, we rely on the advice and counsel of an outside Board. Like you, we don't just spout theory, we live the nonprofit life.

We are deeply grateful to Robert Morris University for the many ways in which it supports the Bayer Center and helps us help you to become stronger organizations that benefit our entire community.


PhotoPeggy Outon is Assistant VP for Community Engagement and Leadership Development at RMU. She is also founding Director of the Centers for Effective Nonprofit Management in Austin and New Orleans, and the founding Board Chair of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. A nationally noted consulta nt and trainer, Peggy has worked with more than 700 nonprofits. She served as founding member and trainer for the Drucker Foundation’s international training team. An active community volunteer, Peggy has served on 33 community Boards and countless committees. She was named to the national Nonprofit Times Top 50 for Power and Influence and has been recognized locally by several organizations, including the Girls Scouts and Pittsburgh City Council.

PhotoShelby Gracey is Office Coordinator at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University, responsible for keeping the center’s office functions flowing smoothly. After receiving an A.S. from Lake-Sumter Community College as well as certification as a professional secretary, she went on to work in healthcare public relations, word processing and computer support. Shelby is also organist and director of music at Sunset Hills United Presbyterian Church where she coordinates and plays music for church services, and directs the adult, children’s and handbell choirs.

PhotoCarrie Richards is Programs Team Leader at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University where her favorite roles are playing BoardsWork! matchmaker and crafting the educational catalog. She mentors in the Women’s Leadership and Mentorship Program and teaches in the Nonprofit Leadership Association, both at RMU. A Northsider and proud owner of a rescued pit bull, she’s an animal rescue volunteer, member of Elks Lodge #339, and board president of Allegheny Goatscape. Carrie is an RMU alumna with master’s degrees in nonprofit management and human resources.  She and her husband Bradly love exploring National Parks and visiting Disney World as often as possible. 

PhotoYvonne Van Haitsma, Associate Director at the Covestro Center for Community Engagement, began working with the Bayer Center for nonprofit management in 2000, initially working with nonprofit organizations on collaboration planning, strategic planning, and board development. Now she works building collaborations between companies and nonprofits, creating win-win-win relationships that build nonprofit capacity, corporate social responsibility, employee engagement, and purpose-driven opportunities for companies and their workforce.  She manages the Executive Service Corps, SkillShare, and BoardsWork! Yvonne earned her M.S.W. in Community Organizing and Nonprofit Management at the University of Pittsburgh and has worked with nonprofits in Pittsburgh, Ecuador, and El Salvador. 

Advisory Board

Current Advisory Board

  • Rebecca Lucore, Covestro (Advisory Board Co-Chair)
  • Lisa Scales, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (Advisory Board Co-Chair)
  • Samantha Balbier, University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics
  • Jennifer Cairns
  • Chris Cooke
  • Ellen Estomin, Executive Service Corps
  • Trish Gadson, Jeffereson Regional Foundation
  • Angela Garcia, Global Links
  • Lizz Helmsen, Carter
  • Paul S. Homick, Mercy Health Foundation
  • Derya Jacobs, Robert Morris University
  • Peter Lucas, Boston Consulting Group
  • Sabrina Saunders Mosby, Vibrant Pittsburgh
  • Jack Owen, Owen and Conley, LLC
  • Chris Pacione, LUMA
  • Trina DeMarco Preffer, Eat 'n Park
  • Colleen Young, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank


  • Doreen E. Boyce, Buhl Foundation (Retired)
  • Edward A. Nicholson, Robert Morris University (Retired)
  • James A. Rudolph, McKnight Development Company
  • Bonnie Westbrook VanKirk, Media Networks/Time Inc. (Retired)

The Bayer Center acknowledges with gratitude the catalytic support received from:

and our generous individual supporters and the invaluable nonprofit organizations whom we serve as clients and students!


The Bayer Center is proud to partner with:

...and the region's 7,000 nonprofit organizations as students, clients and colleagues.

The Bayer Center is an active member of the following organizations: