Russ Cargo is a principal in the consulting firm, Third Sector Services, LLC, founded in 1998 to help strengthen nonprofit organizations and a Senior Fellow at the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management, University of Missouri at Kansas City.
For the last seventeen years he has worked to develop Nonprofit Management and Philanthropic Studies as an academic discipline. He is currently helping Carroll College in Helena, Montana, and the American Public University System establish a nonprofit management curriculum by developing courses and teaching. Before his retirement in 2008 he directed the Nonprofit and Civil Society Program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). Prior to that he created the Nonprofit Enterprise Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University and he founded the Nonprofit Management Program at George Mason University in 1994. He designed and now directs Omicron Delta Kappa’s (the national leadership honor society) “Campus Leaders Today; Community Leaders Tomorrow” program that prepares young college leaders to serve on nonprofit boards and is working with ODK and the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC, to design a community leadership curriculum for outstanding college leaders to prepare them for community leadership after college.
He was one of the founders of the Virginia Network of Nonprofit Organizations (VANNO) and he speaks regularly about the responsibilities of nonprofit boards and the important role nonprofit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play in democratic societies. He has worked with hundreds of organizations in ten countries and throughout the United States and he teaches graduate courses “Nonprofit Organization and Executive Leadership,” “Nonprofit Law, Governance and Ethics,” “Nonprofit Fundraising Planning and Implementation,” Financial Management for Nonprofits,” and conducts workshops such as “Ethics for Nonprofit Managers,” “Financial Management for Nonprofits,” “Nonprofit Board Roles and Responsibilities,” and “The Board/Executive Relationship.” His consulting work with nonprofit boards centers on board development work and board policy setting.
Dr. Cargo serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Center on Nonprofit Enterprise (NCNE), the national organization whose mission is to help nonprofit managers make wise economic decisions. He serves on the Council of Editorial Advisors at BoardSource, the national organization supporting nonprofit boards, and is a Past-President of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC), a membership organization representing 50 top university-based nonprofit centers and institutes in the US, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Italy. He is a former board member of ARNOVA, the professional association for nonprofit scholars and educators.
Prior to his academic positions, he had over twenty years of work experience in the nonprofit sector including CEO experience at Colorado Speaks Out On Health and as President of the San Antonio Art Institute. He earned a Master of Art in Art History from Southern Methodist University, a Master of Science in Business Administration from Boston University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management.
Dr. Cargo lives in Helena, Montana, where he serves as an affiliate member of the Nonprofit Law Section of the Montana State Bar Association. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Original Governor’s Mansion Restoration Society, and the board of the Montana Nonprofit Association, the state-wide umbrella organization supporting over 600 nonprofits in Montana.