NANOE Nominations, overseen by Dr. Kathleen Robinson and Charlotte Lunsford Berry, was the basis for the critical success and launch of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives. The formation of NANOE was the final step in a long-term university led research project performed by professors and doctoral students from Clemson University in partnership with National Development Institute. Watch the video above to experience a preview of what NANOE is tackling as it ensures nonprofits GO TO SCALE! Hear Dr. Robinson comment on the industry movement that began in the mid-1990sthat led to the incorporation of a slew of intermediary nonprofits whose sole and only customers were OTHER NONPROFITS. Tragically, decades later, their products, solutions and so-called “best practice” are preventing charities from going to scale and reaching their true potential.

You can learn more about Dr. Robinson and NANOE Nominations by visiting

NANOE Nominations - Kathleen Robinson

NANOE Nominations – Kathleen Robinson, Maria Lauricella & Christal Kotchman-Giardina tackle Capacity-Building

During her forty-five-year career, Dr. Robinson worked in development of community and regional support systems for at risk families, children and youth organizations, community-based literacy systems, holistic family centers and nonprofit human services organizations. In addition, her focus has been on systems-based approaches to community planning and policy development and social impact assessments of various community change projects. Her field is rural, integrated community development.

Dr. Robinson previously served as Director of the Center on Neighborhood Development and the Director of the Center on South Carolina Nonprofit Leadership within the Institute on Families and Neighborhood Development at Clemson University (1998-2009). She also co-lead in the development of the Institute’s PHD program in International Family and Community Studies. She was associate director at the Institute for Families in Society and Director of the Division on Neighborhood Development at the University of South Carolina (1995-1998). From 1981-1995, she was a tenured professor in the College of Agriculture and Human Resources (Department of Human Resources) and in the College of Social Sciences (Department of Urban and Regional Planning) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In 1977 she and her husband moved to Hawaii where she was a research associate in the Institute for Culture Learning at the East-West Center (1978-1981) before joining the UHM faculty. From 1975-1978 she was a senior graduate assistant and research associate in the Nonformal Education Institute at Michigan State University working on a multi-million dollar USAID project in Indonesia to enhance the nation’s teacher training college system to include, among other things, an emphasis on community development initiatives. In addition, she served as Vice President of Program and Publications for Pioneer Girls, a faith-based, interdenominational, international girls club, camp and women’s leadership development program (1970-1975). From 1967-1970 she was a graduate assistant in the College of Education at Texas Women’s University working on marine biology science curriculums for inland schools and was also a science teacher in the Denton Texas public school system. While studying at Moody Bible Institute, she founded and directed an out of school child and teen development and literacy center in two housing projects in Chicago, as well as founding and hosting a radio program at WMBI (1964-1970).

Dr. Robinson has testified several times before the U.S. Congress, several states’ legislative bodies, and the United Nations. She has served as a consultant to numerous state social service, health, juvenile justice, governor’s office, environmental, and municipal agencies. Internationally she as been a consultant to 28 international organizations, including several divisions of the United Nations, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, ASEAN and the All Union (USSR) Academy of Sciences, Asian Development Bank, Asian Institute for Technology, Australian Commonwealth’s Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Canadian International Development Agency, Chulalongkorn University Social Research Institute, European Centre For Social Welfare Policy and Research, German Development Bank, German Ministry of Education, Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, and the U.S. Peace Corps. Within the United States, she has been a consultant to government, private sector and nonprofit agencies in several states.

She has received numerous awards and recognitions from her work, including several fellowships and an Award of Distinction from the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges for her leadership of a national task group to add new science understanding to what was offered through schools and colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources across the U.S. She was awarded the University of Hawaii Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching in 1990, the highest award given at UHM. She also has received awards of distinction from the U.S. Peace Corps and USDA for her community development work. She has received awards at the University of South Carolina for her contributions to research productivity and three faculty excellence awards while at Clemson University. She received letters of commendation from three states’ governors for her work in enhancing various aspects of human service delivery systems. Having traveled and worked in 151 countries, she is a recognized leader in rural community development in a variety of national and cultural contexts.

She retired in 2009 from Clemson University but remains affiliated with the Institute as an adjunct professor. Since her retirement, she has remained active in leadership roles within two charter schools, National Development Institute & NANOE Nominations. She currently lives in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.