When Heather Lafferty started at the University of Colorado Denver’s Business School, she couldn’t foresee how valuable what she learned would be, she says now.

Since 2008, Lafferty has led one of Colorado’s largest nonprofits as the CEO and Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver. While fulfilling its mission to help low-income families and individuals become homeowners, in recent years Habitat also has grown into an organization that is a lot like a healthy business. In addition to working with 15,000 volunteers to build, renovate and repair almost 100 homes each year, Habitat also plans residential developments, operates retail stores, offers loans and provides social services.

Since it was founded in 1979, Habitat has worked with more than 700 local families to build and repair affordable homes. For Lafferty, who graduated with an MBA in 2005, that’s a sign of how effective nonprofits can be when they empower volunteers, put donors’ money to good use, and strategically marshal their resources. Read more…

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