DR. NATHAN A. SCHAUMLEFFEL, CPRPCNPCFRMCVA, CYSA


Our proprietor and senior consultant, Dr. Nathan A. Schaumleffel, holds a Ph.D. in Recreation, Youth, and Community Development from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He also holds a M.S.Ed. in the Administration of Recreation and Park Systems and a B.S. in Recreation Program Services both from Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he was named the Recreation Alumnus of the Year in 2014.  He also earned an A.A. and A.S. from Southwestern Illinois College.


Currently, Dr. Schaumleffel is a consulting partner for the Indiana Youth Institute and the National Association of Park Foundations, as well as a certified Advisor to conduct leadership assessments and provide leadership advising for Lion's Lead through a unique partnership with Ray Hoskins & Associates.  Dr. Schaumleffel is also serving as an online instructional design consultant for the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance's Leaderosity online training platform for the Effective Staff Supervision for Nonprofit Organizations course. He is also serving as Driven Strategic's senior consultant on an innovative multi-year program evaluation project with Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton, Ohio., as well as a multi-year project to create a new park foundation for Brownsburg, Indiana and plan and launch their first capital campaign. He is also a registered Professional Fundraising Consultant with the Indiana Attorney General.


Additionally, Dr. Schaumleffel is serving as a strategic planning consultant to Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative - Hendricks County; developing succession planning training for the Board of Directors of 501 (c) Agencies Trust; and facilitating volunteer engagement auditing and action planning for Special Olympics Indiana.


Dr. Schaumleffel was recently selected to serve on the faculty of the new Park Foundation School at  the Oglebay National Training Center in partnership with the National Association of Park Foundations. In 2017-2018, he served as Member Services Consultant to 35 park foundations and friends groups and authored the Cornerstone Blog with @drschaumleffel for the National Association of Park Foundations, which was designed to strengthen the social media efforts and membership development of the association.


Dr. Schaumleffel recently finished serving as the strategic planning consultant for Special Olympics Indiana; a volunteer engagement consultant for Newfields: A Place for Nature and the Arts (formerly the Indianapolis Museum of Art); a nonprofit governance consultant to the Decatur County Soccer Club, as well as served as a professional coach to the Executive Director of the Hammond Education Foundation.


In the recent past, Dr. Schaumleffel has provided consultation to:


Prior to his founding of Driven Strategic LLC, Dr. Schaumleffel founded, as well as served as board chairperson and executive director, the Recreation Development Network (formerly The Community-Based Recreation Development Corporation), a tax-exempt nonprofit organization dedicated to building-capacity in and providing technical assistance to nonprofit and public youth-serving and recreation organizations. He also served as senior consultant and trainer on client-based projects, which included developing a transfer of learning strategies staff training for outdoor education/adventure/wilderness trip leaders for Camptown, Inc.; mapping Indiana youth worker preparation and professional development opportunities for Leadership and Renewal Outfitters; and developing and leading staff training on program budgeting and program evaluation for the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale, Illinois.


Dr. Schaumleffel also led RDN efforts with Sagamore Publishing Company, L.L.C. and the Illinois Association of Park Districts to develop a park district commissioner 101 on-line orientation training course on the roles and responsibilities of park district commissioners using Moodle.  He also implemented park board training for municipal park board commissioners for the City of Henderson, Kentucky Parks and Recreation Department; and assisted in the planning and implementation of the Davies County, Kentucky Parks and Recreation Department's annual Civil War Reenactment – The Battle of Sutherland’s Hill. The Civil War event included three main consulting functions: 1) special event planning (e.g., interpretive instructional programs and seminars); 2) volunteer recruitment and management; and 3) program/event evaluation and reporting. One client described Dr. Schaumleffel's consulting style by saying, "he provides practical knowledge and a solid, academic foundation."


While with the Recreation Development Network, Dr. Schaumleffel managed overall board and agency operations, led strategic planning efforts, supervised Master’s degree students from multiple universities on thesis projects (e.g., grant writing, program development), supervised student interns, coordinated service-learning projects for undergraduate students, and was responsible for all communication, marketing, and public relations initiatives including web site development.  


He also provided consulting services to the Illinois Coalition for Community Services on the development of  a proposed Union County Youth Center in Anna-Jonesboro, Illinois and a Murphysboro Youth Center in Murphysboro, Illinois.


Dr. Schaumleffel has also served in a consulting role with University of Illinois Extension as Project Manager of the Illinois Rural Recreation Development Project, where he was responsible for working with rural and small-town town councils and park districts to build local-capacity for sustainable park and recreation development.  A real success story is the outcomes of a rural recreation consulting role to the Village of St. Joseph, Illinois on the development of a Master Plan for Parks and Recreation, a site plan for a 40-acre youth sport field and park complex, and an Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Grant (OSLAD) from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.


Also, while in Champaign, Illinois, he served as a consultant to Kickapoo Landing Canoe and Tube Trips on concessionaire business development at Kickapoo State Park, Danville, Illinois.


When he completed his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, his career transitioned to a professorship at Indiana State University, where he founded and directed the Indiana Rural Recreation Development Project, a rural community development consulting initiative to provide free and low-cost consulting services to rural and small-towns across west central Indiana.  Dr. Schaumleffel consulted with the town council and park board of Rockville, Indiana to plan and implement a recreation and leisure needs assessment for teens and consulted with the R.E.I.N. Coalition, a nonprofit organization, in Clay City, Indiana, to create a master plan for public and nonprofit park and recreation development.  


Currently, in addition to his work with Driven Strategic LLC, Dr. Schaumleffel is an Associate Professor at Indiana State University where he serves as the Campus/Executive Director of the nationally award-winning Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification Program  that was recognized as the 2013 Nonprofit Leadership Alliance - Sprint Campus Partner of the Year. In 2009, under his leadership, the nonprofit leadership program was recognized as the fastest growing nonprofit leadership education program in the United States.  At this time, he also teaches in the Recreation Management & Youth Leadership program, the Outdoor Recreation Leadership curricula, the Social Justice & Sociology major, the Visual Arts Administration major, the University Honors program, and the Master’s in Public Administration program. 


Dr. Schaumleffel served as Co-Director of the Center for Recreation Management, the consulting arm of the former Department of Recreation and Sport Management at Indiana State University, where he would direct wilderness first responder (WFR) courses with Wilderness Medical Associates at the ISU Field Campus (now Sycamore Outdoor Center). He also provided consultation to the Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Department on park foundation development and getting the Booker T. Washington Community Center approved as a U.S. Department of Homeland Security - FEMA Approved Emergency Shelter. Just six short months after the community center was approved as an emergency shelter, the Flood of 2008 devastated Terre Haute, Indiana causing the community center to be used as a fully-operational emergency shelter.  Dr. Schaumleffel's consultation was based on his research on emergency management capacity-building for park and recreation professionals. While coordinating consultation projects for the ISU Center for Recreation Management, he also assisted in conducting a program evaluation for the Wabash Valley Senior Classics (i.e., Senior Olympics) for the West Central Indiana Economic Development District, Inc.


Over the years, he has facilitated much of his consulting work through Indiana State University. In 2014 – 2015, he served as a university engagement consultant to Purdue University North Central’s Center for Early Learning in Westville, Indiana where he guided organizational development, strategic planning, and marketing, communication, and public relations.  While in 2013 – 2014, he served as a professional development coach for individuals earning the Certified Nonprofit Professional credential via Indiana State University Extended Learning Post-Baccalaureate Certification Process.


In 2011, he consulted for the Indiana State University McNair Scholar Program related to research and publication training, as well as provided research consultation with students.  In 2009, he consulted for Indiana State University's Upward Bound Program on staff training content and delivery, as well as program management.


From 2009 – 2011, he was a consultant to the Terre Haute Humane Society, Inc. regarding volunteer management and external partnership issues with the volunteer coordinator.  In 2006, he consulted with the Illinois Rural Recreation Development Project to train Day Camp Directors in motivating and managing staff.


He has also served as a Development Associate & Faculty Fellow for the Indiana State University Foundation, a Faculty Fellow for the Indiana State University Center for Public Service and Community Engagement, and served as Faculty Fellow and Senior Faculty Fellow for Indiana Campus Compact.


He recently published a book titled: Cooperate – Advancing Your Nonprofit Organization’s Mission Through College & Community Partnerships: A Guide for Nonprofit Leaders.  He has tested and practiced the principles from this book with the Friends of Shakamak, an independent nonprofit state park foundation for Indiana DNR’s Shakamak State Park. He has engaged with Shakamak through a variety of consulting service-learning projects, such as constructing a comprehensive fundraising case statement, writing volunteer board member position descriptions, and reviewing IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status applications


He also has worked substantially with IDNR’s Friends of Turkey Run and Shades State Parks, the R.E.I.N. CoalitionSpecial Olympics Indiana, Happiness Bag, Inc., Autism Speaks, the Foundation for Autism Resources, the Boy Scouts of America, among others.  An example of this service-learning/consulting work was a long-term project working with nonprofit leadership students to evaluate Wabash Valley Cub Scout programs.  His local efforts to engage nonprofit leadership students in service engagement opportunities with the Boy Scouts of America has led to a national partnership.  Principles and tips given to nonprofit leaders in the Cooperate book also come from his extensive work with nonprofit health and medical-related organizations, and with organizations that serve individuals with special needs like Special Olympics.  In all of these unique partnerships, Dr. Schaumleffel functions as a university-based student volunteer manager and nonprofit consulting partner.  His volunteer management and nonprofit consulting expertise was critical to the success of the Ducks on the Wabash signature fundraising special event and the success of the YMCAs of the Wabash Valley Spring Break Camp. Dr. Schaumleffel's commitment to YMCA STEM & FIT Spring Break Camp has extended into a second successful year of a strategic partnership for community engagement and service-learning with the Vigo County YMCA.  The strategic partnership with the YMCAs of the Wabash Valley led to the Y receiving the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance - 2018 Mutual of America Nonprofit Partner of the Year Award.


In 2019, Dr. Schaumleffel again replicated the principles in his book through a unique strategic partnership with the Terre Haute Children's Museum and the Wabash Valley District of the Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America.  This community engagement and service-learning project focused on outcome-based youth development programs for Cub Scouts to explore science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as they earned their BSA Nova Awards. The highlight of this five program series was a final event that included the Cub Scout Space Derby and the opportunity to learn from and ask questions with Dr. Sandra Magnus, NASA Astronaut who flew multiple Space Shuttle missions including the last flight of the Atlantis and lived on the International Space Station.


As a professional fundraiser, Dr. Schaumleffel has been successful with annual fundraising and comprehensive campaigning with the ISU Foundation.  He served as a Faculty/Staff Captain for the ISU March On! Comprehensive Campaign. While serving Autism Speaks, he has twice been recognized for his annual fundraising efforts with Grand Club recognition for online & social media and signature special event annual fundraising.  The Boy Scouts of America recognized Nathan with the James E. West Fellow Award.  Dr. Schaumleffel has also served as an annual fundraiser for the Boy Scouts' Friends of Scouting annual campaign using phone solicitation strategies; the YMCA of Champaign County's Strong Kids Campaign using face-to-face asks; and the Hoyleton Children's Home Foundation.  He has also been deeply involved with the Boy Scouts' efforts to maintain and increase funding from the local United Way by leading a program evaluation effort to document the impact of the local ScoutReach program.  Dr. Schaumleffel has a very successful record of grant proposal writing with Indiana Campus Compact, Illinois Campus Compact, the Illinois Attorney General's office, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among other grant makers.


For his college-community partnership efforts in the nonprofit sector, he has been awarded both the Indiana State University Distinguished Faculty Award for Community-Based Learning and Scholarship and the Distinguished Faculty Service Award, as well as the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award, District Award of MeritWhitney M. Young, Jr. Service Award for outstanding service to youth, the BSA Alumni Award, and the BSA H. Roe Bartle Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Training Award. Most recently, in March 2018, Dr. Schaumleffel was awarded the 2018 Terre Haute Disability Awareness Recognition Award by the Disability Awareness Work Group (DAWG), and, in May 2018, he was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with the Special Needs Scouting Service Award. In 2019, he was recognized as a nominee for Indiana State University - Residential Life's inaugural Professing Excellence and Inspiring Instruction.


In his role as Campus/Executive Director, he was recognized three times (2009-2010, 2010-2011, 2011-2012) with the Indiana State University Student Organization Advisor of the Year Award for advising the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Collegiate Chapter, and the Autism Speaks U Collegiate Chapter.  He has also served as faculty advisor to the Larry Legend Foundation; Best Buddies ISU; Epsilon Tau Pi Eagle Scout Fraternity; and the Rho Phi Lambda Honorary Professional Recreation, Park, and Leisure Service Fraternity. He is now co-advising the ISU Alpha Phi Omega chapter.


As Faculty Advisor to the Autism Speaks U Collegiate Chapter, Dr. Schaumleffel served on the Terre Haute Walk Now for Autism Speaks Committee for several years that planned this annual signature special event, and he was recognized with the Autism Speaks Grand Club Award in 2010 and 2011 for social media fundraising. He also spearheaded a national initiative for Autism Speaks to develop autism-friendly program leader training for youth-serving organizations. 


As a recreation and youth work expert, he was certified with the Indiana Youth Development (IYD) credential and has served the profession in Indiana by serving as Chairperson of the Indiana YouthPRO Association's Credentialing and Accreditation Committee.  In this role, he designed the 1st academic accreditation process for the field of youth work and then piloted the accreditation process with the Recreation Management and Youth Leadership Program at Indiana State University.  He also serves on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources – Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Planning Committee where he provided input on the 2011 - 2015 SCORP and the 2016 - 2020 SCORP.  Dr. Schaumleffel also served on the National Recreation and Park Association’s Public Policy Committee. He is currently serving on the planning and leadership team for the NRPA pilot project, Safe Routes to Parks Dewey Point, in partnership with the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department and the IDNR Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area.  He also recently coordinated Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification Courses with Hamilton Center, Inc., and a special night with the author of Population: One in partnership with the Foundation for Autism Resources.


As curricula and technology evolves, so does Dr. Schaumleffel.  He is now a highly-trained online instructor and staff & volunteer trainer who can provide online training to client organizations.  Dr. Schaumleffel earned the Online Learning Consortium (formerly The Sloan Consortium) Online Instructor Certification, an internationally-recognized credential,  as well as the Indiana State University Online Instructor Certificate.  Dr. Schaumleffel has made tremendous efforts at taking community engagement cyber with new nonprofit classes at Indiana State.  Not only has he taken community engagement and service-learning (now known as service engagement) online using the SENCER model, but he has also created new nonprofit management courses within the open educational resource (OER) course format meaning students use no textbooks. 


As a distance educator and trainer, he has used WebCT, Blackboard, and Moodle.  In 2004-2005, he taught 7 online courses in the A.S. in Park and Recreation Management Program at Vincennes University.  He taught hybrid courses with WebCT and Blackboard from 2001-2004 at the University of Illinois.  From 2005-2017, he taught hybrid courses at Indiana State University with Blackboard, and from 2014 -2017 taught fully-online courses for ISU.


In 2012, he taught a graduate grant proposal writing and program evaluation course using Moodle for Louisiana State University in Shreveport where he piloted e-service-learning by partnering with a geographically proximate nonprofit organization to co-produce a grant proposal and program evaluation plan.


Dr. Schaumleffel has published articles and contributed textbook chapters in:


  • American Scouting Digest
  • Autism Speaks Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organization Guide
  • ​Cooperate: Advancing Your Nonprofit Organization's Mission Through College & Community Partnerships: A Guide for Nonprofit Leaders
  • National Recreation & Park Association Parks & Recreation
  • National Recreation & Park Association ​Management of Park and Recreation Agencies - Politics & Advocacy
  • American Camp Association Inside ACA
  • Illinois Parks & Recreation
  • Indiana Park and Recreation Association Profile
  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources Volunteer View
  • ​Indiana Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Journal
  • Connecticut Parks and Recreation Association Today
  • Journal of Park and Recreation Administration
  • Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society
  • Managing Leisure: An International Journal
  • Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
  • Youth First: Journal of Youth Sports
  • Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education
  • ​Schole: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education
  • Illinois Institute of Rural Affairs-Rural Research Report
  • Indiana Business Review
  • Sport Governance and Policy Development: An Ethical Approach to Managing Sport in the 21st century - Senior Olympics/Senior Games Governance


He has also presented at local, state, national, and international conferences and research symposia including the Community Development Society international conference, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Management Institute, National Recreation and Park Association national conference, American Camp Association national conference, National AfterSchool Association national conference, Illinois Park and Recreation state conference, Indiana Park and Recreation Association state conference, Indiana School Counselors Association state conference, Kentucky Parks and Recreation Society state conference, Illinois Rural Health Association state conference, the Assessment Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana Youth Institute Because Kids Count conference, Indiana Student Affairs Association state conference, Indiana Campus Compact Service Engagement Summit, International Association of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement conference, among many more.


He has served in a variety of other professional roles that include: Director of Social Services and Recreation at the Union County (Illinois) Housing Authority, Special Facilities Manager for the Belleville (Illinois) Parks and Recreation Department, Aquatics Instructor at several YMCAs, Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch, and in several management roles at multiple day and resident camps and afterschool programs that are affiliated with the BSA, YMCA, and faith-based agencies. He has served as a student affairs professional at Southern Illinois University Carbondale as a Hall Director in University Housing. Dr. Schaumleffel also served as Board President of the Oxford Building Corporation, a nonprofit cooperative housing association in Champaign, Illinois. 


Dr. Schaumleffel, an Eagle Scout and Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, was awarded the Boy Scouts of America's Honor Medal for Unusual Heroism in Saving or Attempting to Save Life at Considerable Risk to Self stemming from a river rescue on Mother’s Day 2011 at Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Indiana.  Only 2,302 Honor Medals have been awarded by the BSA since 1923. His early experiences as a youth in Scouting, from volunteering at American Red Cross blood drives to serving as a YMCA swim instructor to completing his Eagle Scout project at a faith-based camp and conference facility, all culminated in him being elected Lodge Chief of Taleka Lodge #81, Order of the Arrow in Okaw Valley Council #116, Boy Scouts of America.  As Lodge Chief, he served as a voting member of the Council's board of directors at 17 years old.  His entire career has been nonprofit youth work and public recreation ever since! Currently, for Scouting, Dr. Schaumleffel serves as a Webelos Den Leader for Pack #17 at St. Patrick School and serves on Wabash Valley District Day Camp Staff at Camp Wildwood, as well as annually trains Camp Krietenstein summer staff on working with Scouts with special needs, serves as Vice Chair of Program Support on the BSA National Disabilities Awareness Committee, and serves as a member on the Philmont Staff Association's Investment Committee.


Dr. Schaumleffel lives in Terre Haute, Indiana with his wife, Missy, and two boys, Coleman and Cooper. He enjoys the outdoors, especially trail running, mountain biking, camping, swimming, snow skiing, and water skiing. He serves as team captain of the Driven Strategic LLC Multi-Sport Team.


He can be reached at nas@drivenstrategic.com or 812-568-8198.  Follow him on Twitter @drschaumleffel and @drivenstrategic

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