A non profit management associate degree can teach you practical skills for giving back to the community, from fundraising to volunteer coordination.
Whether you’re passionate about education, human rights, or the environment, there are multiple career paths available in the nonprofit world. Joining a nonprofit organization can be rewarding because you can make a direct, positive impact while championing a cause that you care about.
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With an associate degree in nonprofit management, you can develop the professional competencies needed to support nonprofit organizations and make a difference.
Online Non Profit Management Associate Degrees
To succeed, nonprofit organizations need capable staff who excel at problem-solving and organization and who can pursue a strategic vision.
An online non profit management associate degree is meant to equip you with industry knowledge and essential business know-how for the nonprofit sector. Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data, nonprofit organizations contribute more than ten million jobs to the US economy.
Nonprofits are different from other organizations because of their emphasis on advancing a cause instead of increasing sales and profits. Types of nonprofit organizations include:
- Social welfare agencies
- Public schools and hospitals
- Advocacy groups
- Humanitarian aid organizations
- Charity foundations
- Animal rescue shelters
- International development programs
- Art museums
- Volunteer service centers
- Professional associations
Like regular businesses, all nonprofits need marketing, finance, operations, human resources, and strategy teams. A nonprofit management associate degree is a type of business program, so you’ll be taking classes that will expose you to how organizations run in general.
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From managing teams to understanding accounting statements, an associate degree will fill you in on the key processes behind a nonprofit. Beyond this, you’ll delve into what exactly makes nonprofits unique, with additional courses on grant writing, strategic planning, and volunteer management.
For example, most nonprofits rely on donations and funding to remain sustainable, which is why they may have a separate team that’s dedicated to fundraising. Nonprofits can also have a different business structure, with a board of directors and volunteer committees that need to be trained and supervised separately.
Since most nonprofits are tax-exempt, they tend to follow regulations that aren’t applicable to regular companies. You’ll also learn about these types of laws that apply only to nonprofits. Because all of the core courses in an associate degree are specialized, you can expect to work on plenty of case studies and group projects while you hone your business decision-making.
All in all, graduates of this non-profit management degree online or on-campus program tend to step into diverse non-profit roles, and some may use their associate to pursue a full bachelors degree later on.
Nonprofit Management Careers & Salaries
Nonprofits—including research organizations, charities, and international development programs—are thriving in the US.
With a nonprofit management associate program, the training is broad enough for you to pursue a wide variety of entry-level roles in a nonprofit. After years of experience, graduates may move on to full-fledged management roles, such as administrative manager, community service manager, and program director.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here’s the median salary data for jobs related to nonprofit management.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Public Relations Specialists||$62,800|
|Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners||$49,470|
|Community and Social Service Specialists, All Other||$47,390|
|Human Resources Assistants||$45,630|
|Social and Human Service Assistants||$37,610|
|General Office Clerks||$37,030|
Nonprofits require teams that are dedicated to management, human resources, finance, operations, and marketing. Possible roles include business development officer, social media manager, human resources specialist, project manager, finance officer, and events specialist, just to name a few.
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On the other hand, there are plenty of job titles that are unique to nonprofits. Professionals in this sector may work as volunteer coordinators, grant writers, development officers, or community organizers. Out of all nonprofit roles, management jobs tend to pay the highest. Nonprofit jobs in advertising, marketing, public relations, and community service management are especially in demand.
Non-Profit Management Associate’s Curriculum & Courses
Associates degrees for nonprofit work will likely feature the following courses:
- Nonprofit Management Fundamentals: This course gives an overview of how nonprofit organizations function, including general departments and methods for fund allocation.
- Strategic Planning: You’ll learn how to formulate an effective business strategy that takes into account a nonprofit’s mission and values while objectively assessing current performance.
- Financial Accounting: This course teaches you about the essential financial transactions in nonprofits, along with how to read and prepare documents such as cash flow statements and balance sheets.
- Law and Governance: Nonprofits operate within a unique legal environment since they’re typically tax-exempt, so you’ll tackle the important laws and regulations that nonprofits have to comply with.
- Organizational Behavior: You’ll study how people behave within a larger organization, with a focus on practical topics such as conflict resolution, performance improvement, and creating a good organizational culture.
- Volunteer Management: Most nonprofits have a constantly changing team of volunteers, so this course shows you how to recruit and train volunteers while keeping them motivated.
- Leadership Development: This course helps you identify your natural leadership style and gives you experience with managing groups.
- Grant Writing: You’ll get to practice looking for grant opportunities and writing a full grant proposal on your own, from the main abstract to a complete breakdown of project methods.
- HR Management: This course tackles the main processes of HR management for nonprofits, including recruitment, performance evaluation, compensation, and work policy development.
- Essentials of Fundraising: You’ll examine the fundraising systems for different types of nonprofits and get familiar with strategies such as crowdfunding and company partnerships.
With these courses, you can gain a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to run a nonprofit.
Associates Degree in Nonprofit Management Admissions Requirements
To apply for an associate program for nonprofit organization management, you’ll often submit these admissions requirements:
- Official high school transcript. This confirms that you’re a high school graduate.
- Minimum GPA. Many schools only accept applicants with certain GPAs, usually at 2.0 or higher.
- Personal statement. You might be asked to write about your personal background and academic achievements.
Associate programs tend to have fewer requirements than bachelor programs. Still, a smaller number of programs might require additional documents, such as recommendation letters.
With many associate programs out there for nonprofit leadership training, you can narrow down your options by only considering regionally accredited schools.
Accreditation is a sign of credibility because a school can only get accredited after its programs and facilities are thoroughly reviewed by official accrediting organizations. Many employers view degrees from accredited schools more positively. Federal financial aid is also available only for programs at accredited schools.
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If you’re planning to study for a bachelor’s degree in the future, your associate credit hours will more likely count toward your bachelors if they’re earned at an accredited school.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
It’s standard for students to look into financial aid for their associate degree. To see if you qualify for government financial aid, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form determines your eligibility for loans, grants, and work-study programs.
In addition, there are many scholarships available. Most scholarships put high importance on your achievements, but some scholarships are based on other factors, such as your financial need or intended major. Employer assistance may also be possible if you’re already working, especially if your associate degree program can help you with your current job.
What Is a Non-Profit Management Degree?
Non-profit management is a broad field that’s centered on supporting and leading nonprofit organizations, which aim to make an impact instead of maximizing profits.
Nonprofits range from startups to international organizations, including foundations, research centers, and social services. In a non-profit management associate degree program, you can explore how different types of nonprofits operate.
Your program will likely cover classes on fundraising, human resources, accounting, volunteer management, and leadership. On top of this, you can develop critical skills like strategic decision-making and planning. Graduates often work for nonprofits across various roles, from finance to human resources.
What Can You Do with an Associate Degree in Nonprofit Management?
A nonprofit management associate’s degree helps prepare you to contribute to the day-to-day workings of a nonprofit organization. Because the degree emphasizes practical skills, you can learn about the fundamentals of preparing grants, designing programs, coordinating events, and leading a team.
Some graduates go on to become community organizers, fundraisers, public relations specialists, human resources officers, or operations assistants for a nonprofit. Once you get more experience, you may take on management roles or even study for a bachelor’s degree, building on the foundation of your associate degree.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Nonprofit Management Associate’s Degree?
Students usually need to take around 60 credit hours to earn an associate degree in nonprofit management. On a full-time schedule, this will generally take 2 years to complete, but some programs may require an internship.
If you have other commitments, such as a job, you can earn your associate degree part-time. On the other hand, you can speed up your timeframe by taking classes all year round, even on summer breaks. Many online programs also offer shorter terms, with classes lasting 6 weeks to 8 weeks.
Is a Non Profit Management Associate Degree Worth It?
Yes, a non profit management associate degree is worth it for many students. Nonprofits amount to more than one million organizations nationwide. An associate degree can help train you in the business fundamentals needed to get up to speed with a nonprofit job more quickly.
After all, nonprofits have their own distinct practices, including fundraising, grant writing, and community development programs. You can get exposure to the different areas of nonprofit work early on, too, and an associate degree from an accredited school can boost your qualifications when you’re applying for jobs.
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Business and financial occupations are expected to see 8% job growth over the next ten years, and social and community service occupations are expected to grow by 12% (Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Universities Offering Online Associates in Nonprofit Management Degree Program
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Chemeketa Community College offers an Associate in Business Management. The program can typically be completed in 2 years and is designed to train students for entry-level positions. Coursework includes Business Applications Using Mathematics, Payroll, Small Business Financial Management, Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, and more.
Chemeketa Community College is accredited by the NWCCU.
Colorado Christian University offers an Associate of Science in Nonprofit Management. Courses are 5 weeks long, and most students take just one class at a time. Course options include Fiscal Management in Nonprofit Organizations, Resource Development and Marketing in Nonprofits, and Nonprofit Governance and Executive Leadership.
Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Dakota County Technical College offers an Associate of Science in Business Administration. Evening and online classes are available. Classes may be taken full-time or part-time. The program includes courses like Business Law and Ethics and Principles of Marketing. Students are also required to complete an internship. DCTC has clubs and organizations on campus for business administration students.
Dakota County Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Del Mar College offers an Associate in Arts in Business Administration that can be completed on campus or online. The coursework is designed to serve as the first 2 years of a bachelor’s degree. Graduates of the program often take entry-level positions in small businesses, corporate offices, nonprofits, and similar organizations.
Del Mar College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Houston Community College offers an AA and an AAS in Business. Both programs require 60 credit hours of coursework. Class options include Business Statistics, Business Computer Applications, and Principles of Managerial Accounting. Some courses are available online. Students are also given opportunities to earn professional certificates.
The Houston Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Indian River State College offers an AA and an AS in Business Administration. The credits earned from either degree can typically be easily transferred into bachelor’s degree programs in the state of Florida. Coursework includes Mathematics of Business, Entrepreneurship, Principles of Marketing, Business Communication, and more.
Indian River State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Minneapolis Community and Technical College offers an AAS in Business Management. MCTC offers flexible scheduling. Classes are available during the day or evening and online. The program’s curriculum was developed by professionals with real-world experience. Graduates may go on to work for businesses, government agencies, or nonprofits.
Minneapolis Community & Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Northwood Technical College offers an Associate in Nonprofit Leadership. Classes may be taken online or on campus. Field experiences are part of the program. Coursework includes Fundraising and Event Planning, Grant Writing and Management, and Recruitment and Selection. The program aims to teach students how to network, communicate professionally, and make good financial and business decisions.
Northwood Technical College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Santa Fe Community College offers an Associate in Business Administration. The program is designed to prepare students for basic administrative work in office environments and bachelor’s degree programs in business or related fields. Courses are available on campus and online, in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.
Santa Fe Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Seminole State College offers an Associate in Arts in Nonprofit Management. Students can choose from online, on-campus, and hybrid formats. All classes have fewer than 30 students. Credits can typically be easily transferred to 4 year colleges in the state of Florida. Advisors are available to help students plan their studies.
Seminole State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Getting Your Associates in Nonprofit Management Degree Online
As the nonprofit sector expands, there’s a greater need for leaders who know how to drive growth while upholding a nonprofit’s core mission and values.
A nonprofit associate degree can help you channel your passion while making concrete contributions to a cause that you care deeply about. You can learn the essentials of designing strategic plans, communicating with stakeholders, and gathering funding.
Whether you’re looking to launch a nonprofit career or advance in your current work, you can start exploring accredited schools that offer online associate degrees in nonprofit management today.