If you want to take on a leadership role in purpose-driven organizations, then a nonprofit management degree program might be a good fit for you.
Nonprofits span a wide range of advocacies, from promoting art and culture to campaigning for human rights. Whether they’re startups or international groups, nonprofits have distinct organizational models that are different from regular companies.
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A nonprofit management degree program can help you gain fundamental business and administration skills that can be applied to causes that you’re passionate about.
Online Nonprofit Management Degrees
A nonprofit management degree program prepares students to supervise and handle the business affairs of nonprofit organizations.
What sets nonprofits apart is that they prioritize making a positive impact and contributing to the common good over maximizing profit. Any money earned is reused by the organization to further its mission instead of being distributed back to the company owners and shareholders.
Here are some examples of various types of nonprofits:
- Public hospitals
- Volunteer organizations
- Charity foundations
- Social advocacy groups
- Public schools
- Animal welfare organizations
- Labor organizations
- Humanitarian programs
Most nonprofit management programs provide a comprehensive overview of the different areas of the nonprofit industry, including how nonprofits operate on a day-to-day basis.
Nonprofit management programs often feature diverse classes that tackle:
- Human resource management
- Business analysis
- Program evaluation.
This is because nonprofit managers can take on a variety of responsibilities that are related to a nonprofit’s business functions.
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Depending on where they work, they might be in charge of coordinating with donors, designing social service programs, hosting events, training volunteers, or managing expenses. All in all, you can think of a nonprofit management program as similar to a business degree but focused on the nonprofit sector.
Many of the skills that can be learned in these programs, such as project management and basic accounting, can pay off in other fields as well. It’s possible for nonprofit management graduates to apply their business training in the private sector too. Still, nonprofits have different internal structures and policies compared to regular companies.
Nonprofit management majors typically study topics that aren’t tackled in many other business programs, such as:
- Social entrepreneurship
- Grant writing
- Community development
To cap off a nonprofit management program, you’ll likely take on an internship and get to work directly with a nonprofit. While there are management degree programs that offer nonprofit management as a specialization, a full-fledged nonprofit management degree offers more in-depth training in the field.
Non Profit Management Careers & Salaries
Nonprofit management graduates may take on roles that involve key business functions, like marketing, operations, event coordination, human resources, and budgeting. At the same time, they may work for a wide variety of nonprofit organizations.
They can often pursue jobs in philanthropic organizations, charities, youth services, international development programs, and healthcare groups. For example, a nonprofit management graduate might become a public relations specialist for a foundation. Another career path could involve analyzing policies and programs for government agencies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the yearly median salaries of some of the top careers related to nonprofit management.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers||$133,380|
|Human Resources Managers||$126,230|
|Training and Development Managers
|Public Relations and Fundraising Managers||$119,860|
|Social and Community Service Managers||$74,000|
|Public Relations Specialists||$62,800|
|Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners||$49,470|
Even with a nonprofit management degree, it can still take at least a few years to reach senior management positions. Getting a specific job role doesn’t guarantee a salary, either. Out of the careers on this list, fundraising managers and social and community service managers are among the most in-demand.
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The nonprofit industry is a huge sector, with millions of jobs across the country. Because of this, there are a number of opportunities that nonprofit management graduates can explore.
Nonprofit Management Bachelor’s Curriculum & Courses
Here are some courses that you’ll likely come across in a nonprofit management program:
- Introduction to Nonprofits: This course gives an overview of the major types of nonprofit organizations in the country, along with their internal functions and management structures.
- Resource Development in Nonprofits: This class explores different marketing practices for nonprofits and fundraising models, including crowdfunding and special events.
- Grant Writing: This course covers how to write effective grant proposals, from choosing the right grant opportunities to describing the scope and budget.
- Leadership and Management: This class examines how leadership works in organizations through the lens of motivational theory, with topics like group dynamics and negotiation.
- Elements of Nonprofit Management: This course examines leadership strategies for nonprofit organizations as well as common management scenarios and important staff and board roles.
- Nonprofit Law: This class discusses the legal policies that affect various types of nonprofit organizations, including laws on intellectual property and employee relations.
- Financial Management in Nonprofits: This course analyzes how nonprofits handle financial planning, covering accounting principles like budgeting and compliance.
- Business Analytics for Nonprofits: This class discusses how to gather, analyze, and store data to track performance and improve the management of nonprofit organizations.
- Nonprofit Program Evaluation: This course covers how to design and conduct evaluations for determining the effectiveness of programs and policies.
- Research Methods in Public Administration: In this course, you’ll likely be asked to work on independent research projects for relevant issues in the public and nonprofit sectors.
Most of these courses emphasize practice, so you’ll likely do plenty of case studies and group projects throughout the program.
How to Choose an Online Degree in Non Profit Management Program
When you’re looking at nonprofit organization management programs, you may want to keep these points in mind:
- School credentials. Attending an accredited school helps to ensure that your online degree will be seen as valid. It’s also advantageous to go with schools that have long-established nonprofit management programs. You can check the professors and staff to see their credentials in the nonprofit field.
- Coursework. Most degree programs in nonprofit management offer electives, while some even have specializations. Before you apply for a program, you may want to get a list of the coursework and see if it matches up with your interests.
- Online format. Even among online degrees in nonprofit management, you might encounter various formats. For example, some online programs are 100% online, while others might require you to be on campus for several days at a time.
- Student resources. Some programs offer plenty of internship and career resources. For a career in nonprofit management, having work experience can be very helpful in getting your first job.
- Tuition. Online programs tend to cost less than on-site programs, but tuition fees can still vary widely. You can compare the cost per credit between schools as well as any miscellaneous fees. Some schools even offer their own scholarships to lighten the load.
Most schools have online orientations so you can ask questions and get a feel for whether you’d like to study there.
These are some of the typical requirements you’ll come across when you’re applying for a nonprofit leadership and management degree program:
- High school transcripts. Most programs have a minimum GPA that they’re looking for.
- Standardized test scores. It’s still standard for most schools to check your official SAT or ACT scores, though a growing number of schools no longer require them.
- Recommendation letters. These are typically written by your teachers, mentors, or high school counselors.
- Application essay. The school will usually give you a set of questions to answer with an essay.
It’s beneficial to check the specific admissions requirements and deadlines for each of your prospective schools.
Non-Profit Management Degree Programs Accreditation
With plenty of online management degree programs out there, one way to start narrowing down your choices is by only considering schools with regional accreditation.
Schools are awarded regional accreditation after going through a thorough assessment that ensures they’re providing quality education. To learn more about the accreditation process, you can visit the US Department of Education’s website.
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Accreditation also helps to ensure that you can apply for government financial aid. Some employers assess the validity of your degree based on accreditation. Plus, you can typically transfer accredited credits more smoothly in case you want to change schools or pursue a graduate degree.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
To try and make your college tuition more affordable, you can explore your financial aid options. To apply for government aid, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Federal aid includes loans, grants, and work-study programs. Loans are widely available to students who qualify, while grants are less common because they don’t need to be repaid. Funds are often awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so it helps to apply early on. Aside from these, many schools and external organizations offer scholarships based on merit as well as need.
What Is Nonprofit Management?
Nonprofit management is a specialty that involves running the day-to-day operations and conducting strategic planning for nonprofit organizations.
Nonprofit managers may use similar business strategies as their peers in regular companies. Instead of prioritizing profit increase, though, their focus is on increasing funding for causes and maximizing the impact of their projects. Nonprofit managers need a variety of skills, from team-building to grant writing and budgeting.
In smaller companies, nonprofit managers may juggle several roles at the same time. In larger nonprofits, they may specialize in key areas, such as operations, human resources, or fundraising.
What Can You Do with a Non Profit Management Degree?
Nonprofits span a wide range of organizations, from museums to public charities and international development groups. There are several kinds of leadership positions available in these organizations.
Nonprofit management graduates may become project coordinators, volunteer supervisors, and fundraising directors, just to name a few job titles. Alternatively, they may take on other business-oriented roles, such as public relations and financial analysis roles for nonprofits.
Aside from these, nonprofit management graduates can also work in the private sector. Most of the business skills you can develop can be applied to organizations of all types.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor Degree in Nonprofit Management Online?
If you stick with a traditional, full-time schedule, you’ll generally be able to finish your online degree in 4 years. A standard bachelor’s degree in nonprofit management has around 120 credits, which includes general education and major core subjects.
Your timeframe can depend, though, on the number of classes you’re taking at a time. If you fast-track your courses and study all year round, then you might finish sooner. Some online programs even offer shorter 6 week classes or 8 week classes. On the other hand, if you study part-time, it will often take you longer to complete your degree.
Is a Bachelors Degree in Nonprofit Management Worth It?
Yes, a bachelors degree in nonprofit management is worth it for many students. For one, your degree can potentially give you an edge when you’re applying for a role in the nonprofit sector. You might find meaning and fulfillment in working for organizations that align with your values. Many nonprofit administration jobs are also in demand.
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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for management jobs in social service as well as fundraising and public relations is growing faster than average, with growth rates of 15% and 13% respectively. Beyond the nonprofit sector, your degree can also allow you to pursue business and management roles in other industries.
Universities Offering Online Bachelors 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.
Bay Path University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business in Nonprofit Management. This program aims to teach students how to apply business principles to human and social services. Coursework includes Introduction to Financial Accounting, Introduction to Managerial Accounting, Legal Environments of Business, Principles of Marketing, and more.
Bay Path University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Colorado Christian University offers a Bachelor of Science in Nonprofit Management. The program’s courses are each 5 weeks long, and students take one course at a time. Courses include Grant Writing, Fiscal Management in Nonprofit Organizations, and Nonprofit Law. This Christ-centered program is designed for adult learners with other commitments.
Colorado Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Eastern Florida State College offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Management with a Nonprofit Management track. The degree can be earned on campus or online. Coursework includes Accounting for Managers, Legal, Ethical, and Social Aspects of Business, Resource Development in the Nonprofit Sector, and more.
Eastern Florida State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Huntington University offers an online program for a Bachelor’s in Not-for-Profit Leadership. Huntington provides small class sizes and a supportive community, and the curriculum is built on biblical and Christian principles. The program covers financial management, grant writing, public policy, leadership, and related topics, and its instructors have professional experience in the field.
Huntington University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Lakeland University offers a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management. Evening, online, and traditional classes are available. Co-ops and internship placements are available to help students gain real-world experience. Courses include Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations, Financial Accounting Principles, and Marketing Principles.
Lakeland University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
LeTourneau University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Business Administration: Non-Profit Management. This Christian program promotes ethics and socially responsible leadership.
The program offers opportunities to participate in an internship and study topics such as fundraising, law, and finance. It aims to help students learn how to use their understanding of business principles to make a positive difference in the world.
LeTourneau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
North Park University offers a BA in Nonprofit Management. Classes are available online and at two different campus locations. Each class is just 7 weeks long, and classes start every two months. Most students take at least six courses per year. The program includes courses such as Business Communications, Leadership and Management, and Principles of Marketing.
North Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Southern New Hampshire University offers an online program for a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. Courses include Human Resource Management, Social Environment of Business, and Organizational Behavior. SAT and ACT scores are not needed to apply.
Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Toccoa Falls College is a Christian school that offers an online program for a Bachelor’s in Nonprofit Business Administration. This program requires the completion of 126 credit hours, 30 of which are Bible and theology courses. The curriculum includes courses such as Principles of Accounting, Servant Leadership, Nonprofit Marketing, and Nonprofit Law and Governance.
Toccoa Falls College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
U.S. News & World Report named the University of Central Florida one of the Most Innovative Colleges. Students can earn a BS in Nonprofit Management online through UCF. Students may take courses fully online or in a hybrid format. The program can typically be completed in 4 years. There are 3 start dates offered each year.
The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Getting Your Bachelors in Nonprofit Management Degree Online
Effective leaders who can inspire people and drive operations to help nonprofit organizations thrive.
A degree in nonprofit management can help you get closer to your career goals, enhance your leadership skills, and give you the opportunity to meet others in the industry.
There are a number of options to pursue a bachelors or a masters degree in nonprofit management online. To get started, you can explore accredited schools around the country to find the program that most appeals to you and start planning for your education in nonprofit management.