| | |

Grad Program: Non-Profit Management

Basic Information

Interested in social change? A degree in non-profit management can help you put your ideals into action.

Running a non-profit requires many of the same skills needed to run a business. You’ll need to raise capital, manage your organization for maximum cost efficiency, and effectively deliver a service to your “clients”. Management skills and financial savvy are even more essential in today’s tough economic climate.

The non-profit management curriculum is wide-ranging. You’ll be trained in core business skills like accounting, finance, human resources and management. You’ll also take classes specific to the non-profit world, such as fundraising, financial management of non-profits, board governance, and social entrepreneurship. Some programs offer training in public policy and related disciplines. There is a strong emphasis on hands-on learning, and you’re likely to spend a significant amount of time working with local organizations.

Students who pursue this specialty come from a variety of backgrounds. Some have business experience and are looking to translate their skills to the non-profit world. Others have a background in activism, social services or philanthropy, and are looking for the financial and managerial knowledge to implement their ideas more effectively.

A degree in non-profit management will prepare you to succeed at any organization that works for the public good.

Degree Information

If you’re looking for a strong grounding in business principles, consider an MBA with a concentration in non-profit management. These programs are generally two years long. You’ll spend the first year developing general business skills and the second year learning to apply those skills in a non-profit context.

Many graduate and business schools offer an MS in non-profit management. This degree has less of a focus on general business skills, and can often be completed in less time than an MBA. It’s ideal for mid-career professionals.

A Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) in non-profit management is usually offered through public policy schools, and has a stronger focus on politics and government. More about the MPA degree.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program
  • Is the degree designed for those with non-profit experience, or those new to the field?
  • What are faculty members’ areas of expertise?
  • What opportunities are available to gain hands-on experience with local or national non-profits?
  • Is it possibility to specialize in a sub-field like fundraising or marketing?
If you are interested in Non-Profit Management, you might also like ...

Ask an Educational Advisor