Tennessee Nonprofit Management Masters Degree Schools

Masters in nonprofit management schools may allow you to explore the many parts that make up successful nonprofits, in a classroom filled with your peers. Typically, topics include managerial tasks, such as creating strategies and overseeing staff. Classes also cover fiscal responsibilities, like managing budgets and meeting fundraising goals. Therefore, attending masters in nonprofit school could help you develop the skills and knowledge to ensure nonprofits and mission-based organizations reach their goals.

Masters in Nonprofit Management Schools

Did You Know? In 2014, 31% of all giving happened in December. And 12% happened during the last three days of the year.

Masters in Nonprofit Management Schools: Basics

Masters in nonprofit management schools seek to equip students with a complete understanding of nonprofit management. Nonprofit administration is a broad term that covers the many pieces of ensuring an organization meets its responsibilities. This could involve organizing events, managing personnel, and providing beneficial programs and services. Masters in nonprofit administration schools also cover data analysis to measure performance and creating long term strategies to meet the goals of stakeholders.[i] Finally, because nonprofits rely on donations, masters programs may explore the many aspects of fundraising such as organizing events, community outreach, and contacting donors.

Most full-time students earn their masters degree in nonprofit management in two years. However, this may vary from school to school and is based on course availability. Part-time students may take longer.

Earning a Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management On Campus

While earning your degree on campus, classes meet at a specific time and place. Some schools offer evening classes to accommodate working students. This allows for face-to-face interactions and may help develop deeper relationships with classmates and professors. Spending time on campus could be a great opportunity to network, or practice the management and interpersonal skills explored in class. Plus, many professors hold office hours for students to get questions answered, or simply discuss the nonprofit industry.

Students may also have access to helpful campus facilities, such as libraries, career services or campus events. Some schools may have relationships or programs with local nonprofits to help you continue your studies. However, every school is different, so follow up directly for details.

Applying to Masters in Nonprofit Management Schools

While applying to masters in nonprofit management schools, remember that every program has their own admissions requirements. Typically, you need to have earned a bachelors degree from an accredited university. Most schools also ask that you submit an application and your transcripts. Some schools have additional rules, such as those in the list below.

  • Interview
  • Personal Statement
  • Resume
  • GRE or GMAT Scores
  • Letters of Recommendation

Masters in Nonprofit Management Schools: Different Degree Types

Masters in non-profit management schools typically offer one of four degree types. They all aim to teach fiscal management and administrative tasks essential to leading a successful non-profit. But while there are many similarities, each type may have a different focus. For a brief description of the four types, check out the list shown here.

  • Master of Arts (MA): While pursuing an MA, most programs focus on the theoretical aspects of non-profit management. Therefore, courses are more research and writing based.
  • Master of Science (MS): MS programs are more technical and seek to develop a student’s on-the-job skills. Often, this is through the application of non-profit administration best practices and techniques.
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA): Most MPA in nonprofit management programs focus on teaching and developing research, writing, and critical analysis skills as they apply to public policy. These are sometimes referred to as the MBA of the public sector.
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA): MBA programs focus on essential business practices and may be great for students seeking a broader business approach to non-profit management. Typically, these programs ask that applicants have some professional experience.

Common Courses at Masters in Nonprofit Administration Schools

Masters in nonprofit management courses attempt to provide a well-rounded overview of running effective nonprofits. Below are some specific courses you might take while attending masters in nonprofit management schools.

  • Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations: This course explores the use of financial analytical tools to understand key concepts of financial management for nonprofit organizations.
  • Strategic Management of Public and Nonprofit Organizations: During this course, you may analyze the concepts and cases associated with the development and implementation of successful strategies in the public sector.
  • Performance Measurement and Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Healthcare Organizations: This class examines different legal and regulatory performance measures and how they should be created and monitored.
  • Managing Public Service Organizations: Through this course, you could develop your management and leadership skills. You might study how to diagnose and solve organizational problems or how to influence the actions of others.
  • Statistical Methods for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Management: Students study basic statistical methods and how to apply them to management and financial decision-making in this class.

These are just an example of some of the courses you may take while pursuing your masters in nonprofit administration. Other courses may include some from the list shown here.

  • Fund Development for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Nonprofit Management and Governance
  • Labor Relations in the Public Sector
  • Human Resources Management in Nonprofit Organizations
  • Managing Workforce Diversity in Public Organizations

To find a perfect masters in nonprofit management school for you, check out a few schools to see their required and elective courses. That way you can identify those that match your interests and goals.

What is a Stakeholder?

Nonprofits are owned by stakeholders, making them are a big piece of nonprofit management. This is unlike a for-profit or S-corporation, which is owned by shareholders. Stakeholders may be anyone who has a stake in the successful operation of the nonprofit. This can include board members or those who benefit from the organization. However, unlike shareholders, they have no legal ability to profit from the nonprofit corporation.

Masters in nonprofit administration courses may focus on developing reports for stakeholders, and effectively communicating results. Classes may also examine how to manage these relationships and create strategies to meet stakeholder goals.

Potential Careers in Nonprofit Administration

After earning your masters degree in nonprofit administration, there are a number of roles you may wish to pursue. Most of these are management jobs where you may assign and supervise activities of staff members. You may also identify and contact prospective donors and meet face-to-face with large contributors.

Some of these positions, as well as their median salary in 2015, include those on the following list.

  • General and Operations Managers: $97,730[iii]
  • Administrative Services Managers: $86,110[iv]
  • Public Relations and Fundraising Managers: $104,140[v]
  • Social and Community Service Managers: $63,530[vi]
  • Human Resources Managers: $104,440[vii]

Most of these jobs look for candidates who have a bachelors degree for entry-level positions. However, some companies look to fill these roles with those with a number of years of experience and a masters degree.[viii] Your pursuit of higher education may help you enhance your career or stand out from the pack.

Take the Next Step!

Are you interested in learning how to help nonprofits? Find a perfect masters in nonprofit management school for you. Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to learn more about each program. You can read program descriptions and see specific courses. You can even reach out to the schools that seem like a great fit directly to request more information.


Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-2 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm#tab-2 | [iii] bls.gov/oes/current/oes111021.htm | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/management/administrative-services-managers.htm#tab-5 | [v] bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm#tab-5 | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-5 | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm#tab-5 | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm#tab-4

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