Masters in Nonprofit Management Online
Earning a masters in nonprofit management online, you could study how to create and apply strategies for nonprofit organizations through a flexible and convenient format. Typically, courses focus on improving leadership and decision-making skills specific to nonprofit management. This is through analyzing case studies, exploring theories, and applying methods to real-world challenges. And because lectures and coursework are accessible online, you could do all this from the comfort of your home.
What is Nonprofit Management?
Nonprofit management comprises of the day-to-day processes of helping nonprofits function and achieve their goals. Similar to business management, it involves administrative tasks such as hiring staff, managing budgets, and checking performance. However, because nonprofits rely heavily on donations, nonprofit management also might involve organizing fundraising events, community outreach, and contacting donors. Typically, nonprofit managers also study data to measure program value and write grant proposals.[i]
Masters in Nonprofit Management Online Basics
Typically, full-time students can earn an online masters degree in nonprofit administration in two years. However this depends on a school’s make-up and when courses are available. Most schools also offer a part-time option, which normally takes longer. This, combined with the online format, might make it easier for students to maintain their career while pursuing their education.
To apply to an online masters in nonprofit management program, most schools ask that you’ve earned a bachelors degree from an accredited university. Some schools also ask that you earned a minimum GPA, typically 2.3 or higher. However, each school has their own admissions rules, so follow up with each school for details.
Choosing to earn your degree online may provide more freedom and flexibility than a traditional, on-campus format. That’s because many schools allow students to access lectures and course materials whenever is best for them. Some programs may even have rolling start dates. This could allow you to start earning your nonprofit masters degree online as soon as possible. Each program may have additional student services, like 24/7 tech support and access to campus facilities. Check with schools for details.
Online Masters in Nonprofit Management: Different Degree Types
Typically, there are four types of online masters in nonprofit management degrees. While each have a similar overall focus, and are academically equal, they are also unique in a number of ways. Mainly, these are the roles they may prepare you for and their approach to the subject matter.
Did You Know? Nearly 10% of donations to charities came from mobile devices. Plus, 16% of donors who donate through email are doing so through their device.
For a brief description of the four types of online masters in nonprofit administration degrees, check out the list shown here.
- Online Master of Arts (MA): While pursuing an online MA in nonprofit management degree, courses use a broad-spectrum approach. This has the goal of deepening a students’ theoretical grasp of nonprofit management.
- Online Master of Science (MS): As opposed to theories, MS degrees typically highlight the technical aspects. Courses may be more specialized and teach how to apply theories to nonprofits.
- Online Master of Business Administration (MBA): Most online MBA programs provide theoretical and concrete training to improve your sense of business management. Programs look at broad business topics like finance, marketing, and HR management, as well specialized courses in nonprofit management.
- Online Master of Public Administration (MPA): An MPA is often described as an MBA for nonprofit and governmental work. Therefore, courses may be similar, but teach how to apply methods to the public sector.
What’s the Difference Between Nonprofit Administration and Public Administration?
The difference between nonprofit administration and public administration is the focus of the program. Nonprofit administration looks at direct service and organizational management. On the other hand, public administration is geared more to solving societal problems through government programs. Typically, nonprofit administration is focused on improving plans and results. Public administration is more focused on analysis and review. Classes in an online MPA program may focus more on public administration. Other degree types may offer courses which touch on both. Programs vary so follow up with schools for details.
Common Courses While Earn a Masters in Nonprofit Management Online
Online masters in nonprofit management programs explore the various processes of mission-based groups. Typically, this involves courses in theory and context, leadership and management, and analytics. This could help students shape critical skills and knowledge to run complex nonprofits.
Some common courses you may take while earning an online masters in nonprofit management are listed here.
- The Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy: This course covers the relationship between nonprofits and the government. Typically, this also includes the role of philanthropy and the implications for management.
- Nonprofit Management and Leadership: Students study the nuts and bolts of nonprofit management. Some topics are the roles of the board of directors, aspects of nonprofit board governance, and changes in national and state legislation.
- Policy and Program Evaluation: During this course, students explore methods and models to measure program success. Topics cover examining data and how to adapt strategies based on performance.
- Organizational Behavior and Leadership: This class looks at the principles of organizational behavior and leadership. This involves studying the design, operation, and performance of each person inside of a nonprofit.
- Recruiting and Coaching Volunteers: Many nonprofits rely on volunteers. Therefore, this course teaches the legal issues in recruiting and screening volunteers, as well as improving skills to gain on-going commitments.
In addition to online lectures and readings, many masters in nonprofit management online classes use multimedia such as infographics and webinars. Some programs also have online discussion groups. These groups may provide more honest and open discussions because shy students may share more. This also provides a chance for more intense discussions as students have more time to think about and express their opinions.
Keep in mind that each school is unique. Curricula and online models vary. To find a perfect fit for your goals, check out a few schools.
What is the NASPAA Accrediting Agency?
The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) is the global standard in public service education. Its members consist of graduate programs in public policy, public affairs, public administration, and nonprofit management. NASPAA’s Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) is the accrediting body of master’s programs in the field. It is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. COPRA creates standards for masters programs by endorsing a modern course of study. One way to judge the quality of an online masters in nonprofit administration program may be to look for this accreditation.
Possible Careers in Nonprofit Administration
After earning your online masters in nonprofit management, there may be a number of careers you might pursue. Typically, these roles are in leadership and management, and oversee the administrative parts of organizations.i Responsibilities may also include creating fundraising plans and objectives.[ii]
Some jobs, and their 2015 median annual salary, are listed below.
- Social and Community Service Managers: $63,530[iii]
- Human Resources Managers: $104,440[iv]
- General and Operations Managers: $97,730[v]
- Administrative Services Managers: $86,110[vi]
- Public Relations and Fundraising Managers: $104,140[vii]
Most of these careers ask that candidates have a bachelors degree for entry-level positions. However, some roles and organizations prefer candidates with a masters degree.[viii] Earning your masters in nonprofit management online may just be the boost you need!
Masters in Nonprofit Management Online: Take the Next Step!
Are you interested in helping nonprofit organizations create and roll out successful plans? Then take the next step to find a perfect masters in nonprofit management online program for you! Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to read program descriptions and learn about courses and admissions rules. When you find schools that seem like a match, reach out to them 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/ooh/management/social-and-community-service-managers.htm#tab-5 | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/management/human-resources-managers.htm#tab-5 | [v] bls.gov/oes/current/oes111021.htm | [vi] bls.gov/ooh/management/administrative-services-managers.htm#tab-5 | [vii] bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm#tab-5 | [viii] bls.gov/ooh/management/public-relations-managers.htm#tab-4
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