Nonprofit Management Graduate Programs Online

Nonprofit management graduate programs explore the managerial tasks involved in running a successful nonprofit organization, with courses delivered through a convenient and flexible format. Topics include budgeting, hiring staff and volunteers, and fundraising. Other courses may explore the analysis and presentation of data to stakeholders to show the value of programs. Plus, by choosing to earn your nonprofit management graduate degree online, you may gain the freedom and flexibility to perform coursework around your busy schedule.

Did You Know?

American individuals, corporations, and foundations gave an estimated $335 billion to charity in 2015.

What Does Nonprofit Administration Consist Of?

Nonprofit administration involves the day-to-day processes of operating nonprofits. Some of these are listed here.

  • Creating strategic plans
  • Structuring board meetings
  • Hiring staff and volunteers
  • Speaking to community groups to explain goals
  • Analyzing community needs to determine program objectives[i]

Nonprofits are similar to for-profit businesses, in that both need to provide services and operate to sustain long-term success. However, there are many differences. The largest is the securing of funds. Donations cover most of a nonprofit’s finances. As a result, some activities involve organizing fundraising events, creating budgets, and writing proposals for government grants. Online nonprofit management graduate programs may prepare you to take on these, and other tasks.

Earning an Nonprofit Management Graduate Degree Online: Basics

While earning a nonprofit management graduate degree online, programs look at theories and best practices to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of nonprofits. In addition to the above, topics may include policy, tax, law, and regulatory issues. As competition in the nonprofit sector continues to increase, courses may also focus increasingly on improving management skills.

Choosing to earn your online degree in nonprofit management may provide unique advantages. First, you may be able to access your coursework when and where is most convenient. This could allow you to continue to work or maintain other responsibilities while enhancing your education. Plus, by earning your degree online, you may be developing relationships with people from all across the country, or even around the world. This may help develop interpersonal skills that are important to nonprofit management, as well as the ability to work with people from many different cultures.

Online Nonprofit Management Degree Levels

Typically, there are three levels of online nonprofit management graduate degrees available. Each of these levels may cover similar topics. However, the depth of study may vary. Also, there are different admissions and graduation requirements for each level. Check out the different levels of online nonprofit management degrees below to find a great match for you.

Nonprofit Administration Certificate Programs Online

Certificates are shorter, non-degree programs aimed at exploring a particular topic or trend. Typically, they strive to provide analytical skills and an understanding of policy issues. Most programs consist four to eight classes. Due to this focused coursework, students could expect to complete a certificate program in one to two years. To apply, most certificate programs in nonprofit management ask that you’ve earned a bachelors degree from an accredited university with a 2.3 GPA or higher. Programs vary.

As many certificate programs are designed for part-time students who work full-time, an online nonprofit administration certificate program may be a perfect option. The online format may provide even more flexibility to perform coursework around your busy schedule.

Online Masters Degree Programs in Nonprofit Management

Masters in non profit management online programs strive to provide a comprehensive overview of leadership and management knowledge targeted at the nonprofit field. Typically, this is through studying best practices, national and international trends, and analyzing social and cultural changes. Most students complete this coursework in two to three years. However, it may take longer for part-time students.

Many online masters in nonprofit management, ask that you have a bachelors degree from an approved university with a minimum GPA. However, most MBA in nonprofit management programs require you have two or more years of professional experience. The other degree types, which include Master of Public Administration (MPA), MS and MA in nonprofit management, may not have the same rules. Check with schools for details.

Doctorate Degree in Nonprofit Management Online

An online PhD in nonprofit management is the terminal degree in the field. That means it is the highest degree you can earn. Typically, PhD programs require more critical analysis, research, and writing than other degree levels. For example, to earn your PhD, most programs ask that you propose, write, present, and defend a dissertation. This shows that you grasp theories and best practices. It also could allow you to contribute to the field with your own research.

Most schools require a masters degree from an approved university for admission. Additional rules may include a minimum graduate GPA of 3.0 or higher. While there are some PhD programs made for full-time students, most are for part-time students. Therefore, most students earn their PhD in two to five years. However, each school is unique.

Top States for Employment for Social and Community Service Managers
StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
New York12,560$82,190

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Nonprofit Administration Online Courses

Nonprofit management courses cover a wide variety of topics, including creating fundraising plans, budgets and long-term strategies, as well as the management of staff and volunteers. Each of these functions help create places for staff to thrive.

Some of the common nonprofit management courses are listed here.

  • Nonprofit Financial Management: This course looks at the financial aspects of running a nonprofit. Subjects involve cash-flow analysis, budgeting, cost accounting, and others.
  • Fundraising Fundamentals for Nonprofits: During this course, students could examine fundraising terms, concepts, and plans. Through role-playing and case studies, students might also develop relationship building skills.
  • Nonprofit Governance: Every nonprofit has a governing body making sure that their community is served properly. This course teaches how to create, manage, and work with the governing body.
  • Philanthropy and Grant Making: During this class, students may explore the history, economics, and practice of grant making. This involves looking at philanthropy from a multidisciplinary perspective.
  • Strategic Planning Management: This class looks at the theories of strategic planning and management. Some topics are SWOT analysis, creating plans, and environmental scans.

Each school may have their own required and elective courses. This is based on the level of degree you pursue as well. For instance, a PhD Nonprofit Governance course may require more research and critical analysis than certificate level course with the same name. To find a program that matches your goals, research a few schools.

Schools with Online Nonprofit Administration Graduate Programs

ProgramInstitutionDegree Awarded
Master of Nonprofit ManagementRegis UniversityMNM
Non-Profit Leadership (MBA)New England CollegeMSC
M.A. in Social ImpactClaremont Lincoln UniversityMA
Master of Arts in Management – FundraisingAvila UniversityN/A
MS Nonprofit ManagementRobert Morris UniversityMS
Master of Public Administration Non-Profit area of focus (MPA)Arkansas State UniversityMPA
Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Fundraising LeadershipPennsylvania State UniversityN/A
Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit LeadershipGrand Valley State UniversityN/A
Master of Science in Organizational Leadership – Nonprofit ManagementNorthcentral UniversityMS
MBA – Nonprofit Leadership ConcentrationRockhurst UniversityMBA
Master of Public Administration: Nonprofit Sector ManagementCalifornia State University, NorthridgeMS

Potential Nonprofit Management Careers

After earning your graduate degree in nonprofit management, many careers you pursue may be leadership roles. Most of these require a bachelors degree and a couple years of experience. However, some organizations search for candidates with a masters degree.[ii]

Example careers in nonprofit management, and their 2015 median annual salary, are listed here.

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

You may also wish to pursue a job as a postsecondary teacher, which is distinct from the other roles above. In this case, universities normally seek candidates with a PhD in their respected field.[vii] Here the main tasks could include creating lessons and assignments, as well as attempting to publish new research.[viii] The median annual salary for a postsecondary teacher in 2015 was $72,470.[ix]

Online Nonprofit Administration Grad Programs

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Social and Community Service Managers
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
Killeen-Temple, TX$91,54050
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV$89,9402,530
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA$87,00010,700
Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ$84,920120
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$84,600830

Bureau of Labor Statistics Offers 30 Online Non-profit Administration Graduate Programs

Do you want to help create plans for successful nonprofits? Take the next step to earn your online nonprofit management graduate degree. Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page. There, you will find program descriptions, a list of courses, and admissions rules. You can even reach out to the schools you like directly to request more information.

[i] | [ii] | [iii] | [iv] | [v] | [vi] | [vii] | [viii] | [ix]

  • Northcentral University

  • Grand Canyon University

  • Rockhurst University

  • California State University, Northridge

  • Ellis University

  • California State University, Dominguez Hills

  • University of Louisiana At Monroe

  • University of North Texas

  • University of Northern Iowa

  • University of Maryland University College

  • La Salle University

  • Minnesota State University - Mankato