For professionals in the nonprofit world a few years out of college, an online graduate certificate in nonprofit management can be a quick, inexpensive way to learn new tools and resources, as well as develop their leadership skills. Over the course of a few months or a year, they can study topics in financial management, fundraising, grant and report writing, and human resources management. This can help them advance into a higher positions and possibly even earn more pay. The certificate can also benefit professionals in related fields looking to make the switch to nonprofit management gain the necessary skill set.
Types of Nonprofit Management Certificates
A graduate certificate in nonprofit management might be for you if you’re a nonprofit professional looking to gain a high level of management expertise and learn how to manage people and programs more effectively, in a quicker and more affordable way than earning a master’s degree in nonprofit management . It could also help you transition into the nonprofit sector at the management level. These programs are geared towards a number of different professions, such as executive directors, managers, program staff, board members, and volunteers, working in a variety of nonprofit settings, including healthcare, religion, social service, the environment, education, the arts, or international relief. To apply to online certificate programs in nonprofit management, you typically need:
- Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Statement of purpose
- Professional resume
Graduate certificates in nonprofit management usually take about a year to complete. Students can expect to study case studies and participate in group or individual projects and class discussions, conducted virtually via message boards, live chats, and email. Courses might include topics in collaborative governance, organizational dynamics and leadership, public policy processes and strategies, research methods, economic analysis, and ethics. Students may also be trained in financial management, grant and report writing, budgeting, and fundraising. To demonstrate their understanding of the material learned, students are usually required to complete a capstone, in which they apply concepts and methods of public affairs and nonprofit management to public policy or management problems.
What’s Next for Certificate Holders?
A graduate certificate in nonprofit management prepares professionals to lead nonprofit organizations, large and small. Those already working in nonprofit management may look to advance, while those outside may look to enter it. Potential areas of employment within the nonprofit sector include health, the arts, the environment, public policy, social service, and education, and potential job titles relevant to these fields include assistant or associate directors of nonprofits, consultants, and program managers.
A graduate certificate may also be the first step towards an advanced education. After gaining skills in areas like strategic management, organizational behavior, public policy, or quantitative research, students may decide to further develop and investigate these skills through a master’s or Ph.D. in nonprofit management. These degrees can lead to further advancement in the field, give students the tools to launch their own nonprofit, or encourage them to stay in academia as researchers and teachers, further advancing the field and educating the next generation of nonprofit management professionals and experts.