Best Online MBA in Nonprofit Management Programs

The Master of Business Administration (MBA for short) is the most popular degree track among today’s graduate students. During the 2013-14 academic year alone, roughly 190,000 master’s degrees in business were conferred to students throughout the U.S. The MBA is designed to prepare students for managerial roles in today’s business sector. Students in this degree pathway will sharpen their skills and knowledge of accounting and finance, marketing, human resources, supply chain management, office administration and other key areas of business leadership. A large number of colleges and universities allow MBA students to focus their studies on niche areas of business administration; these concentrated pathways are called ‘specializations’.

The field of ‘nonprofit management’ is a popular specialization choice among MBA students who plan to lead charities, foundations, and other organizations that strive to address social causes without generating profits or dividends for shareholders. MBA in nonprofit management degree programs cover the ethical and legal guidelines for these organizations, as well as various strategies for nonprofit success. Additional courses will build skills and knowledge in finance, HR, logistics, and other core business subjects. MBA programs often culminate in a comprehensive capstone project; an onsite internship may be required, as well. Many of today’s students are choosing to earn their MBA in nonprofit management online, rather than in a classroom. Web-based students follow the same rigorous curricula as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, leading to a comparable number of post-graduation job opportunities. The asynchronous (or self-paced) format of most online MBA in nonprofit management programs is also ideal for students with other commitments that may interfere with campus-based education, such as part-time employment or family obligations.

Learn more about what you can do with an online MBA in nonprofit management and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

WILL AN ONLINE MBA IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

An MBA in nonprofit management will prepare students for the unique challenges of running and leading a not-for-profit organization, as well as the expected demands of any business management career. Areas of focus include brand-building and fundraising methods, capacity-building, cross-sector collaboration, and personnel development. Along the way, students will bolster their skills in communication, problem-solving, resource management, and leadership. Capstone projects and internships further boost their career standing by exposing them to the realities of real-world nonprofit operations.

WILL AN ONLINE MBA IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

MBA online programs provide a flexible, user-friendly alternative to traditional postsecondary education. Students can download course lectures and readings, participate in virtual discussions with other students, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors ― all from the comfort of their home computer. Current technology also enables them to study on the go using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other portable devices with Wi-Fi capabilities. For added convenience, online supply chain management MBA students can usually coordinate internship opportunities at training locations that are reasonably close to their current residence.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY MBA IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT?

Most students who leave school with an online MBA in nonprofit management will be qualified to lead existing organizations, or develop and launch new ones. Many find their niche in specific areas of management and administration, such as accounting, sales and marketing, human resources, or risk analysis. Because the MBA is considered a terminal degree for business professionals, graduates will typically be considered for top-level positions as soon as they collect their diplomas.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MBA IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online MBA in nonprofit management programs in the United States. Our ranking is based on the courses schools offer, available specializations, student outcomes, career support services, and other criteria used to determine academic excellence. If you are considering an online MBA in nonprofit management, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific requirements and offerings.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 Touro University Worldwide 68.86 3/5 68% Los Alamitos, CA

With its network of physical and online campuses, TUW provides a variety of education opportunities in a global setting. Students can complete the university's 36-credit online MBA in nonprofit management in just one year by taking two courses per term. The program offers six start dates throughout the year.

In all, TUW's MBA program features seven concentrations. While earning their degree, distance learners gain an in-depth understanding of the history of the nonprofit sector and trends affecting its rapid growth today. Core courses cover topics like professional communications, contemporary marketing, and managerial accounting. Courses in the nonprofit management concentration include marketing and revenue generation for nonprofits and foundations of nonprofit management. To graduate, students must also complete a capstone course where they synthesize course content in a real-world project.

Applicants to the MBA in nonprofit management online should hold a baccalaureate degree with an overall GPA of 2.5 or better. As a nonprofit institution itself, TUW waives the application fee.

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2 Oklahoma State University-Main Campus 65.87 3/5 27% Stillwater, OK

The Spears School of Business at OSU provides a dynamic, self-paced MBA in nonprofit management online designed to prepare students for the challenges they'll face as leaders of nonprofit organizations (NPOs). Distance learners must complete 42-43 credits (depending on their status as part-time or full-time) to earn their degree. OSU uses the Brightspace Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver its online programs.

Students in the nonprofit management concentration must enroll in 12 credits dedicated to the study of NPOs. Courses cover contemporary considerations for a nonprofit leader, including successful fundraising, grant writing, and social entrepreneurship. Applicants to OSU's online MBA in nonprofit management should have a four-year degree, a competitive GMAT score, and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Additionally, OSU encourages prospective MBA students to have work experience along with a background in calculus and quantitative skills. Depending on applicants' undergraduate degrees, they may qualify for credit waivers.

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3 Endicott College 64.07 5/5 16% Beverly, MA

Endicott's online MBA in nonprofit management is structured with the working professional in mind as a flexible, 42-credit program that students can complete in as little as 18 months. The school features rolling admissions, allowing matriculation to start at any time. Accelerated learning through six-week course terms and an asynchronous teaching model accommodate students' busy schedules. Endicott offers the same curriculum through its online MBA as its on-campus program, and boasts an average student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1.

One of 14 different concentrations in Endicott's MBA program, the MBA degree in nonprofit management online filters foundational concepts of business administration through a nonprofit lens. Students must complete ten core courses in addition to four courses specific to nonprofit leadership. Graduates leave the program with the ability to articulate leadership theory, apply market research, recognize global trends, and demonstrate mastery of management and accounting principles. Endicott does not require GMAT scores for admission to its online MBA.

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4 Concordia University-Wisconsin 60.65 4/5 15% Mequon, WI

For more than 125 years, CUW has been providing educational instruction and today reaches 2,400 students through distance learning alone. Its online MBA program is part of the school’s ever-expanding tradition as it, too, continues to grow in scope and now features 13 concentrations. The MBA in nonprofit management and leadership online helps students enhance their business acumen to become effective administrators and decisive leaders.

From fundraising strategies to volunteer recruitment, NPO leaders are tasked with overcoming various challenges, and CUW's online MBA in nonprofit management endows students with the knowledge and skills to face them head on. Graduates can apply learning outcomes from the program to all sectors: private, public, and community. The MBA program is 39 credits and available entirely online; there are no in-person requirements. Applicants do not need to submit scores from the GMAT or GRE. In place of a thesis, MBA candidates complete a capstone course to demonstrate mastery of coursework.

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5 Concordia University-Chicago 57.57 3/5 19% River Forest, IL

CUC's MBA in not-for-profit management is a 36-credit program designed to work with any schedule and to enable students to earn their degree at an accelerated pace. Distance learners can complete the program within one year. Throughout the curriculum, students gain expertise in the mission of NPOs and how best to lead them in an ever-changing world. As a faith-based university, CUC strives to produce ethical leaders for all sectors.

Class sizes in the university's MBA in nonprofit management online program are small, embracing cohort study within a collegial community. Through this learning format, distance learners can build relationships with their peers and the CUC faculty without any in-person participation. To graduate, students must complete a capstone project involving grant writing.

Prospective students should have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, but CUC does not require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT scores.

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6 North Park University 57.53 3/5 6% Chicago, IL

NPU's MBA serves as an academic stepping stone for leadership roles across industries, teaching core principles of economics, marketing, human resources, and operations.

The school's online MBA in nonprofit management focuses on the myriad of demands and responsibilities NPO leaders face today. They wear many hats, leading boards, raising funds, and planning campaigns. In this program, NPU instructors cover the theories and methods of an MBA through a non profit management perspective. Students must complete 36 credits to graduate (13 core courses and five electives) and typically do so within 21 months. The program's content is available 100% online in an asynchronous format.

Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree, and do not have to submit GMAT or GRE scores if their undergraduate GPA is 3.0 or higher. Other admission requirements include a resume, a personal essay, and two letters of recommendation.

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7 Corban University 55.78 4/5 14% Salem, OR

Delivered through its Hoff School of Business, Corban's MBA in nonprofit management is designed to empower business professionals and give them the tools needed for success in the growing nonprofit sector. The curriculum, tailor-made for Christian business leaders, integrates business principles and best practices with biblical standards to provide students with a faith-based graduate degree.

Corban offers its 36-credit MBA in nonprofit management online in three tracks: management, human resources, and nonprofit management. The nonprofit program, consisting of nine core courses in foundational business topics and three courses specific to the concentration, zeroes in on the wide repertoire of skills necessary for effective NPO leadership. On average, distance learners earn their degree within 16 months. Coursework is available entirely online through the Converge LMS, and classes run for five weeks each. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

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8 Olivet Nazarene University 55.32 3/5 12% Bourbonnais, IL

Olivet’s MBA in nonprofit management is structured to deliver value-based outcomes for tomorrow’s business leaders. Grounded in Christian traditions, the 36-credit program encourages students to think differently and to "go global." Distance learners who take on this online MBA in nonprofit management explore the various challenges that today’s NPO leaders encounter, from instituting operational efficiency to executing responsible and beneficial PR.

With Olivet’s eight-week courses, students who enroll in two courses per semester can complete the MBA program in 18 months. The university also features a 24-month option. Olivet has a limited transfer policy, allowing distance learners to transfer up to six credits toward their degree. Students can complete the program entirely online or can choose a hybrid format that includes in-person instruction. To earn admission, applicants should have a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA from an accredited institution.

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9 Johnson University 54.24 3/5 21% Knoxville, TN

Johnson delivers an MBA with a concentration in nonprofit management designed around a faith-based curriculum. Available entirely online, this 36-credit degree uses cohort learning to provide students with ample opportunities to build relationships with both their peers and university faculty. Distance learners can complete this program in as little as 12 months. To graduate, students must complete a capstone project showcasing their grasp of the material and ability to research, synthesize, analyze, and communicate a solution to a particular issue.

Students in the MBA degree in nonprofit management online program delve into the legal aspects of NPOs, as well as topics like resource development and project design. Because the degree is faith-based, each course integrates ethics and social responsibility.

Admission requirements include a personal essay and official transcripts, along with three letters of reference (one of which must come from a pastor).

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10 Salve Regina University 54.08 4/5 2% Newport, RI

A Catholic university, Salve Regina provides a liberal arts education designed to unlock and foster the talents of each student. Its MBA with a concentration in nonprofit management helps working professionals explore their leadership aptitude for future success in the nonprofit sector. The 36-credit program’s core curriculum consists of eight courses, and the concentration requires students to complete an additional four. Nonprofit management courses cover the various endeavors of NPOs, like donor programs, board governance, and grant writing.

Salve Regina delivers its online MBA in nonprofit management with no mandatory in-person components. Faith-based instruction teaches students how to apply ethics and Christian principles to every task set before them. Graduates leave the program set to lead by example and focus on more than the bottom line.

Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree. Other admission requirements include a personal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation.

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11 John Wesley University 53.52 3/5 39% High Point, NC

JWU has featured Christian-based curricula for more than a century. While the university's programs have changed over time, its dedicated approach to academics has remained stalwart. Today, JWU offers much of its catalog, including its MBA degrees, through distance learning. Within the MBA program, students can choose from three concentrations: human resource management, management, and nonprofit management.

The MBA in nonprofit management prepares students to lead charities, action groups, philanthropic foundations, and other NPOs. The program covers the latest developments in the community sector to give students a realistic perspective on their chosen career. Courses cover a variety of topics, including human behavior and information systems. Graduates leave with the quantitative and qualitative leadership skills they need for success in the field.

Applicants to JWU's MBA in nonprofit management online should have an undergraduate degree in a related field and a minimum 3.0 GPA for all previous college work. Admission requirements also include GMAT or GRE scores. JWU does not allow students to transfer any credits toward their MBA degree.

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12 Wilmington University 51.77 3/5 52% New Castle, DE

In response to the trending growth of nonprofits, WilmU enhanced its MBA program by adding a new concentration focused on the community sector. The MBA in nonprofit management online prepares students to take on the responsibility of leading an NPO and dealing with the challenges such a role presents. WilmU distance learners receive instruction featuring the same academic rigor as traditional, on-campus MBA students.

WilmU's 36-credit online MBA nonprofit management program consists of 12 courses. Students complete seven core courses and devote five to nonprofit management. Course topics include administrative governance, global marketing management, and fundraising. The university delivers its online content through the Blackboard LMS in seven-week block courses. Instruction is 100% online; the program has no in-person requirements. Additionally, the majority of the program is asynchronous. All applicants must have earned a “C” or better in all undergraduate work.

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13 Crown College 50.37 4/5 37% Saint Bonifacius, MN

Crown offers an MBA program that features a concentration in nonprofit management. As they progress through the curriculum, students focus their learning on the daily operational, managerial, and interpersonal challenges of running an NPO. Instructors teach course content, available entirely online, through a Christian lens.

Crown’s MBA degree in nonprofit management online program requires students to complete 42 credits, 15 of which must dedicated to the nonprofit concentration. Distance learners typically take 2 ½ years to earn their degree. Courses last seven weeks, and the curriculum is leadership oriented. Specific topics covered in Crown's nonprofit MBA include fundraising, philanthropy, and marketing reach. To gain admission, prospective students should have a four-year degree and demonstrate relevant career experience in their application.

Students at Crown can take advantage of a variety of financial aid options, including grants and scholarships.

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14 Johnson & Wales University-Online 48.69 4/5 100% Providence, RI

JWU has embraced the reach of online education, offering more than 30 online undergraduate and graduate programs. The university's online MBA in nonprofit management requires students to complete 54-63 credits, which they can do in as little as 18 months. All online courses last for 11 weeks.

As they progress through the curriculum, students gain skills and knowledge essential to succeed in management or administrative roles in the NPO sector. The need for leaders with the skill set required to run an effective nonprofit has grown; JWU’s nonprofit courses help students transform into such leaders. In this program, MBA candidates gain the general ability to mediate and further cooperation; NPO leaders need the ability to facilitate public, private, and nonprofit collaboration.

To apply, students should have a cumulative GPA of 2.85 or higher. JWU does not require GMAT scores for admission.

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15 National Louis University 48.57 3/5 60% Chicago, IL

NLU's MBA program focuses on the principle of authentic leadership, an approach that feeds off a student’s passion for a particular path. Requiring distance learners to complete 39 credits, the curriculum is designed to harness each student’s strengths and channel them toward effective management in the nonprofit sector.

The MBA in nonprofit management online program combines the core curriculum of the MBA with instruction on the managerial and operational issues unique to NPOs. The three focal points of the nonprofit concentration are nonprofit governance, fundraising, and program evaluation.

NLU's fully online program manages to incorporate hands-on experiences where students apply their newly acquired knowledge to their current job or volunteer role. Graduates leave the program with the ability to refine their own leadership effectiveness through self-assessment, simulation, and reflection. In all, MBA students at NLU complete 13 courses to earn their degree.

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16 Greenville College 46.62 3/5 18% Greenville, IL

Greenville’s MBA in nonprofit management keeps the working professional in mind, accommodating packed schedules while maintaining student engagement. Throughout the 39-credit program, students work both independently and cooperatively with classmates to gain a comprehensive understanding of nonprofits. Greenville delivers its MBA entirely online, and distance learners can earn their degree in as little as two years.

Eight-week courses comprise the curriculum of Greenville's online MBA in nonprofit management program, designed to ready students for contemporary business leadership in a dynamic field. The degree provides distance learners with instruction on all aspects of nonprofit leadership, from staffing to finance to regulation. Classes are structured in a synchronous format. To graduate, students must complete a capstone project that ties into their employment or volunteer experience. Applicants should have a baccalaureate degree and cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

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17 Chaminade University of Honolulu 45.20 3/5 47% Honolulu, HI

Chaminade's MBA emphasizes value-driven leadership that leads to business success as well as social good. The school's MBA in not-for-profit management embodies this approach, featuring a curriculum that prepares students to lead many different types of NPOs. The 39-credit program tackles a multitude of nonprofit issues, like managerial ethics, philanthropy, and social enterprise. The curriculum consists of nine core courses and four electives in the nonprofit concentration.

Chaminade's MBA program is ideal for students located off-island or in the military because it requires no in-person participation. To apply to this MBA degree in nonprofit management online, prospective students should hold a bachelor’s degree, have earned a minimum 3.0 GPA, and have at least three years of work experience. Students who have not taken an undergraduate accounting sequence or statistics will need to fulfill these requirements before they can gain full admission into the program. Courses begin four times a year.

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18 Concordia University-Ann Arbor 44.24 3/5 13% Ann Arbor, MI

Providing a broad survey of business principles and best practices, CUAA's 39-credit MBA also allows students to explore and develop an area of expertise within the field. Students pursuing their online MBA in nonprofit management gain the knowledge and skills they need to lead in business and, specifically, the nonprofit sector. From governance to fraud prevention, managing a nonprofit requires a multifaceted approach and a multifaceted educational background.

In its MBA program, CUAA covers critical concepts of running an NPO, including fundraising and grant writing, along with business development and public program evaluation. Distance learners can access all their course content entirely online in an asynchronous format. On average, students earn their degree within two years. CUAA splits MBA courses into eight core curriculum courses and five courses of concentration. Applicants do not need to submit GMAT or GRE scores to be eligible for admission.

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19 Tiffin University 41.07 4/5 30% Tiffin, OH

Recognizing the major growth of the nonprofit sector, Tiffin's School of Business enhanced its MBA program by adding a concentration in nonprofit management. This innovative degree equips students with traditional business knowledge while teaching the skills necessary for success in managing an NPO, such as grant writing and fund development.

Tiffin delivers all of its online courses in seven-week terms, with six start dates per year. With a flexible structure, distance learners can earn their 36-credit MBA in nonprofit management online at an accelerated pace. Students do not need to complete a thesis or take a comprehensive final exam to graduate; instead, they must take a capstone course in their final semester to demonstrate mastery of course content by applying learned principles to a contemporary business problem. Applicants should hold a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Graduates of the program are prepared for the certified fundraising executive exam.

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20 New England College 34.36 4/5 47% Henniker, NH

NEC's MBA in nonprofit leadership is a 40-credit, flexible program designed to provide an optimized learning experience for working professionals. The curriculum is split between seven core courses (28 credits) and three courses in the concentration (12 credits). Distance learners can earn their degree in as little as 20 months. In completing this specialized MBA, students learn the principles, strategies, and best practices behind effective, innovative leadership within the community sector.

Distance learners in the online MBA in nonprofit management program gain core skills necessary to pursue leadership roles at foundations, social work agencies, civic leagues and other NPOs. Through examination of theory and practice, students develop the business acumen needed to make a difference in the nonprofit sector. To round out their MBA, distance learners take three upper-division courses: dynamics of nonprofit governance, strategic fundraising, and grant writing and contract management. NEC allows students to transfer up to eight credits toward their online MBA.

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Every online master’s in nonprofit management program is different, and no two schools offer the same curricula. However, many institutions offer graduate students the opportunity to specialize in a subfield of nonprofit management. The following are some of the most common concentrations offered through MBA in nonprofit management online programs.

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED FOR AN ONLINE MBA IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

Concentration Description Careers this concentration prepares for
Public Policy Students concentrating on public policy will learn the fundamentals of policymaking and analysis. Focusing on the financial and budgeting aspects of nonprofit management, this concentration is designed for those interested in public service or government careers. Coursework may address topics such as advocacy and legal issues affecting nonprofit groups. Charity Director; Public Administration Consultant; Public Affairs Director
Environmental Policy This concentration offers a multidisciplinary curriculum that draws equally from the fields of science and management. Students gain cutting-edge perspectives on ecological matters as they develop core competencies in resource management, public policy, and benefit-cost analysis. Some programs include courses on energy and sustainability policy, or environmental law. Environmental Lawyer; Land Use Planner; Environmental Lobbyist
Philanthropy Combining aspects of management, economics, and sociology, this concentration focuses on the role of public and private funding in nonprofit management. Topics covered in this curriculum may include grant writing, capital campaigns, and financial planning, with an emphasis on ethical and legal matters. Grantmaker; Volunteer Program Administrator; Donor Relations Administrator

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MBA IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

Like degree concentrations, curricula can vary widely between online master’s in nonprofit management programs. Most, however, offer some variations on the following core courses.

  • Human resource management: Covering labor relations, team building, and fundamental topics in organizational theory, this course provides students with the practical knowledge required to effectively manage a team in or out of the nonprofit sector. Coursework teaches broadly applicable leadership skills that graduates will find useful in virtually any management position.
  • Financial management: This course provides an overview of financial concepts integral to running a nonprofit organization. Students will learn to effectively allocate funds, measure risks and returns, and manage payrolls. Crucial for anyone earning a master’s in nonprofit management online who is interested in philanthropy, this course often touches on fundraising and grant writing topics.
  • Nonprofit ethics: Most nonprofit organizations adhere to a code of ethics, and this class describes how and why these codes are created. Case studies demonstrate the importance of accountability and transparency in nonprofit management — particularly in areas of fundraising, financial allocation, and conflicts of interest.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MBA IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT?

The best online MBAs in nonprofit management aren’t always the longest programs. Designed with busy professionals in mind, some can be completed in as little as a year. On average, it takes around two years to finish a 36-credit master’s in nonprofit management online, but program length can depend on several variables, including how courses are paced.

Offering relatively loose deadlines and maximum flexibility, individually paced, or asynchronous nonprofit management certificate online programs let students view lectures and complete assignments at their convenience. Without being required to log on at certain times, students can effectively manage educational, work, and family commitments. Cohort programs take a synchronous, group-based approach to learning. Students in a cohort course are expected to be present online at assigned times, and may be required to contribute to group discussions and projects. While these classes often take longer to complete, some students prefer them for their emphasis on teamwork and personal accountability.

CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES AN MBA IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT PREPARES FOR

Certified Nonprofit Professional: Ideal for anyone earning their MBA in nonprofit management online, this credential opens up a wealth of career and networking opportunities. Training is centered on ten core competencies most sought after by employers. While training can be completed online, applicants are required to complete a 300-hour internship in the field.

Certified Fundraising Executive: This certification is awarded to philanthropists and students of philanthropy who complete an examination and meet certain qualifications. Applicants must earn a series of points that are awarded through education, professional practice, and performance. Points can be earned by attending relevant conferences and programs, but may also be earned through college courses.

Getting your master’s in nonprofit management online from an accredited institution is crucial for success, both in and out of the classroom. Accreditation ensures that a school meets the proper standards of academic quality, as defined by agencies such as the Department of Education or Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Schools can be regionally or nationally accredited, and it’s important to understand the distinction between these designations. Regionally accredited schools are typically nonprofit, public institutions that have been evaluated by one of six accrediting agencies, while nationally accredited institutions tend to be for-profit vocational schools. Although both can offer quality educations, earning an online degree in nonprofit management from a regionally accredited school provides several advantages. Credits from regionally accredited schools easily transfer to nationally accredited ones, but the opposite is rarely true. Some nationally accredited programs are ineligible for scholarships or certain forms of financial aid.

A school’s eligibility to receive federal financial aid is determined by the U.S. Department of Education. While the DOE doesn’t accredit schools itself, this branch of the government relies on other organizations, such as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, to assess accrediting bodies. CHEA is a quality assurance group dedicated to monitoring accreditation organizations around the country. By ensuring that accreditors are holding schools to the appropriate standards, CHEA assists the DOE in determining which schools should receive aid. A full database of accredited programs and institutions can be found on CHEA’s website.

JOB PLACEMENT: MBA IN NONPROFIT MANAGEMENT

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs in the business management sector ― including nonprofit-related roles ― will increase by roughly 6% between 2014 and 2024, resulting in more than half a million newly created positions. MBA in nonprofit management recipients will be well-positioned to compete for these jobs, particularly management roles in the not-for-profit sector.

Unemployment rates in business and nonprofit management vary significantly by specific job title. Using current data from U.S. News & World Report, the following comparison table looks at unemployment projections for 12 common careers in nonprofit management.

Occupation Unemployment Rate (2017)
Statistician 0.8%
Cost Estimator 1.7%
Financial Manager 2.0%
Financial Analyst 2.1%
Accountant 2.5%
Operations Research Analyst 2.6%
Human Resources Specialist 2.7%
Logistician 3.0%
Market Research Analyst 3.1%
Management Analyst 3.2%
Business Operations Manager 3.9%
Fundraiser 8.1%

Source: U.S. News & World Report

The average unemployment rate of all 12 occupations is 2.98%. Comparatively, the average unemployment rate for all occupations nationwide currently sits at 4.5%.

EARNING A LIVING

Much like unemployment rates, the salary expectations for someone with an MBA in nonprofit management will largely depend on their job title. Other factors to consider include experience level, organization size, and city/state of employment. The next table features 20-year earnings projections for five of the most popular occupations related to nonprofit leadership.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Executive Director, Nonprofit Organization $51,917 $60,577 $69,402 $79,517
Program Manager, Nonprofit Organization $45,227 $50,919 $53,428 $56,391
Program Coordinator, Nonprofit Organization $39,304 $42,339 $44,658 $48,618
Development Manager, Nonprofit Organization $46,427 $51,582 $57,563 $56,712
Fundraiser $43,904 $52,539 $61,013 $80,000

Source: PayScale

All five occupations experience salary growth of at least 22% after 20 years on the job. Fundraisers reported the highest growth rate: n 82.2% increase in earnings between the entry-level and late-career stages. Nonprofit executive directors ranked second with 53.2% salary growth, followed by nonprofit program managers with 24.7% growth.

Career Opportunities

Those who earn an MBA in nonprofit management will be qualified for various leadership roles in the nonprofit sector, although individual eligibility may depend on areas of specialization. Four common career pathways in nonprofit management are outlined below.

Logisticians: Logisticians account for the various resources that comprise the supply chain of an organization, including manpower, transportation, materials, tools, and financial assets. In the nonprofit sector, logisticians are trained to minimize overhead costs and exercise efficiency throughout the supply chain in order to save as much money as possible.

Management Analysts: Also known as management consultants, management analysts meet with executives and business leaders to discuss ways to make their organization run more smoothly, effectively, and efficiently. Many analysts work exclusively within the nonprofit sector, offering advice and wisdom to entrepreneurs and nonprofit managers looking to improve their organization’s structure.

Operations Research Analysts: Similar to management consultants, operations research analysts work with organizational leaders specifically in areas related to day-to-day operations. They rely on algorithms, statistical analyses, business modeling, and other strategies to predict the results of different operational changes in order to determine the best course of action for a particular organization.

Fundraisers: Fundraisers are responsible for securing financial support for different organizations and causes. In nonprofit management, fundraisers must often seek funding from investors and venture capitalists, write grants, and collect donations in order to keep their organization afloat.

Profession Median Annual Salary Projected Growth (2014-24)
Logisticians $74,260 2% (+2,500 jobs)
Management Analysts $81,320 14% (+103,200 jobs)
Operations Research Analysts $78,630 30% (+27,600 jobs)
Fundraisers $52,970 9% (+6,900 jobs)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to nonprofit management is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for nonprofit managers and personnel. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates. Resources like these often prove invaluable as you complete your degree requirements and prepare to enter the job market.

National Council of Nonprofits: Considered the country’s largest professional network for nonprofits, the NCN represents more than 25,000 organizations. The council’s website includes tools and tutorials for nonprofit managers related to finance, human resources, ethics and accountability, fundraising, and other important topics.

Society for Nonprofits: Established more than 30 years ago, SNPO has grown to represent more than 6,000 members nationwide. Perks for registered members include a complimentary magazine subscription, access to a ‘members-only’ online resource library, and discounts on professional insurance coverage.

American Sustainable Business Council: This 501(c)(4) organization represents more than 200,000 organizations and 325,000 individual employees working in the business sector. As a leading advocate for sustainable operations, the ASCB’s online action center features the latest news on initiatives related to climate and energy, food labeling, healthcare and other hot topics in the business world.

Despite the relative affordability of online MBA programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Students who pursue online degrees will be eligible for scholarships, grants and other financial aid that is unavailable to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Learn more about these financial opportunities for web-based learners.

MASTER’S IN FINANCE

Finance — the study of money and asset management — is one of the most popular degree concentrations for MBA students. Learn about the best schools for this area of study with our comprehensive degree guide.

MASTER’S IN HUMAN RESOURCES

Another popular specialization field for MBA students, human resources (or HR) focuses on hiring, new employee orientation and other administrative needs. Visit our guide to master’s degrees in HR for more information.

BUSINESS RESOURCE

Our page dedicated to resources for business students includes links to professional organizations, open courseware, industry publications, books and business-minded users to follow on Twitter.

BUSINESS CAREERS

Our career page for business degree graduates includes a state-by-state breakdown of business careers and academic options for business students, as well as popular job sites, professional organizations and continuing education opportunities for established professionals.