Best Online MBA in Nonprofit Management Programs
Share this Article
Rankings compiled by the BestColleges Ranking Team
Earning an MBA in nonprofit management allows graduates to take on high-level management roles in a variety of nonprofit settings. Whether a student plans to work as a chief financial officer, a fundraising director, or a marketing manager, these programs can help them achieve these goals.
BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Ready to Start Your Journey?
Program costs can vary substantially, with online MBA in nonprofit management programs typically costing less and requiring fewer related costs, such as transportation, campus-based fees, and student housing. Most programs take two years to complete. Students can finish an accelerated program in 10-16 months.
Read on to learn about MBA in nonprofit management programs, common coursework, and job prospects.
Still unsure about your MBA college choice? Check out our overall Best Online MBA Programs.
Related Non-Profit Management Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
How We Rank Schools
At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you can make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering transparent, inclusive, and relevant school rankings.
Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our ranking methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
What Is an MBA in Nonprofit Management?
MBA in nonprofit management programs typically take two years to complete. The curriculum covers topics in management, finance, marketing, and accounting and includes specialized coursework in nonprofit management principles.
Students participate in group-based projects, write research papers, and work in student-consultant roles with nonprofits on class assignments. Many business schools also require students to participate in summer internships, allowing them to build relevant skills prior to graduation.
What Can I Expect From an Online MBA in Nonprofit Management Program?
Online MBA in nonprofit management programs provide students with the specialized knowledge needed to run socially-focused ventures that improve some aspect of our communities. After completing all core classes, students focus their efforts on topics specific to nonprofit ventures.
Degree-seekers looking for an option that works with busy personal and professional schedules often decide to pursue an online program. These degrees also allow learners to cast their nets wider geographically when looking at prospective schools.
Example MBA in Nonprofit Management Courses
Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations
Social Venture Management
Economics and Metrics for Sustainability
Accounting and Financial Controls for Nonprofit Organization
What are Admission Requirements for an MBA in Nonprofit Management Program?
Many online MBA in nonprofit management programs set rigorous admission requirements to ensure quality candidates and eventual graduates. Applicants should plan to complete several different steps to secure admission.
Some online MBA in nonprofit management programs require applicants to submit GMAT scores or GRE scores, though some allow learners to bypass this requirement if they possess a higher GPA. At The University of Portland, for example, plan to provide a GMAT score of 500 or higher to receive serious consideration.
Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation help schools get a better sense of how others see applicants and learn more about their strengths and weaknesses. Students should request these well in advance of the deadline to ensure recommenders can take time to consider the individual before writing about them.
Many online MBA in nonprofit management programs require an updated resume that highlights previous and current work experience, volunteerism, and special participation. Given the nonprofit focus, some programs may accept volunteer work in exchange for previous professional experience in the discipline.
While undergraduate essays focus on getting a sense of who the student hopes to become, graduate essays focus more on professional goals. Many schools ask for a statement of purpose that outlines how a student plans to use their degree and why they feel a specific MBA in nonprofit management program best suits their needs.
All MBA in nonprofit management programs require applicants to submit official transcripts from any schools previously attended. In addition to confirming prerequisites, these forms also confirm GPA. Some schools may also accept transfer credits, and official transcripts identify which classes a student previously took.
What Can I Do With an MBA in Nonprofit Management Degree?
Earning an online MBA in nonprofit management provides the skills and credentials needed to work in high-level managerial and leadership roles within companies focused on specific causes and/or populations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 9% job growth for fundraising and public relations managers between 2019 and 2029.
Some programs also provide the opportunity to further specialize knowledge. Students can often pursue the following concentrations:
Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Because many nonprofits rely on donations for at least a portion of their budget, fundraising managers ensure donors continue giving. They arrange fundraising events, meet with potential donors, create fundraising strategies, and apply for grants from public and private entities. They also oversee other fundraising staff.
Median Annual Salary: $118,430
Nonprofit CEOs oversee other leaders in the company and provide strategic goals for the organization as a whole. They meet with the board regularly to report on growth and earnings, create long-term plans for the future of the organization, and meet with high-level potential donors.
Median Annual Salary: $107,680
Administrative Services and Facilities Manager
Within a nonprofit setting, these professionals oversee the administrative and operational staff, ensure they receive necessary training, and develop policies to help streamline work. On the facilities front, they ensure the organization's building and campus meet security requirements and are well-maintained.
Median Annual Salary: $98,890
Human Resources Manager
HR managers oversee staff across the lifespan of their employment, participating in processes, such as recruitment, hiring, training, and disciplinary action. These professionals also develop and manage the benefits system for employees and consult on human resources issues within the company.
Median Annual Salary: $121,220
Nonprofit Management Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Is an MBA in Nonprofit Management Worth It?
Earning an MBA in nonprofit management offers a great fit for students who know they want to use their business skills to improve the world. The return on investment for this particular degree varies based on the school a student attends, what role they fill, and where they work.
While a general MBA provides all the business skills required at many for-profit companies, the nonprofit management specialization emphasizes the knowledge and skills needed within nonprofit structures.
Students on a tight budget may decide to pursue a different educational path, such as a graduate certificate or certification course in nonprofit management. They may also decide to work toward their MBA in nonprofit management on a part-time basis so they can spread the cost of the degree across a longer timeframe.
Why Get an MBA in Nonprofit Management Instead of a Master's in Nonprofit Management?
With both nonprofit management MBAs and master's programs available, students should consider which best serves their professional interests. An MBA is a more expansive degree, covering foundational business topics, such as finance, marketing, economics, and accounting alongside specialized studies in nonprofit management.
A master's in nonprofit management, conversely, focuses exclusively on the field and provides more in-depth knowledge about the nonprofit world itself. Degree-seekers who feel conflicted about which option to choose can look into dual MBA/master's in nonprofit management programs to get the best of both worlds.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
How Do I Choose an MBA in Nonprofit Management Program?
According to data compiled by BestColleges, the top 25 online MBA programs currently charge an average tuition rate of about $70,000, but students can find far cheaper options. If looking for a cost-effective option, consider public schools rather than private institutions. Attend a school that offers in-state tuition rates for residents and/or online learners.
Online MBA in nonprofit management programs come in various forms these days, making it easy for busy students to find an option that fits their needs. Factors to consider include whether to enroll in a synchronous or asynchronous program and whether a full-time, part-time, or accelerated format works best with personal and professional responsibilities.
Students who plan to enroll in an online MBA in nonprofit management program may decide to look at options further afield, but they still need to consider on-campus requirements before enrolling. Some MBAs require attendance at several intensives over the course of the program.
Career opportunities after graduation must play a central role in the decision-making process, specifically when looking at career resources offered by the program. Some of the factors to consider include whether the school works with corporate recruiters and the placement rate after graduation.
Failing to attend a properly accredited online MBA in nonprofit management can result in trouble finding work after graduation, so make sure all your prospective schools are accredited. Seek out programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, or the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.
Related Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
2021 Best Accredited Online MBA in Nonprofit Management Programs
Is your school on this list? Get the BestColleges ranking seal.
Frequently Asked Questions About MBA in Nonprofit Management Programs
Is an MBA in nonprofit management program hard to get into?
It depends on the programs. Top-ranked programs maintain more rigorous admission requirements than most other MBA programs.
What can I do with an MBA in nonprofit management?
Completing an MBA in nonprofit gives you the skills and credentials needed to seek work in a variety of nonprofit organizations. Whether you plan to seek work in education, healthcare, community development, or another area of need, an MBA in nonprofit management can help you achieve that goal.
Is nonprofit management a good career?
Nonprofit management is a great career for individuals who want to use their professional skills to help others. Nonprofit organizations work on a variety of causes, providing you with many opportunities to make a difference.
How much money can I make with an MBA in nonprofit management?
How much you earn with an MBA in nonprofit management depends on factors like the state you live in, your employer, your title, and your level of experience. Several positions highlighted earlier in this guide offer six-figure salaries for experienced professionals.
What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with an MBA in nonprofit management?
According to the BLS, financial managers earn a median annual salary of $134,180. Salaries in the nonprofit sector may be slightly lower than in for-profit ventures, but you can still make a great living.
Find the Tools You Need to Get Started on Your Degree
Krystal Covington, MBA
Krystal Covington, MBA, is a business growth strategist with 15 years of experience in marketing and public relations. Her company, Go Lead Consulting, provides clients foundational tools to build new client and customer relationships.
Covington founded Women of Denver, one of the largest privately held membership organizations in Denver, Colorado. Her program helps women increase their business acumen, sharpen leadership skills and connect with other high-achieving women. Covington received her MBA from Western Governors University in 2012.