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Online Nonprofit Management Classes and Courses Overview

Many colleges and universities offer courses in nonprofit management as part of certificate, undergraduate degree or graduate degree programs. Online options are available for these courses and credentials.

Online Courses in Nonprofit Management

The online nonprofit management courses below are commonly offered by colleges and universities.

  • Introduction to Nonprofits Course: This class provides a foundation for understanding the function of nonprofits. It covers the history of the nonprofit business model and its role in the modern business world. Students also learn the economic and social differences between for-profits and nonprofits. Like many of the courses in this field, the framework of the class is a combination of online interaction between students and instructors with weekly assignments.
  • Nonprofit Management Strategy Course: The logistical aspects of nonprofit management are covered in this class. Students learn to adapt the for-profit business model to a nonprofit environment. They also study how to create and attain objectives, construct mission statements and allocate resources. This is usually one of the first classes to be taken in a nonprofit management program. Generally, real-world examples are integrated into the teaching method for this course.
  • Nonprofit Fundraising Course: Since fundraising is integral to nonprofits, this class is universal in all nonprofit management programs. Generally taken in the middle of the program, the course covers fundraising techniques, grant writing, volunteer mobilization and the development of long-term fundraising strategies.
  • Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations Course: This class is closely related to fundraising; it covers the advertising and promotion of the nonprofit business. Students learn to manage public relations and assess client and donor needs. They also gain an understanding of the ethics of nonprofit marketing. These topics play an important role in the sustainability of a nonprofit enterprise. Students generally work with case studies in this course.
  • Leadership in Nonprofit Management Course: In this course, which is a cornerstone of the programs, students prepare to lead nonprofit organizations, which tend to be more reliant on their leaders than for-profit companies. It covers the fundamental principles of leadership and specific nonprofit management skills, such as fostering positive interactions among board members. This class is usually offered near the end of a program.
  • Nonprofit Governance Course: In this course, students study the roles and responsibilities of a nonprofit board of directors, staff and volunteers. An emphasis is placed on understanding these components in order to build an effective and efficient organization. Coursework focuses on nonprofit governance laws, legislation relevant to nonprofit organizations, and ethical considerations for all aspects of nonprofit management.
  • Business Communication Course: In this course, students will explore proper communication fundamentals in a business environment. Effective writing skills and strategies for presentations will be examined.
  • Special Issues for Nonprofit Organizations Course: This course will help students to learn about the challenges of running a nonprofit organization. Special topics include ethical concerns, global management and evaluation techniques.

Program Information

Many universities offer nonprofit management certificate and degree programs that can be fully completed online. Most online certificate programs are at the graduate level, designed for working professionals who wish to advance their skills. Bachelor's degrees suit those wishing to enter the field, and master's degree programs are options for either those within the field who wish to advance their career, or students interested in switching careers. Graduates are prepared to enter the nonprofit field in a variety of managerial and administrative positions.

Online nonprofit management classes are offered via undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in addition to bachelor's and master's degrees. Coursework includes the study of business communication, fundraising and leadership, among other topics.

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