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Nonprofit Management Certificate and Certification Programs

Nonprofit management certificate programs teach students how to facilitate the functions of the ever-changing nonprofit organization. Students learn a variety of skills through many different courses to prepare them for several potential positions.

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Essential Information

Courses in a nonprofit management certificate program cover business topics within the context of nonprofits, including the history of the nonprofit sector, ethics, budgeting, finance, fundraising, marketing, and strategic planning. Most schools offering the certificate in nonprofit management accept applicants who are currently employed by or serving as volunteers for an existing nonprofit agency. They may also accept students without applicable experience who demonstrate a strong interest in nonprofits. Programs usually run from 6-12 months, though some schools offer full-time intensives that allow students to earn a certificate in less than two weeks.


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Nonprofit Management Certificate Program

Students in a nonprofit management certificate program develop a capacity for social leadership and strategic planning. Courses in interpersonal relations are incorporated into the curriculum, along with classes covering:

  • Ethics and decision-making
  • Financial management
  • Assessments and outcomes
  • Public policy and nonprofit law
  • Human resources
  • Gifts

Salary and Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015, the median annual salary for public relations and fundraising managers was $104,140. The report included managers and supervisors who worked either in the nonprofit or for-profit sectors (www.bls.gov). Because nonprofit organizations are often grassroots agencies with little financial support, nonprofit managers may accept lower pay in exchange for the internal rewards that complement a vocation of service.

Continuing Education Information

Students who apply for nonprofit management certificate programs often possess a degree or are in the process of obtaining an advanced degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Many universities offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in nonprofit studies. Some students find it helpful to obtain a degree in nonprofit studies while others prefer to focus on disciplines directly related to the mission of specific nonprofit work, such as education, gender studies, public health, or counseling.

A certificate in nonprofit management gives students the skills to effectively run a variety of nonprofit organizations. This certificate is often taken after or during the process of earning a traditional degree in the field, such as a bachelor's or master's.

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