Nonprofit Management Degree Program Information

A Bachelor of Science in Business Administration or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a nonprofit management concentration teaches students about microeconomics, accounting, and business ethics.

Essential Information

A 4-year bachelor's degree program gives the graduate a solid foundation in business and management practices within a nonprofit organization such as tax laws, financing and accounting, good business practices, and ethical standards. A 2-year master's degree program may lead to additional career opportunities beyond those offered to bachelor's-degree holders. Master's students learn leadership, operational, financial, and entrepreneurial skills, as well as how to use these skills in a challenging work environment.


Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Nonprofit Management)

A bachelor's degree program in nonprofit management teaches the student the intricacies of financial accounting that are unique to a nonprofit organization. A prospective student applying for admission to a nonprofit management bachelor's degree program usually needs to submit a transcript of high school records and SAT or ACT scores. Many colleges specify a grade point average (GPA) for consideration and may recommend an interview or personal essay for admission.

The curriculum for a bachelor's-level nonprofit management program follows the model of a regular business management program, but coursework unique to the nonprofit sector is also available. Courses might include:

  • Nonprofit governance and law
  • Grant writing
  • Database concepts and applications
  • Philanthropy
  • Organizational behavior
  • Business law

Master of Business Administration (Nonprofit Management)

Master's degree programs implement core business management skills in the nonprofit organizational environment and provide a better understanding of nonprofit organizations' roles nationally and internationally. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in business management or another closely related field, though a nonprofit concentration is not required, in addition to a specific GPA and Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores.

The master's degree program focuses on policy procedures, financial concepts, and strategies for nonprofit organizations. Leadership skills are developed; students learn about fundraising and corporate philanthropy. Coursework could include the following:

  • Strategic fundraising
  • Corporate governance
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Global sustainability
  • Competitive environmental strategies
  • Clean technology in business

Popular Career Options

Bachelor's degree program graduates may find jobs with nonprofit agencies specializing in the environment, health, child welfare, animal welfare, the arts, and many other causes. Positions may include a nonprofit program director, fundraiser, volunteer coordinator, nonprofit promoter, and youth development director.

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Nonprofit organizations typically pay lower wages than for-profit companies, according to Payscale.com. It found that a chief operating officer or a president might earn a median salary of $95,652 annually in a nonprofit as of January 2016, while comparable positions in private companies paid a median salary of $135,653 annually, for the same year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) projects that employment for top executives will increase 6% overall between 2014 and 2024.

Those interested in nonprofit management can pursue 4-year bachelor's and 2-year master's degree programs. Students learn about topics such as grant writing and fundraising in order to have successful careers in nonprofit organizations.

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