A Master in Nonprofit Management degree prepares individuals to raise funds for nonprofit organizations and effectively manage their business and financial affairs. These degree programs provide students with the business savvy they need to oversee a nonprofit organization.
Nonprofit organizations seek managers with business and managerial acumen who are committed to benefiting their communities and the society at large. The degree can lead to rewarding jobs in such areas as fundraising, direct services, policy analysis, membership growth, program support, and program management. Graduates have career opportunities in a variety of sectors, including culture, religion, fine & performing arts, community development, the environment, and more.
Master in Nonprofit Management degree programs teach students to apply vital business-world skills in the service of charitable and humanitarian foundations. The programs focus especially on the management and funding structures unique to the nonprofit sector. These degree programs cover such important subjects as marketing, legal foundations, cost control, recruiting and managing volunteers, and program development.
Nonprofit Management Master’s degree program ranking guidelines:
We selected the following degree programs based on academic excellence, types of available classes, faculty strength, rankings, and reputation.
The Best Online Master in Nonprofit Management Degree Programs
1. University of Central Florida, Division of Continuing Education
University of Central Florida, a public research university, is a member of the State University System of Florida. The space grant university is also the second largest university in the nation in terms of enrollment. The University of Central Florida offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate (including doctoral) programs.
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recognizes the University of Central Florida as a research university with very high research activity.
The 100-percent online Master of Nonprofit Management degree program includes 36 credit hours. The university recommends students take two courses each semester; students can complete the degree in six semesters.
Required courses in the online Nonprofit Management Master’s degree program include:
- Volunteerism in Nonprofit Management
- Nonprofit Resource Development
- Nonprofit Organizations
- Nonprofit Financial Management
- Nonprofit Administration
Students can pursue the National Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Option, which includes an internship.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides University of Central Florida withaccreditation.
2. Northeastern University, College of Professional Studies
Northeastern University, a private, nonprofit research university, features nine colleges and schools as well as graduate campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Seattle, Washington. Northeastern University offers a wide variety graduate and undergraduate degree programs.
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recognizes Northeastern University as a research university with high research activity.
Students can complete the 45-credit-hour online Master of Science degree in Nonprofit Management completely online. The program incorporates theoretical approaches with practical applications.
Northeastern offers four start dates each year. Students do not need to log into a course at a specific time; however, students must complete material in a set amount of time.
Required courses for the Master in Nonprofit Management include Legal and Governance Issues in Nonprofit Organizations, Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations, and Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations.
Students must select from one of seven concentrations:
- Global Studies
- Human Services
- Organizational Communication
- Project management
- Social Media and Online Communities
- Sports and Social Change
Full-time co-op and part-time internship positions are available, but not required.
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges provides Northeastern University with accreditation.
3. Regis University, College of Professional Studies
Regis University, a private, co-educational university, is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. Regis University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs.
The Online Master of Nonprofit Management degree program consists of 36 credit hours. Taking one course at a time, students can complete the program in 24 months.
Required courses, offered in an eight-week format, include:
- History, Theory, and the Future of the Nonprofit Sector
- Social Justice and the Nonprofit Sector
- Financial Management of Nonprofit Organizations
- Financial Resource Development
- Governance and Organizational Leadership
Students also must complete a capstone course.
Regis University received accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.
Lewis University, a private Roman Catholic and Lasallian university, offers more than 80 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs, as well as accelerated programs.
Students can complete the 37-credit-hour, 100-percent online Master of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership with a Not-for-Profit Management concentration in as little as 18 months.
The average student, taking one eight-week course per session, obtains the degree in about two years. Students must complete the degree program within seven years.
Lewis University offers rolling admission; students can start the program at six times each year. Lewis University limits class size to encourage discussion.
Courses in the Not-for-Profit Management concentration include:
- Planning Strategically
- Organizational Cultures and Systems
- Working with the Community
- Stewardship and External Support
Students must complete a capstone project.
The Higher Learning Commission provides Lewis University with accreditation.
5. University of Houston-Downtown, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Department of Social Sciences
The University of Houston-Downtown, a four-year public university, is the second largest university in the Houston area with about 14,000 students. The University of Houston-Downtown, a distinct institution of the University of Houston System, offers nearly 60 bachelor’s and master’s degrees through its five academic colleges.
The 100-percent online, 36-credit-hour Master of Arts degree in Non-Profit Management (MANPM) includes 18 hours of core courses and 12 hours of electives.
Students must also complete an internship, which includes capstone assignments. The degree program focuses on experiential learning and team building.
MANPM core courses include:
- Leadership in Non-Profit Organizations
- Strategic Planning in Non-Profit Sector
- Resourcing the Non-Profit Organization
- Budgeting and Accounting for Non-Profit Organizations
University of Houston-Downtown received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
6. Our Lady of the Lake University
(San Antonio, TX)
Our Lady of the Lake University, a coeducational, private, not-for-profit, Catholic university, offers a variety of bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs.
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education includes Our Lady of the Lake University-San Antonio in its list of Doctoral/Research Universities.
Students can complete the 36-credit-hour online Master of Science degree in Nonprofit Management degree 100-percent online. Students can work with their instructor to select a project to develop throughout the program.
Courses in the Online Master degree in Nonprofit Management program include:
- Becoming an Effective Executive Director
- Marketing for Nonprofits
- Talent, Volunteer and Diversity Management
- Social Media and Information Technology for Nonprofits
- Grant Writing and Fundraising for Nonprofits
- The Legal and Ethical Elements of Nonprofits
Students can complete the fast-track program in four semesters.
The Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools provides Our Lady of the Lake University with accreditation.
University of Maryland University College, a public university known for its distance learning programs, offers more than 100 bachelor, master, and doctoral programs, as well as certificate programs. University of Maryland University College is a member of the University System of Maryland. The university offers several sessions each semester.
The 36-credit-hour Master of Science in Management: Nonprofit and Association Management program includes a strategic management capstone course. Courses include:
- Nonprofit and Association Organizations and Issues
- Nonprofit and Association Law and Governance
- Nonprofit and Association Financial Management
- Marketing, Development and Public Relations in Nonprofit Organizations and Associations
- Strategic Management in Nonprofit Organizations and Associations
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education provides University of Maryland University College with accreditation.
Capella University, a for-profit university, delivers most of its programs online. Capella University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of topics, as well as 141 specializations and more than two dozen certificate programs.
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education includes Capella University in its list of Doctoral/Research Universities.
Capella University designed the online Master of Nonprofit Management and Leadership degree on industry standards for nonprofit management education, including graduate curriculum guidelines the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council established.
Students must complete 48 credit hours to obtain the degree. Most students take one or two 10-week courses each session. The program provides asynchronous classes.
The Master of Nonprofit Management and Leadership online degree program includes the following required classes:
- Nonprofit Organizational Performance and Program Evaluation
- Nonprofit Financial Management
- Nonprofit Marketing, Communication and Advocacy
- Nonprofit Strategic and Operational Planning
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides Capella University with accreditation.
Walden University, a private, for-profit institution, offers a variety of bachelor, master, and doctoral degree programs. Walden University’s enrollment is more than 50,000, which includes students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education includes Walden University in its list of Doctoral/Research Universities.
The 61-credit online Master of Public Policy degree with a Nonprofit Management and Leadership specialization takes about two years to complete, depending on credits transferred and student progress. The program provides a review of the nonprofit sector, including applicable legal and regulatory issues.
The degree program includes courses such as:
- Leadership and Organizational Change
- Public Policy and Finance
- Strategic Planning: Collaboration, Cooperation and Coordination
- Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector
- Board Governance and Volunteer Management
The online Master of Public Policy degree with a Nonprofit Management and Leadership specialization includes a capstone seminar.
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools provides Walden University with accreditation.
Bay Path University, a private university and a member of the Cooperating Colleges of Greater Springfield, offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including all-women bachelor’s degree programs and co-educational master’s degree programs.
Students can enter the online Master of Science degree in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy program three times per year. Students must complete 36 credit hours, including a capstone project and field experience, to obtain the degree.
Each class lasts eight weeks. Students taking one course at a time can complete the program in two years.
The online Master in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy degree program required courses include:
- Foundations of Nonprofit Management
- Financial Decision Making for Nonprofits
- Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations
- Leading Change for Nonprofit Organizations
- Law, Policy, and Government in Nonprofits
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc., through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, provides Bay Path University with accreditation.