What You Should Know About This Degree
While many people assume that earning a Master’s in Business Administration qualifies a graduate for a position in either a for-profit or nonprofit organization, management of nonprofits has its own unique challenges and requires specific skills and knowledge. Because a nonprofit operates for the purpose of furthering a mission rather than making money, its focus is far different, and so are its methods of raising revenue, ensuring sustainability, and creating and managing budgets. An MBA in Nonprofit Management program addresses all of these elements.
Those who choose to pursue an MBA in Nonprofit management are generally driven by their commitment to the greater good rather than to financial rewards. Additionally, those who are tasked with operating and managing nonprofit organizations depend upon volunteers both as donors and as volunteers. Unpaid services require a different style of management, and optimizing this invaluable human asset represents a significant portion of the MBA in Nonprofit Management curriculum.
Every MBA in Nonprofit Management program should be accredited by one of several regional accrediting agencies in order to ensure that you are receiving a high-quality education from a highly respected academic institution.
Though certificate programs for Nonprofit Management do exist, these are generally offered as supplementary to baccalaureate degrees. They offer insights and additional, focused education for those who may have graduated with an undergraduate degree in business who would like to make themselves more attractive to a nonprofit employer, or those who are already working for a nonprofit who are seeking a deeper level of understanding of their role.
By pursuing your MBA in Nonprofit Management rather than a post-undergraduate certificate program, you put yourself in a position to apply for job titles including Program Manager, Director of Development, Operations Manager, Executive Director, or Director of Operations for nonprofit organizations.
Here are some questions to ask when researching MBA for Nonprofit Management programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? Programs that offer an MBA in Nonprofit Management are seeking highly motivated students who have already demonstrated their interest in working for nonprofit organizations. To be eligible you should already have earned a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher on a scale of 4.0. You will be expected to take the standardized GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) and have earned a minimum of 600 for most programs. You will additionally need to submit a resume showing a minimum of two years of experience working in business, preferably in a nonprofit environment, as well as a personal statement expressing why you are interested in studying in this area and letters of recommendation.
- Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? If you are already working and would like to continue to do so while pursuing your MBA in Nonprofit Management, you can choose from both full-time and part-time in-person programs, online programs, and programs that represent a hybrid of the two. The online classes are offered both synchronously and asynchronously. If you need to be able to study independent of a rigid school schedule, make sure that you choose an online program that allows you to study based on your own availability.
The GMAT exams are offered on a set schedule according to region, and you must register for the exam that you want to take in advance. In order to make sure that you can meet all of the deadlines required by the programs you choose to apply to, make sure to mark all important dates on your calendar and get all paperwork in ahead of time if possible.
An MBA in Nonprofit Management program can be costly. Though you can save money by attending school online or choosing a public school in your own state, expenses can still add up quickly. The minimum average cost with the expense of textbooks, a laptop and other fees is likely to easily reach $60,000 per year, and many cost more than that. In order to make sure that you have the resources to pursue the education you want, make sure that you investigate business and external scholarships, federal and private student loans, tuition reimbursement benefits from your employer, and available fellowships or teaching assistant positions.