What Can I Expect from an Online MBA in Nonprofit Management Program?

In an online MBA in nonprofit management program, you’ll be able to access the same experienced instructors and rigorous curriculum that you would in an on-campus program. Also, by eliminating the need to commute to campus, online programs make finding time for work, family, and personal activities in addition to your schoolwork easier. The program details for an online MBA in nonprofit management will vary depending on which school you attend, so you’ll need to carefully review your options to find the best fit for your needs and goals.

Available concentrations

There are many different roles available in the nonprofit management industry. If you already know what you would like to do after you graduate, look for a program that allows you to focus your studies on this specialty. Some of the most common concentration options for a master’s in nonprofit management include:

  • Human Resources Management: Focuses on managing HR tasks in a nonprofit environment, such as recruiting and hiring employees and administering payroll and benefits.
  • Global Management: Provides an understanding of the nonprofit’s role in the worldwide economy.
  • Health Administration Management: Students learn how to plan, implement, and evaluate nonprofit public health programs.
  • Marketing: Covers marketing strategies for nonprofit, charitable, and nongovernmental organizations while providing a broad overview of marketing basics.

Common degree curriculum

The coursework in an online MBA in nonprofit management program prepares graduates to use business skills to transform social campaigns and make a nonprofit more successful through excellent leadership. The exact curriculum will depend on which school you attend and whether you select a concentration, but some standard courses you might encounter include:

  • Financial Management: Review the external and internal financial reports relevant to nonprofit budgets and strategies.
  • Program Evaluation: Students learn how to collect data about a program to make informed decisions.
  • Ethical Workplaces: Explore ethics in a nonprofit environment and the moral dilemmas nonprofits often face.

Certification and license preparation

In addition to your master’s degree, you should consider earning professional certifications to bolster your resume further and advance your career. Some of the most valuable certification programs for nonprofit managers include:

  • Certified Nonprofit Professional: The CNP credential is offered by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, demonstrating to employers that you are especially well-qualified for management roles in the nonprofit industry. If you go to a school that is one of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s campus partners, you’ll get a discount on the enrollment fee for the CNP program.
  • Six Sigma Certification: Many employers look for candidates familiar with Six Sigma, a set of techniques used for process improvement. To earn Six Sigma certification, you must take a course and pass a proficiency exam.

Program accreditation

Only apply to schools approved by a DOE-recognized regional accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. These organizations evaluate the faculty and curriculum of postsecondary education institutions to ensure they offer students a high-quality academic experience. If your school doesn’t have regional accreditation, you may be unable to access financial aid or transfer credits to another institution if needed.

Program completion timeframe

Online MBA in nonprofit management programs usually require 30 to 45 credit hours of coursework. Most full-time students can graduate within two years, while part-time students may need up to five years.

Also, programs offered in a cohort format will require you to attend classes and complete courses simultaneously as other students. Those who would like to earn their degree as quickly as possible should avoid cohort programs — instead, look for a program that offers asynchronous courses, which can be completed at your own pace.

Employment Outlook for MBA in Nonprofit Management Graduates

Most occupations related to nonprofit management are expected to grow above average over the next decade. That means there should be plenty of employment opportunities in this field, making getting hired and negotiating pay raises easier.

There are high-paying opportunities available in this field as well. The top 10% of community service managers earn over $123,320, and the top 10% of fundraising managers earn over $205,230.

Of course, you should adjust your salary expectations according to where you plan to work. Areas with a higher cost of living tend to offer higher pay. For example, the average salary for a community service manager is $96,060 in New York but just $53,830 in Arkansas.

Job Title Job Description Median Yearly Salary Projected Growth Rate (2022 – 2032)
Community Service Manager Coordinates and manages social and community service programs, including those for nonprofits. $74,240 9%
Fundraising Manager It helps nonprofit organizations access more funding by writing grant proposals and meeting with potential donors. $107,390 5%
Management Analyst Proposes ways to make an organization more efficient. $95,290 10%
Human Resources Manager Handles an organization’s administrative functions, especially those related to volunteers and personnel. $130,000 5%

Professional organizations

Professional organizations offer valuable resources such as industry news, educational opportunities, and networking events. Some of the top organizations for nonprofit managers include:

Financing Your Online MBA in Nonprofit Management Degree

While online programs are generally more affordable than on-campus programs, you still may need help paying for your education. In that case, you should start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — this will determine your eligibility for federally funded loans and grants. For additional assistance, many other public and private organizations offer scholarships.

Student Finance Resources and Guides

As mentioned above, a wide variety of financing opportunities are available, and each option has its own set of eligibility requirements and application deadlines. The resources listed below will help you sort through all this information and save as much money as possible.

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Interested in a degree?

Learn more about online degrees, their start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.