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What is an MBA in Nonprofit Management?

An online MBA in nonprofit management prepares students for leadership roles in the social sector, where they use business skills to transform social programs, services, and campaigns. With an MBA, you can bring order, strategy, and success to a nonprofit organization; NPOs are not much different than for-profit corporations in terms of how they organize their goals, budgets, staffing, and results. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for social and community service managers is expected to increase 10% by 2024. An MBA in nonprofit management online degree will distinguish you from other candidates as you pursue a career in social activism.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for social and community service managers is expected to increase 10% by 2024.

Most management positions in a nonprofit require at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration or in a relevant field for the NPO, such as a public health degree for an NPO that focuses on health care. If you already have a BA or BS in one of these disciplines, adding an MBA in nonprofit management online degree can round out your qualifications. Many employers prefer candidates who have an academic background in business.

Comparison of Nonprofit Management Master’s Degrees

All nonprofit management master’s degree online programs recognize that NPOs seek the strong leadership and skilled management that private-sector businesses want. Success of social programs, community services, and grassroots campaigns rely on clear direction and able vision. An online MBA in nonprofit management filters the business administration core through a nonprofit lens.

Degree Description Average Salary* Length
MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership This MS degree develops skills needed to inspire a team, manage day-to-day operations, and carry out strategic planning for a nonprofit. Upon graduation, students are prepared for leadership roles as program directors, program coordinators, and social managers. $41,562 2 Years
Master’s of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management and Leadership Graduates of a master’s degree in public administration are prepared to lead nonprofits using knowledge of the bureaucratic process, which is invaluable when working with government. With skills in fundraising, staffing, and outreach, these degree holders are equipped to deal with public policy. $37,161 Less than 2 Years (18 months)
Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in Nonprofit Management Graduates of nonprofit management MBA online degrees bring business-savvy, creative to nonprofits. An online MBA with a nonprofit management concentration prepares graduates to make an impact by applying business and financial skills to solve problems, mitigate conflict, and attain goals. $65,006 2 years

While course selection varies by school, the core curriculum of a nonprofit management MBA online degree is grounded in the theories and best practices of business administration. Most online master’s nonprofit management programs employ experiential learning to provide firsthand knowledge in applying business skills, such as strategic thinking and accounting, to nonprofit organizations.

Course Competencies Developed Occupational Skill Level
Leadership Learn to lead responsibly with awareness of one’s own strengths and weaknesses. Apply personal insights to inspire others and positively impact an organization. TITLE: Chief Executive Officer
SALARY: growth of 5%
Strategic Planning Learn to strategize for business objectives, accounting for budget, resources, and time; use internal analysis to plan, implement, and evaluate strategy. TITLE: Program Director
SALARY: growth of 12%
Financial Management Learn how to apply external and internal financial reports to nonprofit budgeting and strategy; recognize trends, revise plans, and maximize resources. TITLE: Program Manager
SALARY: growth of 2%

An online MBA in nonprofit management translates well to the social sector because running a nonprofit is similar to operating any business. The mission may be different, but the challenges, strategies, and objectives are not. It’s unsurprising that many of the positions in private-sector businesses are also in NPOs.

Executive Director, Nonprofit Organization Median Salary: $64,262
  • Environmental nonprofit
  • Social welfare organization
The executive director at a nonprofit organization is equivalent to a CEO. This top-level executive guides the NPO’s vision, devizes overall strategy, oversees operations, and works with the board of directors.
Director of Development (Fundraising) Median Salary: $70,597
  • Charity
  • Animals organization
The director of development at a nonprofit organizes fundraising efforts, develops and implements strategic plans to reach donors, raises funds, and attains goals in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Program Coordinator, Nonprofit Organization Median Salary: $40,638
  • Civic league
  • Chamber of commerce
A program coordinator is in charge of a particular social service, campaign, or project, with duties including creating a plan of action, working with the community, and coordinating volunteers and staff.
Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description

Concordia University - Ann Arbor

Location Ann Arbor, MI Tuition Tuition $27,261 % Receiving Financial Aid 74% Student Population 899 School Type Private
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Concordia University - Wisconsin

Location Mequon, WI Tuition Tuition $27,261 % Receiving Financial Aid 67% Student Population 8,268 School Type Private
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Corban University

Location Salem, OR Tuition Tuition $18,720 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 1,232 School Type Private
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Crown College

Location Saint Bonifacius, MN Tuition Tuition $22,260 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 1,153 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Endicott College

Location Beverly, MA Tuition Tuition $31,454 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 4,695 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Greenville College

Location Greenville, IL Tuition Tuition $17,485 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 1,321 School Type Private
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John Wesley University

Location High Point, NC Tuition Tuition $9,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 42% Student Population 158 School Type Private
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Johnson & Wales University

Location Providence, RI Tuition Tuition $25,974 % Receiving Financial Aid 86% Student Population 500 School Type Private
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Johnson University

Location Knoxville, TN Tuition Tuition $19,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 59% Student Population 1,171 School Type Private
Concentrations
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National Louis University

Location Chicago, IL Tuition Tuition $30,459 % Receiving Financial Aid 63% Student Population 4,384 School Type Private
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New England College

Location Henniker, NH Tuition Tuition $23,800 % Receiving Financial Aid 77% Student Population 2,517 School Type Private
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North Park University

Location Chicago, IL Tuition Tuition $41,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 70% Student Population 3,159 School Type Private
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Oklahoma State University

Location Stillwater, OK Tuition Tuition $19,908 % Receiving Financial Aid 42% Student Population 25,930 School Type Public
Concentrations
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Olivet Nazarene University

Location Bourbonnais, IL Tuition Tuition $24,400 % Receiving Financial Aid 72% Student Population 4,892 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Salve Regina University

Location Newport, RI Tuition Tuition $20,340 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 2,757 School Type Private
Concentrations
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Tiffin University

Location Tiffin, OH Tuition Tuition $25,200 % Receiving Financial Aid 76% Student Population 3,496 School Type Private
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Touro University Worldwide

Location Los Alamitos, CA Tuition Tuition $18,000 % Receiving Financial Aid 13% Student Population 880 School Type Private
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Wilmington University

Location New Castle, DE Tuition Tuition $16,776 % Receiving Financial Aid 48% Student Population 15,002 School Type Private
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If you’ve decided that an MBA in nonprofit management is right for you, it is time to start narrowing down the list of potential schools. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you through the process.

  • Search for schools in your area

    Even though you are looking for online programs, it’s always helpful to choose a school that is within a 100 mile radius of your home. Online students often report that they enjoy the ability to visit campus if the need arises. In addition, schools often partner with local businesses, meaning a school in your area will have a better chance of helping you find a job close to home.

  • Compare student outcomes data

    Many schools will readily provide this information on their website; however, if you can’t find it, be sure to contact the school and ask for it. This data should include graduation rates, employment rates, and compensation levels of recent graduates. When compared side-by-side, this information can provide a snapshot of program quality.

  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs

    Prospective students often underestimate the total cost of their program. Make sure you calculate the total number of credit hours you will need to graduate, and multiply that by cost per credit hour. Do not forget to include the cost of supplies, internet, and time you will spend not earning an income. Additionally, compare financial aid options, different schools may offer better financial aid packages and/or scholarships that can offset the cost of education.

  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule

    One of the central benefits of online education is flexibility. However, some programs require set meeting times, synchronous workshops, and mandatory campus visits. Be sure that you are aware of all time commitments and be sure that they will fit into your current schedule.

  • Look for partnerships with local businesses

    The main objective of getting your nonprofit management MBA is to find a secure job with a healthy salary in a field you enjoy. Attending a well-connected school that has partnerships with local businesses can boost your employment opportunities after you graduate. Many of these partners offer internships that can lead to full-time employment. Regardless, these internships provide the network and experience you’ll need to get a job elsewhere.

  • Make sure the program is accredited

    Accreditation is the formal review process that ensures a school is offering a reputable program and adhering to minimum academic standards. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is the national agency that accredits undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs in business and accounting. By checking a program’s status with the AACSB, you can be confident you are receiving a recognized, quality degree. Employers generally will not hire job candidates who possess degrees from unaccredited schools. Nor will schools accept academic credentials from unaccredited programs.

  • Talk to current students and/or recent alumni

    Actual students and graduates are amazing resources to help you choose an online nonprofit management MBA program. They can give unbiased, real-world perspectives on how the program has served them, what they liked, and what they disliked. Ask an admissions counselor to put you in touch with a current student or recent alumnus. Alternatively, use LinkedIn or Facebook to find and reach out to people.

Attending the best online schools for nonprofit management is an investment that leads to a lifetime of fulfilling work. Foundations, orgs, academic institutions, and corporations across the nation have set aside financial awards for those pursuing careers in social activism, public service, or the community. These scholarships, fellowships, and grants were established to support tomorrow’s leaders, who are determined to make a difference.