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.

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

Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Nonprofit Management?

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

Online MBA in Nonprofit Management Curriculum

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%

What Can You Do With an Online MBA in Nonprofit Management?

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.

Schools Offering an Online MBA in Nonprofit Management

Rank School Location Cost Toggle Logo Tuition % Receiving Financial Aid Student Population School Type Description
Concordia University - Wisconsin
Location Mequon , WI Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 67 Student Population 8,268 Tuition $27,261 School Type Private

Courses in the on-campus and online MBA programs offered at Concordia University-Wisconsin and Ann Arbor take eight weeks to complete, which allows students to finish the 39-credit program within two years. In addition to business courses, students must complete an internship consisting of at least 120 hours. A concentration in nonprofit management and leadership maximizes students' skills in board development, fundraising strategies, volunteer recruiting, and public relations. The admissions process does not require submission of GRE scores, but applicants must provide a one-page essay, a resume, and two letters of recommendation.

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

The leadership and management MBA concentration available at Corban University develops leadership and business skills for a variety of environments, including nonprofit organizations. Areas of study include best practices in human resource management, operations management, leadership fundamentals, and sales management. The scheduling design of Corban University's 30-credit online MBA, with each eight-week class conducted consecutively, one at a time, allows for full degree completion in one year. Admission requirements include a statement of faith, submission of a Christian character reference, a minimum GMAT score of 500, and a resume with demonstrated professional experience.

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

Situated in Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota, Crown College offers undergraduate and graduate degrees with a faith-based biblical integration. Crown's online MBA in nonprofit management requires the completion of five concentration courses including marketing for nonprofits, fundraising and philanthropy, and financial management for the nonprofit. The remainder of the program's 42 credits consists of nine core courses on strategic management and planning, applied business practice, and spiritual foundations of leadership. Admission prerequisites to the MBA program include a regionally-accredited bachelor's degree, a 2.5 cumulative undergraduate GPA, and six undergraduate credits in financial accounting and finance.

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

With Endicott College, students can earn an MBA online in nonprofit management through the same curriculum as the on-campus program. This curriculum offers 14 areas of concentration, including nonprofit management, does not require submission of GMAT scores for admission, and allows for flexible scheduling. Students can graduate in as little as 18 months. The 42-credit curriculum consists of fundamental courses and four concentration courses including marketing and fundraising for nonprofits and providing direction for nonprofits. Endicott does not require internships for MBA students, but the Internship and Career Center can assist if students wish to complete one during their study.

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

Greenville College provides students with the opportunity to earn an MBA in nonprofit management online in under two years. The program curriculum emphasizes study of organizational theory and development, human resource development, group behavior, and leadership. A final capstone action research project develops applied business administration knowledge and skills in relevant, real-world scenarios. Other skills developed in the MBA program fall within the areas of management, accounting, economics, and finance. Holistic admissions criteria require a writing sample and resume, and consider a combination of work experience, undergraduate or graduate education, and/or GMAT scores.

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

Providence, Rhode Island, is home to Johnson and Wales University, a private, nonprofit school with plenty of degree offerings for undergraduates, adult learners, and online students. With only two years of study required to complete an MBA in nonprofit management, students can quickly enhance their career. A faculty of industry leaders guide students through each career-focused course. Areas of study include research-based decision-making, advanced communication skills, and problem solving effective executive decisions. Applicants with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.85 or better do not need to take the GMAT for admission to Johnson and Wales.

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

Johnson University's MBA program prepares professionals for advanced leadership roles in business environments with a curriculum that incorporates the biblical wisdom you expect from a private, Christian education. Three concentrations, including nonprofit management, steer students toward their own career goals. The nonprofit concentration requires the completion of courses in nonprofit law, resource development, and project design management. All MBA students complete a capstone project, synthesizing business management skills in research, analysis, and communication. Admission requirements include three letters of recommendation from a pastor, an educator, and an employer.

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National Louis University
Location Chicago , IL Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 63 Student Population 4,384 Tuition $30,459 School Type Private

Chicago's National Louis University offers an MBA in nonprofit management both online and on campus. The curriculum focuses heavily on authentic leadership, promoting students' ability to achieve results and make a positive impact on their organization through passion, integrity, and relationship building. Thirty-nine required semester hours include core courses like macroeconomics and strategic marketing, and concentration courses like fundraising and philanthropy. A capstone course provides an opportunity for students to practice forming and analyzing business strategy decisions in a dynamic environment. All applicants must submit a resume, a written statement of professional goals, and two letters of recommendation.

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New England College
Location Henniker , NH Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 77 Student Population 2,517 Tuition $23,800 School Type Private

Designed with full- and part-time professionals in mind, New England College's MBA in nonprofit leadership boasts a flexible online format that allows for learners to complete all 10 courses within 20 months. Students develop innovative leadership skills by studying nonprofit governance, financial management, and fundraising. A rare MBA course in grant writing and project management prepares nonprofit managers to formulate and lead the creation process of project grant proposals. All students complete their degree with a capstone project. The admissions process at New England College operates on a rolling basis, allowing new students to start coursework every seven weeks, and does not require GRE/GMAT scores.

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

North Park University does not offer a dedicated nonprofit MBA degree, but students of the MBA program can decide to use their elective course slots to complete one of 16 different certificate options, including nonprofit management. This certificate option requires no additional cost or time commitment and focuses on areas of management theory application, marketing analysis and consumer behavior, and financial management, all within the context of a nonprofit organization. Upon completing all requirements (10 certificate course credits and 26 core credits, including a capstone project), graduates are conferred with two different accolades: an MBA and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management.

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

Oklahoma State University began offering MBAs online in 1992. The tradition continues today with a variety of online MBA options available for part-time students. Nine available online concentrations include an option in nonprofit management. Nonprofit concentration courses range from ethical leadership to managing confrontations to grant writing. In addition to submitting three letters of recommendation, a purpose statement, and a resume, MBA applicants must possess an accredited bachelor's degree, a competitive GRE/GMAT score, and a cumulative minimum 3.0 GPA. The degree requires no formal prerequisite courses and no specific work experience, although a background in calculus and quantitative skills improves the likelihood of success.

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

Through Olivet Nazarene University, a private institution based in Bourbonnais, Illinois, students can earn their online MBA in just 18 months. Nine core courses hone leadership and business skills through the examination of legal issues, communication, and financial decision-making. A nonprofit concentration option customizes degree outcomes for nonprofit leaders. The nine-hour sequence of courses in corporate communication and media strategies, nonprofit finances, operations, and fundraising centers on public relations, volunteerism, hiring, and governance. Before graduation, each student completes a research-based project or a global travel experience.

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

Salve Regina University, a private Catholic university located in Newport, Rhode Island, offers a rigorous MBA program to online students from around the world. The 36-credit MBA holds programmatic accreditation from the International Council for Business Education. An available concentration in nonprofit management prepares students for administrative leadership positions in nonprofit organizations in fields like healthcare, education, performing arts, and social welfare. To fulfill concentration requirements, students complete courses in marketing, fundraising, financial management, and human resources management, all within a nonprofit context. In addition to transcripts, the admissions process requires submission of two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a resume.

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

Established with the Judaic philosophy of philanthropic duty in mind, nonprofit Touro University Worldwide provides online and on-campus higher education through a network of Jewish-sponsored institutions. Touro students can complete an array of professional degrees, including an MBA in nonprofit management online. Completion of all degree requirements can occur in as little as 12 months. The concentration curriculum includes nonprofit-focused courses on management, financial decision-making, marketing, and revenue generation. Prospective MBA students can apply without submitting GRE or GMAT scores and without paying an application fee. A 2.5 minimum baccalaureate GPA requirement allows for greater flexibility than many other graduate school admissions.

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Wilmington University
Location New Castle , DE Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 48 Student Population 15,002 Tuition $16,776 School Type Private

Classes start every eight weeks for Wilmington University's online MBA, accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. The specialized nonprofit management concentration requires an extensive 11-course sequence to build competencies in advanced research and written/oral communication; decision-making, critical thinking, and problem solving in 503c agencies; and understanding issues faced by (and creating solutions for) today's nonprofit agency leaders. Admission does not require GMAT scores, but ultimate degree candidacy depends heavily on the completion of undergraduate prerequisite courses in mathematics, accounting, finance, and economics. Students may complete courses within the first 12 credits of the MBA to fulfill some of these requirements.

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University of Massachusetts - Boston
Location Boston , MA Tuition $$$$$ % Receiving Financial Aid 55 Student Population 16,847 Tuition $23,892 School Type Public

Ideal for the nonprofit leader in an urban environment or social work-focused organization, the nonprofit management MBA specialization at the University of Massachusetts-Boston requires the completion of four courses: nonprofit management, social enterprise and poverty alleviation, social and nonprofit marketing, and public policy changes for urban nonprofit organizations. The 36-credit program does not offer rolling admission, requiring students to begin classes in either the fall or spring semesters, but the flexible online format allows for part-time or full-time enrollment based upon individual scheduling needs. Applicants must submit a 1,500-word essay, GMAT or GRE scores, and two letters of recommendation from professional or academic references.

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How to Choose an Online MBA in Nonprofit Management Program

Pursuing an MBA in nonprofit management online can lead to rewarding careers in a variety of fields, including healthcare, veteran assistance, and international business. With so many paths to choose from, it's important to select an MBA program that reflects your career goals. As you explore your options, considering factors such as cost, program length, and school location can help you make the right choice. The following tips may help you make the best decision for you.

  • Search for Schools in Your Area

    There are many benefits to pursuing an online MBA in nonprofit management at a local school. Learners can fulfill internship or practicum requirements at nearby organizations, building a local professional network. Area companies maintain employment or training partnerships with nearby colleges. Students can easily complete on-campus degree components with minimal travel, while graduates can participate in alumni events.

  • Ensure the School's Admission Requirements Match up With Your Expectations

    Every school maintains individual admission standards, and prospective students should ensure that they qualify for a program before applying. Candidates may need to take exams like the General Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Most MBA programs also require applicants to hold a relevant bachelor's degree. Individuals who do not meet a school's qualifications must either obtain the necessary credentials or choose an institution with different standards.

  • Compare Student Outcomes Data

    Before choosing an online MBA in nonprofit management, it may be helpful to explore a program's employment statistics, graduation rates, and average salaries. High graduation rates indicate student satisfaction, and exceptional employment and earning levels reveal that employers value degrees from an institution.

  • Estimate the Expected Costs of Your Program

    Carefully consider each school's tuition rates to determine which institutions fit your budget. Candidates who enter a program without sufficient funds may spend years paying off student loan debt. Public universities often charge lower tuition rates than private schools, and in-state students frequently pay less than out-of-state learners. Be sure to factor in other expenses, including fees, technology, and textbooks.

  • Check That Classes Will Fit in With Your Schedule

    Earning an MBA in nonprofit management online is typically more convenient than attending classes on campus. However, some programs provide more flexibility than others. Curricula may include on-campus components, or require learners to participate in real-time labs, lectures, or events. Before applying, prospective students should ensure that a program does not conflict with their professional and personal responsibilities. Candidates with full-time jobs and community service obligations may choose to enroll on a part-time status.

  • Look for Partnerships With Local Nonprofits

    An MBA online in nonprofit management often requires collaborating on projects with local companies. Learners can interact with potential employers and build nearby industry networks. For example, students working with a nonprofit veteran assistance organization can build relationships with staff, increase future employment opportunities, and obtain recommendations for certification programs and job openings.

  • Make Sure the Program Is Accredited

    Accreditation is a quality control process in which external organizations review schools to ensure they uphold high academic standards. Only students enrolled at accredited institutions may receive federal financial aid, and most schools and employers exclusively recognize degrees and credits earned from accredited institutions. Some MBA programs receive additional, field-specific accreditation through agencies such as the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.

  • Talk to Current Students or Recent Alumni

    Alumni and current students can provide firsthand information about a program or school. Often, colleges connect prospective students and alumni through career centers and social media. You may also wish to browse Facebook groups for school or program alumni.

Resources for MBA in Nonprofit Management Students

Nonprofit Management Scholarships

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.

Other Online MBA Programs That May Interest You

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