Best Online Master’s in Nonprofit Management Degrees

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If you are a natural philanthropist and leader with a desire to save the world, you should consider a degree in nonprofit management.

As a nonprofit manager, you can work in a variety of sectors to make the world a better place. You will likely work with some element of charitable giving and service, and while your roles will probably vary depending on where you work, a management degree will allow you to work your up to becoming the leader of a nonprofit organization.

It can be nearly impossible to obtain a leadership position without a graduate degree, so you should consider a master’s in nonprofit management to help you meet your professional goals. An online degree will allow you to continue working while you study, giving you the flexibility to study throughout the year and from any location.

Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Nonprofit Management Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Northeastern University Boston, MA
2 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
3 University of Houston Houston, TX
4 Johnson & Wales University Charlotte, NC
5 Regis University Denver, CO
6 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
7 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
8 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA
9 North Park University Chicago, IL
10 Hope International University Fullerton, CA
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What kind of nonprofit management degree should you get?

As a dedicated nonprofit professional, you are likely seeking a degree that will allow you to maintain your current level of commitment to your volunteer or paid nonprofit work. It can be difficult to pursue a college degree while working full-time. As a result, you should consider an affordable online masters in nonprofit management. An online degree will allow you to pursue your studies from any location, at any time of the day.

Most programs are offered asynchronously, meaning you don’t have to log in at a certain time to complete your studies. While a degree in nonprofit management is the most direct way to obtain a leadership position in a nonprofit setting, many other majors may also satisfy that requirement. For a comprehensive list of online colleges, be sure to check out our ranking of the Best Online Colleges.

How much money do people make with a master’s degree in nonprofit management?

Employment of those involved in social and community programming and management, particularly of those running nonprofit organizations, is expected to grow by 18 percent by 2026. This is much faster than average for all other occupations and is likely due in part to the diversity of jobs available in every sector.

Even better, these individuals tend to enjoy high starting salaries. On average, most managers make around $64,100 per year, with higher pay for those with advanced degrees and several years of experience.

What can you do with a master’s degree in nonprofit management?

A degree in nonprofit management will allow you to work in a variety of fields, such as education, social services, arts and culture, environmental protection, and even healthcare. You might take on roles in fundraising, community outreach, or grant writing. With a degree in nonprofit management, you will be qualified to apply for titles such as community engagement director, program director, conference services director, and many others.

The nonprofit sector is the fifth largest economy in the world, addressing the societal, moral, and environmental concerns of the planet, so you will be expected to have a range of skills across a variety of disciplines. With a degree in nonprofit management, you’ll develop all of these skills plus the networking abilities necessary to be successful in any industry.

 
 

What are the requirements for a master’s degree in nonprofit management?

To pursue a degree in nonprofit management, you should have unique skill sets and personality traits such as a compassionate attitude and an eagerness to learn. Many universities require a related degree in order to be eligible for admission to a graduate program.

While enrolled in a program of study in nonprofit management, you will obtain these skills and also engage in hands-on experiences at community nonprofits. You’ll gain a finely tuned understanding of finance, business, planning, and evaluation.

What are the best nonprofit management degrees?

While the very best degree will likely vary depending on your professional and personal goals, we created our list with convenience, flexibility, and overall value in mind. We looked at each school’s overall affordability, as well as their dedication to student services and success.

Academic quality was paramount in our decision-making quality – all of the schools we selected offer programs in nonprofit management that are taught by dedicated and experienced faculty members, many of whom still work in the field.

Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Northeastern University
    Location

    Boston, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Northeastern, located in Boston, Massachusetts, has offered comprehensive higher education programs since 1898. This university offers a variety of professional degree programs at all levels within the College of Professional Studies. Among them is the top-ranked Master of Science in Nonprofit Management. This program accommodates the hectic schedules of working professionals and integrates theoretical approaches with real-world applications.

    Program Features

    This degree program features seven different concentration options, including those in Global Studies, Human Services, Social Media and Online Communities, Sports and Social Change, and many others. The curriculum includes roughly 45 quarter credit-hours, with students taking classes such as:

    • Developing Your Leadership Capability
    • Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations
    • Grant and Report Writing
    • Human Resources Management in Nonprofit Organizations

    Notables

    Because this program incorporates a diverse blend of interactive learning opportunities, it is considered second to none in providing students with programs that are internationally engaging. The school has been recognized on a global scale for its commitment to student success, as well as for the quality of its outstanding scholar faculty. Its comprehensive programs are regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

  2. University of Notre Dame
    Location

    Notre Dame, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Notre Dame, located in Notre Dame, Indiana, offers a highly accessible Executive Master of Nonprofit Administration that allows students to maintain full-time employment while completing 42 credit-hours. This program, in its sixtieth year of operation, provides students with the opportunity to study in a diverse body of peers and professionals, all striving toward the same common goal of global philanthropy.

    Program Features

    While this program does require candidates to have at least two years post undergraduate volunteer or nonprofit work experience, it is highly flexible in that all fall and spring courses can be completed entirely online. In addition to several summer residency requirements, other required courses include:

    • Board Relations and Management
    • Decision Analysis and Statistics Economics of Not-for-Profit Enterprises
    • Ethics in Nonprofit Organizations
    • Management Communication
    • Legal Environment

    Notables

    Tuition for this program is incredibly low, with multiple fellowships available for motivated students. In addition, the program partners with impactful employer partners throughout the community, allowing students to synthesize their experiences in relevant hands-on projects. Partners include organizations such as Volunteers for America, among many others. The school has the largest alumni structure in the world with over 250 clubs worldwide, helping students form valuable career connections.

  3. University of Houston
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Houston is a four-year public university that offers some of the most diverse liberal arts education in the United States. The Master of Arts in Nonprofit Management, offered through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is a multidisciplinary program designed by Houston’s most exceptional nonprofit organizations. It focuses on team-building and experiential learning, giving students unique opportunities to practice their learned skills through hands-on activities.

    Program Features

    This program offers unique electives, allowing students to diversify their studies with topics such as Public Relations and Media as well as Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. Each student is also required to complete a six-credit internship, along with coursework in topics such as:

    • Principles of Nonprofit Marketing
    • Principles of Nonprofit Finance
    • Leadership in Nonprofit Organization
    • Program Assessment and Evaluation
    • Resourcing the Nonprofit Organization

    Notables

    Courses are taught in an online class community that emphasizes the importance of team-building and allows students to explore crucial nonprofit areas such as revenue generation, social media, and project management. Students receive access to exclusive professional resources, including internship opportunities and career workshops, to help enhance their skills.

  4. Johnson & Wales University
    Location

    Charlotte, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Johnson and Wales University has offered exemplary programs for well over 100 years. It prides itself on small class sizes taught by seasoned faculty in a mentor-based model. The affordable program in Nonprofit Management at Johnson and Wales allows students to pursue positions in hospitals, federal agencies, and other charitable organizations. Most students can complete their studies in fewer than 15 months by taking courses in eight-week segments.

    Program Features

    The curriculum of this program is set up in specific niche areas, requiring ten classes in categories such as Resource Development and Collaboration. This degree is highly flexible, allowing students to study at their own pace while taking classes such as:

    • Theory and Practice of Nonprofit Management
    • Personnel Deployment in Nonprofits
    • Methodological, Decision-Making and Analytic Techniques
    • Public, Private and Nonprofit Collaboration
    • Social Entrepreneurship

    Notables

    This program offers competitive tuition and is taught by industry leaders. The curriculum is highly career-focused and can be completed in less than 15 months, teaching students the management techniques and theories behind nonprofit leadership. As a result, Johnson and Wales is rated as one of the Best Regional Universities in the North by U.S. News and World Report for 2018.

  5. Regis University
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Regis University, resting on 91 acres in northwest Denver, Colorado, is split into five colleges offering dozens of career-focused degrees. This Jesuit College was founded in 1877 and offers dozens of programs to 9,200 students. The program in Nonprofit Management at Regis is designed for current industry practitioners and allows for extensive development of the skills necessary to enhance a career. It blends theory with practice, giving students experience in a rapidly growing industry.

    Program Features

    This program includes a large amount of hands-on coursework, with students taking classes to develop their existing skill sets. Each candidate is also required to complete a final capstone through a Professional Project experience or within a service-oriented field experience. Other required classes include:

    • History, Theory and the Future of the Nonprofit Sector
    • Social Justice and the Nonprofit Sector
    • Human Resource Leadership in NPOs
    • Financial Management of Nonprofit Organizations
    • Program Development and Accountability

    Notables

    In addition to the Master of Nonprofit Management, Regis also offers several certificate programs, including one in Nonprofit Organizational Capacity Building. The school’s Jesuit foundation provides students with a curriculum that is value-centered and faith-oriented, giving students a well-rounded approach to nonprofit topics such as public relations, communications, outreach, and program management.

  6. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Central Florida, located in Orlando, Florida, lists access, innovation, and impact as its core values. This university is ranked as one of the most innovative in the country by U.S. News and World Report and specializes in providing accessible, high-value distance learning programs to students all around the globe. The school offers a physical campus in Orlando as well as 12 other central Florida locations in addition to the online setting.

    Program Features

    The Master of Nonprofit Management, available as a stand-alone program as well as in a dual-degree format with a Master of Public Administration, allows students to receive two diplomas after completing an entirely online curriculum. Required courses, leading to 36 credit-hours, include:

    • Volunteerism in Nonprofit Management
    • Nonprofit Resource Development
    • Grant and Contract Management
    • Nonprofit Organizations
    • Ethics and Governance in Nonprofit Management

    Notables

    Starting at just $327.32 per credit-hour, this university is ranked as one of the best in value and affordability by organizations such as Kiplinger’s and Forbes. This affordable program can be created in as little as two years, allowing working professionals the flexibility to complete their degrees quickly and effectively. An additional certificate in National Nonprofit Leadership Alliance is also available to motivated students seeking an additional credential.

  7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of North Carolina, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, offers dozens of interactive online programs. The flexible Nonprofit Management with a Master of Public Administration degree is offered through the university’s School of Government. The program is fully accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration, and is ranked among the top 25 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

    Program Features

    Coursework in this program emphasizes the governance, funding, and tax structures behind a successful nonprofit organization. Students gain practical skills, such as grant preparation and fundraising, to help them succeed in any nonprofit setting. This degree can be completed in as little as 18 months. Required classes include:

    • Public Administration Institutions and Values
    • Organization Theory
    • Public Service Leadership
    • Public Administration Analysis and Evaluation
    • Human Resource Management

    Notables

    This immersive university is dedicated to student success. Students receive access to extensive support, such as a dedicated admissions counselor, faculty support teams, one-on-one mentoring, and guidance services. Because classes are offered live, all students receive face-to-face instruction from the same distinguished faculty who teach on campus. All coursework can be completed virtually and on each student’s own time.

  8. Bay Path University
    Location

    Longmeadow, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Bay Path University has been offering affordable and career-oriented programs in Longmeadow, Massachusetts since 1897. This award-winning university offers several program options for budding philanthropists, including a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy and one with an additional certificate in Strategic Fundraising. Both require 36 total credit-hours for completion and begin in February, June, or October.

    Program Features

    This program is offered in a combination of on-campus and online courses, as well as exclusively in both formats. A range of classes are available, including those in:

    • Foundations of Philanthropy
    • Grant Writing for Corporations and Foundations
    • Financial Management in the Nonprofit Sector
    • Managing Diversity in Today’s Nonprofits
    • Development and Management of Faith-Based Organizations

    Notables

    The program in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy is rated as one of the most affordable and best value online programs of its kind, according to various ranking organizations. This is predominantly due to the small class sizes and the fact that each class is taught by faculty with extensive industry experience. All students receive a trusted program advisor and have the option to take classes in accelerated eight-week formats.

  9. North Park University
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Located in Chicago, Illinois, North Park University is a private Christian University that was founded in 1891 by the Evangelical Covenant Church. This small school offers a handful of degrees to roughly 3,100 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral candidates, both online and on-campus. The 100 percent online program in Nonprofit Administration at North Park prepares students to pursue senior-level positions in the nonprofit sector.

    Program Features

    The 18-course Master of Nonprofit Administration at North Park is designed to address every topic a developing professional needs to be successful. In addition to the stand-alone graduate program, multiple certificate programs are also available, including those in nonprofit finance, marketing, church administration, and others. In the major, students will take classes such as:

    • Nonprofit Financial Management
    • Nonprofit Board Governance and Volunteer Management
    • Nonprofit Marketing Analysis and Consumer Behavior
    • Measuring Outcomes and Assessment

    Notables

    North Park is unique in that it provides even online students access to the Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management. This on-campus center provides students with exclusive access to trainings, social events, and networking opportunities. Upon graduation, each student receives a Certified Nonprofit Professional credential, an opportunity available only at North Park through its members in the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

  10. Hope International University
    Location

    Fullerton, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Hope International is located in Fullerton, California and offers programs on three different campuses, each divided into five academic colleges. The Nonprofit Management degree at Hope International is presented as one of four different concentrations within the Master of Business Administration program. This gives students the skills in leadership, ethics, communication, and critical thinking necessary to be successful in any nonprofit setting.

    Program Features

    This 36 credit-hour program prepares students with the management skills necessary to succeed in an advanced leadership setting. This reputable program blends theory and practice in classes taught by faculty who are the most proficient in the industry. Core concentration courses include:

    • Human Resource Management
    • Fundraising
    • Boards, Committees, and Leadership
    • Contemporary Issues for Non-Profit Management
    • Enterprise Development

    Notables

    Hope International was originally founded as the Pacific Bible Seminary, and while the school no longer is dedicated solely to seminary studies, the community-centered environment is still at the core of all of the university’s programs. The university is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission, and gives students exclusive access to career-building workshops and opportunities. This makes it one of the best of its kind at offering career-focused training.

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