Non-profit organizations are valuable throughout the world. These organizations help address some of the most difficult aspects of life. They take on various challenges and deliver services to those that need it the most. If you enjoy logistics and want to help these organizations, then non-profit management may be right for you.
To work in non-profit management, it’s important to earn a degree. A non-profit management degree allows you to work in entry-level positions for non-profit organizations. This degree also opens up various opportunities for you in the following fields: social work, fundraising and non-profit management.
When working in non-profit management, a lot of day-to-day tasks are based on the size of your organization. Other factors include location and budget.
A non-profit manager’s job is to make sure an organization meets all of its responsibilities and goals. Goals could be to help the environment, provide instruction, or support a community through various services.
A manager is also tasked with analyzing the impact of an organization. Non-profit management involves a great deal of work in restructuring and modifying standard practices. This ensures these practices remain relevant.
A non-profit manager takes care of everything related to maintaining an organization. This includes structuring board meetings, fundraising, and project management. Other work involves securing media exposure for the organization.
A significant amount of time is spent by a non-profit leader coordinating and ensuring the organization receives donations. This may come in gifts or corporate sponsorships. While receiving these gifts, the manager must also ensure the organization does not lose sight of its purpose.
Studying Non-profit Management
Non-profit management study has various similarities to a more traditional business management program. When earning a degree in business management, you develop organizational governance, administration, and financial management skills, just as you would in a non-profit management program.
However, the key difference between non-profit management and business management is the end goal. While a for-profit business has the end goal of increasing profits, a non-profit organization is much different. When working in non-profit management, you have various other goals. These could involve helping the disadvantaged, making education more available to individuals, or helping to promote the arts and culture.
One of the challenges non-profit organizations face is generating revenue for their operating costs, and this is where a non-profit manager comes in. The manager must secure donations and source volunteers to ensure the organization’s humanitarian goals can be met.
With so much work going into ensuring a non-profit organization stays afloat, being a nonprofit manager is difficult, but very rewarding. By successfully managing a nonprofit organization, you can potentially help your community and possibly even the world.
To start your journey on this career path, you’ll first have to earn the proper non-profit management degree. Let’s explore your options below.
Non-profit Management Degree Levels
Below is a guide to the different types of non-profit management degree levels available to students and what career path they can take upon graduation.
Non-profit Management Associate Degree
An associate degree in non-profit management involves various basic courses. These courses cover fundraising, grant proposal writing, volunteer training, and management, as well as issues in special taxation. It is often recommended to also earn a business degree or a degree in a field related to your interest alongside your associate degree in non-profit management. For example, those who want to work in child welfare may look into earning a degree in early childhood development.
Non-profit Management Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree is the typical entry-level requirement for many positions in non-profit work. Many of the courses completed within the program are similar to those in the associate program. Some students take their education further by participating in practical work or an internship. It’s possible to earn your non-profit management degree either online or through traditional education. These degrees prepare you for work in various administrative fields.
Non-profit Management Master’s Degree
This graduate degree is a step forward for those who want to advance their career in non-profit management. Some individuals even pursue this degree after working in the industry for several years. Another reason for pursuing this degree is if you hold a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field. This degree allows you to transition into working with non-profit organizations.
Non-profit Management Degree Concentrations
In addition to earning a degree, students typically have the opportunity to choose a concentration. A concentration is a special plan of study within a specific major. Below is a list of concentrations for non-profit management degrees.
In addition to serving as a degree, non-profit management also acts as a specific concentration. This concentration is also available to those who study business administration, general management, and public administration.
This concentration emphasizes leadership roles, accounting, fundraising, and vital grant-writing skills. Graduates from the concentration have the potential to qualify for voluntary certification in non-profit management or professional fundraising.
Non-profit Management Fundraising
Fundraising is a vital concentration. It emphasizes skills in donor behavior and motivation, capital campaigns, marketing strategies for corporate giving, and grant writing. Students learn skills specifically related to raising funds for a non-profit organization.
Non-profit Management Marketing
Aspiring non-profit managers who choose a concentration in marketing learn how to manage and develop campaigns. Their work is important for the needs of their specific organization. Coursework in this concentration explores various aspects of marketing, such as public relations, fundraising efforts, overlapping marketing, and much more.
Non-profit Management HR
A concentration in HR management focuses on cultivating and organizing human resources, volunteers, consultants, and employees. Coursework in this particular concentration has a strong emphasis on recruiting, hiring challenges specifically related to nonprofits, legal compliance, and more.
By focusing on business administration, students take courses that give them various skills. These skills include completing administrative tasks, communication, and more. All of these skills are taught with an emphasis on practical application.
Non-profit Management Careers
Most non-profit organizations look for students who have earned their master’s degree in non-profit management. The degree indicates they’re capable of tackling any work that needs to be done. Below is a list of some of the highest positions available to those with a degree in non-profit management.
A social services manager coordinates and supervises social service programs for a non-profit organization and the overall community. This individual carries out research on the problems facing people within a community. They then create programs that address those problems. This manager analyzes data the organization receives and prepares grant proposals. Social services managers also mentor new staff members.
Non-profit Fundraising Manager
One of the most important tasks a non-profit organization must complete is earning funds to maintain operations. The fundraising manager helps generate money for their non-profit organization. The manager identifies donors who may be interested in donating to the organization and organizes meetings to help convince people to make donations.
Fundraising managers also have the responsibility of inspiring and recruiting people to volunteer, especially for smaller non-profit organizations.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Non-profit Program Director
A program director develops and creates a wide range of programs for non-profit organizations. Program directors create plans to help raise funds for an organization. Similar to the other positions listed above, a director helps secure large-scale donations for the organization.
Directors are also responsible for budgeting and overseeing any community outreach programs to make sure they run as planned.
Non-profit Chief Executive Office
A CEO in nonprofit is responsible for looking over every aspect of how an organization runs. CEOs look over the work of employees and volunteers. Professionals in this position also have the responsibility of establishing relationships with stakeholders and other leaders in business.
Non-profit Executive Director
Executive directors sit at the top of non-profit organizations. They provide guidance, resources, and contacts to the organization. Their work helps with hiring employees and volunteers, and securing donations to help the organization reach its goals.
An executive director meets with the board of the organization regularly. These meetings are to update board members on how the organization is operating and of any issues that have arisen. The director also works closely with the board. Together, they create strategies to help offer quality solutions to challenges facing the organization.
These are only a small number of careers available to those who earn their non-profit management degree.
Non-profit organizations help communities, the environment, and people all over the world. However, these organizations require professionals capable of securing employees, volunteers, and funds to ensure they can continue operations. This responsibility falls on a non-profit manager.
Not all non-profit organizations require you to have a degree to work in the industry. However, many of them look for individuals who at least have a bachelor’s degree. Typically, non-profit organizations prefer that you have a master’s degree in order to fill management positions.
Working in nonprofits is a great career choice. Learn more about other degree programs through Career Karma. Download the app today.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.