What Can I Do with a Master's Degree in Nonprofit Management?

Nonprofit organizations frequently require their leaders to possess a master's degree in nonprofit management. Geared toward working professionals, this degree program can open many opportunities to advance your career in nonprofit work or to move from business to nonprofit management. Schools offering Nonprofit Management & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Opportunities for Graduates of Nonprofit Management Master's Degree Programs

Some of the positions available to those who possess a master's degree in nonprofit management include program director, chief executive officer, executive director, board member, social service manager or fundraising manager. Larger organizations especially seek leadership members with advanced degrees to head up a team of managers. Leadership in smaller nonprofit organizations might take on a variety of duties that keep the program running.

Important Facts About Careers in Nonprofit Management

Social and Community Services Managers Public Relations and Funding Managers
On-the-Job Training Not formally provided, but work experience is typically acquired through time spent as a social worker, or similar occupation Not formally provided, but work experience is usually obtained through time as a public relations specialist or fundraiser
Key Skills Analytical and critical thinking; problem solving; time management Clear communication; problem solving; time management; organization
Work Environment Individual and family services; state and local governments; religious, grantmaking, civil, professional, and similar organizations Religious, grantmaking, civil, professional, and similar organizations; educational services; professional, scientific, and technical services
Similar Occupations Human resources managers; education administrators; emergency management directors Advertising sales agents; market research analysts; public relations specialists

Employment Outlook and Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a faster than average 18% increase in employment of social and community service managers, including those running nonprofit organizations, is expected from 2016-2026. During the same decade, an average 10% increase in jobs for public relations and fundraising managers, including nonprofit managers, is predicted. Also, per the BLS, in 2018, social and community service managers earned a median annual wage of $65,320, and public relations and fundraising managers earned a median of $114,800.

Nonprofit Management Master's Degree Overview

Many schools throughout the country offer nonprofit degree programs at the master's level, and some schools offer this type of program online. Schools may grant Master of Nonprofit Management or Master of Science in Nonprofit Management degrees. Some programs offer concentration areas, like human services, project management, social media communication, organizational communication and global studies. Nonprofit management master's degree programs are often designed for individuals who are already working in nonprofit institutions, though people from related fields who are looking for a career change may also pursue this type of degree.

As a student, you can learn business skills related to running nonprofit organizations. Project management, budgeting, leadership and interpersonal skills are the foundation of many master's degree in nonprofit management programs. You also learn about the legal guidelines for managing nonprofit organizations and develop skills in grant writing and fundraising. Programs may include practical training components involving completing administrative work or planning tasks for real nonprofit organizations.


The classes in a nonprofit management master's degree program teach students about the financial, entrepreneurial and organizational aspects of running a nonprofit organization. Some of the course topics in a master's degree in a nonprofit management program include:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Public policy
  • Management consulting
  • Community building for managers
  • Fundraising and development
  • Business planning
  • Project management in nonprofit organizations
  • Grant writing and advocacy

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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