An online degree in nonprofit management prepares students to plan and oversee daily operations of nonprofit organizations. Professionals who work for nonprofits apply business knowledge to social, political, or religious causes. Many nonprofits host fundraisers and events to benefit the local community, all of which require detailed planning. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for social and community service managers is projected to increase 16% from 2016 to 2026. With this increased demand for managers in the nonprofit sector, now is an ideal time to earn a master’s in nonprofit management.
What are the Best Online Master's in Nonprofit Management Programs?
Regis University Denver, CO
ADMISSIONS RATE 66%
GRADUATION RATE 73%
ONLINE ENROLLMENT 36%
RETENTION RATE 79%
DEFAULT RATE 5%
Founded in 1877, Regis University is a Jesuit institution of higher education focused on academic and professional development. Regis offers an online master’s in nonprofit management that prepares students for leadership roles in areas like fundraising, community outreach, and government relations and advocacy. The degree plan consists of 36 credits in required coursework, including topics in financial resource management, communication skills, and conflict resolution. Students must also complete a capstone experience, choosing either an independent project or service-oriented work. Online classes are structured in eight-week sessions with six start dates throughout the year.
University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
ADMISSIONS RATE 49%
GRADUATION RATE 70%
ONLINE ENROLLMENT 15%
RETENTION RATE 89%
DEFAULT RATE 7%
The University of Central Florida provides working professionals with a number of graduate degree pathways, including a master’s in nonprofit management online program. Through coursework centered on applying skills in real-world scenarios, students learn to complete concrete projects like grant proposals, volunteer onboarding, and overarching strategic plans. Beyond the 30 hours of predetermined classes, students may round out their degree plan with electives, capstone experience, or by completing the National Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certificate.online master’s in nonprofit management programThis online nonprofit management program is entirely remote, enabling students to continue working while they study. The affordable tuition rate is fixed per credit hour and is the same for all online graduate students regardless of where they reside. UCF Online also offers a dual-degree option where students can earn a master of nonprofit management and a master of public administration concurrently.
Hope International University Fullerton, CA
ADMISSIONS RATE 34%
GRADUATION RATE 42%
ONLINE ENROLLMENT 47%
RETENTION RATE 91%
DEFAULT RATE 9%
Hope International University is a Christian college with campuses in California, Nebraska, and Washington State. The school provides a variety of fully distance learning programs, including the master of business administration with a nonprofit management concentration. Hope’s MBA equips students with the analytical, financial, and communication skills needed to become business owners or work as mid-level to upper-level managers in a global economic setting.online master’s in nonprofit management programThe curriculum for this 36-credit online degree in nonprofit management includes courses in fundraising, enterprise development, and strategic management and planning. The degree plan also includes a capstone requirement, which students can fulfill by either conducting a research project or writing a synthesis paper. To apply, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited US institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Though work experience is not explicitly required, it’s looked upon favorably during the admission process.
Grace College and Theological Seminary Winona Lake, IN
ADMISSIONS RATE 77%
GRADUATION RATE 60%
ONLINE ENROLLMENT 11%
RETENTION RATE 80%
DEFAULT RATE 4%
To further its mission of providing quality education to all learners, Grace College and Theological Seminary offers several graduate degree programs through its hybrid and online platforms. The school’s master of science in nonprofit management empowers graduates to effectively train staff, raise funds, and incorporate technology to improve the efficiency of an organization. Coursework includes grant writing, nonprofit management, and two integrative projects where students examine an issue in the field and work to solve it.online master’s in nonprofit management programGrace’s nonprofit master’s degree online program welcomes applications from all students, including those residing outside the US. Students can take advantage of Grace’s flexible transfer policy, which accepts prior credits for college work, professional accreditation, and military training.
Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA
ADMISSIONS RATE 77%
GRADUATION RATE 57%
ONLINE ENROLLMENT 29%
RETENTION RATE 80%
DEFAULT RATE 9%
Bay Path University offers a master of science in nonproft management and philanthropy that focuses on team leadership and organizational development. Students will learn technological integration and strategic planning tailored to a nonprofit environment. The curriculum consists of eight core classes and four electives (totalling 36 credits), and includes courses in financial decision making, personal effectiveness, and a capstone seminar in advanced management.
Students may enter BPU’s nonprofit management master’s online program at three points during the year. Classes are offered in accelerated eight-week format for those who want to earn their degree as quickly as possible. Applicants don’t need GRE or GMAT scores to be admitted.
Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio, TX
ADMISSIONS RATE 68%
GRADUATION RATE 37%
ONLINE ENROLLMENT 33%
RETENTION RATE 59%
DEFAULT RATE 10%
Since its doors opened in 1896, Our Lady of the Lake University has offered a range of academic opportunities for working students, including its new online programs. OLLU’s online master’s in nonprofit management features significant work outside the classroom; students are expected to design projects and gain on-the-job experience. The focus on real-world experience makes the program a great fit for independent, motivated learners. Notable classes in the program include social media for nonprofits, grant writing, and becoming an effective executive director.
Coursework totals 36 credits and includes topics like board governance and the legal and ethical elements of nonprofits. Many classes are also offered in an accelerated format for those who want to expedite degree completion. In order to apply, students must have an accredited baccalaureate degree and a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. All online students pay a the same tuition rate and are eligible for financial aid, including graduate assistantships.
University of Houston-Downtown Houston, TX
ADMISSIONS RATE 78%
GRADUATION RATE 13%
ONLINE ENROLLMENT 15%
RETENTION RATE 66%
DEFAULT RATE 14%
Located in the heart of the Texas’s biggest city, the University of Houston - Downtown offers an online nonprofit management master’s program that empowers experienced administrators and recent college graduates to lead teams and improve the efficiency of their organizations. Grounded in an interdisciplinary approach, the curriculum focuses on experiential learning; every course consists of opportunities to apply learned skills. In addition to the 24 credits of required classes and internships, students also have 12 hours of electives with which to personalize their degree plan. Students can learn about topics like volunteerism, grant writing, and ethical issues in public administration.
In order to be admitted, applicants must demonstrate the academic abilities necessary to complete the program and interest in the nonprofit field. Online students may access graduate assistantships, though this will involve some on-campus work at UHD.
Northeastern University Global Network Boston, MA
|GRADUATION RATE 0%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 48%||RETENTION RATE 0%||DEFAULT RATE 4%||
Northeastern University Global Network is connected with more than 3,000 employers in over 150 countries. The school’s master’s in nonprofit management online program trains students in business and leadership skills so they can affect change in their organizations and communities. Northeastern’s program is highly personalizable; the school offers seven concentrations, including sports and social change, global studies, and leadership.
Students may enter the program at four points during the year. International residents are welcomed to apply. The affordable tuition is fixed regardless of where a student lives. All learners are eligible for Northeastern’s financial assistance program.
Gratz College Melrose Park, PA
|GRADUATION RATE 0%||ONLINE ENROLLMENT 0%||RETENTION RATE 0%||DEFAULT RATE 2%||
Located just north of Philadelphia in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, Gratz College’s online master’s in nonprofit management program is ideal for experienced professionals. The program places an emphasis on interpersonal skills and managerial development, necessary for those who want to lead their organizations. Course offerings include social entrepreneurship, nonprofit law, and organizational behavior. Because Gratz is steeped in the history and beliefs of the Jewish community, students can take classes in successful interfaith dialogue and the Jewish family. The curriculum ends with an applied research capstone project that asks students to synthesize what they’ve learned and contribute new ideas to the nonprofit field.
Gratz offers online courses in accelerated eight-week format. Most students earn their master’s degree in less than two years. The program welcomes all students, including those residing outside the US, though additional admissions requirements do apply to international candidates.
How to Choose an Online Master's in Nonprofit Management Program
When choosing a nonprofit management master’s program, consider your individual requirements, such as the amount of time you are able to devote to your studies, concentrations you are interested in pursuing, and your budget. Also consider whether the school is nationally or regionally accredited.
Master’s in nonprofit management online programs typically require 36 credits, which full-time students complete in one year. Each program offers similar core courses and covers foundational topics such as financial management and marketing for nonprofits. However, available electives vary widely by program. Some nonprofit management master’s programs are offered completely online, and others are available in a blended format, which typically involves a capstone internship.
Careers for Graduates of Master's in Nonprofit Management Programs
Graduates with a master’s in nonprofit management pursue a variety of career paths. Nonprofit organizations typically employ a team of professionals to ensure operations run smoothly. Each team member has a specific focus, such as fundraising, marketing campaigns, or internal affairs. With each of these positions multiplied by the number of nonprofit organizations in existence, graduates of master's in nonprofit management online programs have ample job opportunities. The following table highlights five occupations in the nonprofit sector.
Program coordinators work within the community, conducting outreach and overseeing volunteers.
Median Salary: $41,000
Median Salary: $48,784
Median Salary: $63,824
Median Salary: $63,543
Median Salary: $39,000
Job Outlook and Salary for Graduates of Nonprofit Management Master's Degrees
Employment for nonprofit management positions is projected to grow 16% within the next decade. While the number of positions will grow, salaries in the nonprofit sector vary depending on the organization's size and location and the professional's position. For example, a communications specialist will likely make less working for a small nonprofit in a rural town than they would working for a multinational organization based in a big city.
|Employment, 2016||Projected Employment, 2026|
Salary Growth by Experience for Graduates of Nonprofit Management Master's Programs
Promotions and raises generally come with experience; employees in the nonprofit sector typically experience salary growth as they gain experience in the field. However, salary growth rates vary by position. For example, directors tend to experience a steadier growth rate than program managers. The table below shows median salaries by experience level.
To determine the best online master's in nonprofit management programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school's commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the best online master's in nonprofit management programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school's ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category's ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.