Much like the relationship between a nonprofit organization and a for-profit organization is characterized by similarities of operational skills and differences of ultimate goals, the role of the nonprofit manager is alike in many ways yet different in others than their for-profit counterpart. A nonprofit organization’s purpose is very different from a for-profit organization’s, including the main goal of the organization’s services or products to result in the public’s benefit and not a profit for its shareholders. In fact, a nonprofit by definition cannot have private ownership, profits, or shares. “For an organization to receive a nonprofit designation and to qualify for the tax-exempt status, it must further religious, scientific, charitable, educational, literary, public safety or cruelty prevention causes or purposes.”
Leadership of a nonprofit organization is carried out by a board of directors or trustees established in order to keep power from any one person, thus implying ownership of the organization. Information about the nonprofit and the meetings of its board are to be made available to the public as an act of accountability and transparency. While nonprofit organizations can report a profit at the end of each year, these profits are not handled like they could be within a for-profit organization where they may be freely distributed to leadership or shareholders. Instead, all profits must be retained at year’s end and be used only for that which will benefit the mission of the organization.
Just as a nonprofit manager needs the same skill set as his for-profit counterpart, it is in the ultimate goal of each nonprofit managers career where the difference is revealed. Simply put, a conventional manager employed by a for-profit organization will lead and make daily decisions with the bottom line of profit always as the barometer. A manager working for a non-profit organization will also be leading out of a place which keeps costs low and efficiency high, striving for financial health, but may also have the factors of environmentalism, socioeconomic health, sustainability, ethics and any other principles the organization values as high-priorities of management. A career in nonprofit management is a satisfying venture for the business professional who desires their work to yield more than just a profit for an organization.
One of the best ways to prepare for a career in nonprofit management is through pursuing an online MBA in Nonprofit Management. The degree will cover the basic fundamental courses covering business and management, but also designated courses that review topics of opportunity and problems that arise in the unique field of nonprofit management.
One of the nation’s best online MBAs in Nonprofit Management is offered at Concordia University Nebraska’s College of Graduate Studies and Adult Education. This 36-credit hour Online MBA in Nonprofit Management program offers several start times each year and eight-week courses each term. This degree’s goals include the student’s ability to “develop a solid nonprofit business plan tied to a defined mission, write clear, compelling grant proposals, oversee day-to-day operations of a nonprofit organization, and use entrepreneurship to produce innovative solutions for societal problems.” Divided between 12 courses, this degree includes core MBA credits, a capstone and nine hours of Nonprofit Management-specific courses including Nonprofit Management, Organizational Resource Management, and Public Program Evaluation.
Another nationally-recognized online MBA with a Nonprofit Management concentration is delivered through the College of Global Business and Professional Studies at Fontbonne University. Backed by the business school’s excellent business accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, this 39-credit hour program is offered as a hybrid experience allowing students the flexibility of an online education and the quality networking potential of an in-class degree. Divided between 24-core course credits and 12-credits of specialization courses, the Nonprofit Management-intensive courses include Governance, Leadership and Management for Nonprofits, The Legal Environment of Nonprofit Organizations, Strategy, Planning, and Program Evaluation for Nonprofits, and Nonprofit Operations.
Nonprofit Organizations employs almost 11.5 million professionals across the US. These mission-driven organizations are in constant need of skilled and knowledgeable professionals to oversee the profits, people, and programs that much such a large impact in our society. An Online MBA in Nonprofit Management can not only help professionals climb the ladder of employment, but also build an impactful and meaningful career.