Non-Profit Management Education and Training Requirements

Non-profit organizations range from the large national organizations most people may be familiar with, to small ones begun by individuals with a worthy cause. Requirements for non-profit management are as varied as the organizations themselves, and educational options include certificate and graduate programs.

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Education Information

Specific organizations may have their own requirements for management positions; but in general, there are no education requirements for managing a non-profit organization. However, an undergraduate degree is a good start to a career in non-profit management. The concentration isn't important, but a major in communications or business may be most relevant. Students who enroll in certificate or graduate programs in non-profit management have an advantage when applying to jobs. These types of programs give individuals networking opportunities and practical skills for working in the field.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs take up to a year to complete and involve mandatory classroom hours. Current and aspiring non-profit workers are welcome, and they learn valuable industry information. Class topics may be tailored to individual needs, and will provide students the opportunity to get further knowledge, update current skills or gain a specialization. Students learn the ins-and-outs of non-profit management, such as fundraising techniques, legal issues and human resources.

Master's Degree Programs

A number of universities offer master's degrees in non-profit management, and a bachelor's degree is required. Some schools include it as a specialization within a public administration concentration. These 2-year programs emphasize leadership skills and offer diverse topics, including board evaluations, strategic planning, budgeting and finance. Classes in non-profit organization laws and policies, market analysis, management principles, volunteer management and ethics are often required.

Doctoral Degree Programs

A doctorate in non-profit management is a good idea for individuals starting their own non-profit organization, wishing to hold upper-level positions at their current organization, or interested in teaching at a postsecondary level. These programs take 5-7 years to complete and are research-intensive. Students study social and business issues in relation to their cause, and topics such as diversity, advocacy and management. The culmination of a candidate's research is a dissertation.

Training Requirements

Training requirements will vary based on the organization, and some offer hands-on experience through seminars. Volunteering is a good way to get started, and this may be done while still in school. Apprenticeships for non-profit management are available and may be discovered online. In many non-profit businesses, working up the organizational ladder is the best way to train.

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