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Online Nonprofit Management Graduate Certificate

Meet Your Goals with a Career that Helps Others

Make a positive impact in your career when you earn the graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management online from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. This certificate is a part of Saint Mary’s Accelerators, a carefully crafted series of master’s-level graduate certificates designed to advance your career to help you meet your professional goals.

The certificate in Nonprofit Management online program is designed for students with an unrelated bachelor’s degree or those already in the field who are ready to enhance their skills. You may complete the program alone or accelerate your graduate education by applying your certificate credits toward one of our master’s programs:

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Why Earn Your Certificate in Nonprofit Management Online?

The graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management online program delivers career-ready leadership skills with the flexibility you need to advance your expertise while maintaining your personal schedule. Industry experts teach the courses, offering personalized attention through a virtual learning platform you can access on your schedule. Study at the times you prefer and complete your graduate certificate from the location of your choice.

Program Highlights

  • Apply Credits to Select Graduate Programs
  • Undergrad Coursework in Nonprofit Management Not Required
  • Courses Cover Project Planning, Quality Control, Risk Management, and More
  • No Letters of Recommendation Required

Course List & Requirements

The online Nonprofit Management graduate certificate from Saint Mary's provides a well-rounded introduction to the nonprofit sector including management theory and practice, community engagement and collaboration, grant writing, financial management, and human resource management. You will learn from expert faculty and gain the specific skill sets you need to begin your career in a rewarding field. This program includes 12 credit hours of foundational coursework, preparing you to apply strategic management principles and improve organizational outcomes in nonprofit settings.

  • This course provides an overview of the management principles used in nonprofit organizations. The course examines the historical and current context for work in the nonprofit sector; strategic leadership, including board governance and executive leadership; strategic planning, benchmarking, and evaluation; and operations planning overview. Strategic linkages are examined between an organization’s mission and values, strategic direction, and programming.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Analyze the types and characteristics of nonprofit operating principles and structures
    • Apply concepts of nonprofit accountability and ownership
    • Explain the operations and characteristics of a board governance model
    • Create measurable benchmarks for monitoring progress against strategy
    • Evaluate operating goals, objectives, tactics, and implementation tools
    • Analyze the role of strategic planning within organizational life, explaining the relationship among organizational mission, strategy, vision, and values

  • This course examines various strategies for collaboration and engagement in the community. It focuses on diverse collaboration solutions, facilitation skills, and transparent decision-making processes. This course addresses problem-solving techniques that encourage community involvement and facilitation of critical conversations. Media relations, crisis communications, and the use of social media are also discussed.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Evaluate collaboration strategies for community engagement
    • Analyze and apply appropriate conflict management approaches
    • Evaluate supportive communication techniques
    • Develop effective strategies to mediate and resolve differences in the community
    • Analyze the effective use and limitations of various media and social media formats
    • Use narrative and storytelling as a community engagement strategy
    • Examine the aspects and implications of public and private partnerships

  • This course overviews the components of raising and managing nonprofit financial resources, including fund development through grants and alternative funding sources. Cash management, debt management, audit principles, and nonprofit accounting are addressed. This course also examines creating and using budgets for planning and decision-making, along with transparent processes for internal and external review of budgets.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Connect potential grant sources to projects
    • Identify alternative funding sources
    • Create a basic funding proposal, including a budget
    • Apply fundamentals of nonprofit finance
    • Apply fund allocations and accounting processes to multi-year grants
    • Analyze financial data for decision-making and planning
    • Integrate source materials and forecasting tools to create and manage nonprofit budgets

  • This course focuses on human resource management in the nonprofit sector, including working with volunteers, boards of directors, contractors, clients/constituents, and external stakeholders. Staffing and hiring processes within an organization, compensation, performance evaluation, and compliance with federal law are covered.

    Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

    • Analyze the role of human resources in the nonprofit sector
    • Articulate legal definitions and distinctions in the employer-employee relationship, including issues related to paid and voluntary roles, consultants, clients, internal/external stakeholders, and board members
    • Appraise employment practices related to recruitment, selection, compensation, and performance management, including volunteer management
    • Describe the collective bargaining process, good faith bargaining, and the inclusion of mandatory and non-mandatory issues

Share Your Success

Saint Mary’s supports your success by providing you with the tools necessary to not only achieve your professional goals but to share them with the world—especially the digital world.

As part of our commitment, Saint Mary’s offers an opportunity for you to be awarded digital badges. Digital badges are a graphic verification representing your achievement after completing a specific online course or program.


The online Nonprofit Management graduate certificate is designed to be completed in one year and is financial aid eligible. No prerequisite coursework is required, and you don't need GRE/GMAT scores to apply. For admission to the program, you'll need:

    • An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • A minimum GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
    • If your overall GPA is below 2.75, you may receive conditional status in the program at the discretion of the program director

  • No prerequisite coursework is required for the Business Analytics certificate online program.

  • You don’t need GRE/GMAT scores to apply for this program.

  • Students with transcripts from universities outside the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada (except for the Quebec Province) must take and pass English proficiency testing

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
    • Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) with a minimum score of 74%
    • International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0 or Pearson Test of English with a score of 51
    • Duolingo with a minimum score of 100

  • Whether you apply through our online application via hard copy, or in-person with a Saint Mary’s admissions counselor, your application must include the following items:

    $25 non-refundable application fee: Note that Saint Mary’s alumni, students seeking readmission, veterans, and active military personnel are exempt from this application fee.

    Official transcripts: An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits must be sent separately and directly from your institution. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota accepts official transcripts electronically from previously attended institutions. Transcripts should be sent to or mailed to:

    Transcript Processing Center
    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
    851 Trafalgar Court, Suite 420
    Maitland, FL 32751

    An up-to-date résumé: Include both your educational and professional experience.

    Two references: Provide the names of two people (including title, organization, email, and phone number) who can serve as professional references, if needed, during the application review process. The best references are those who know you professionally, such as current or former supervisors.

    A written statement: Your background and future goals all impact your success with Saint Mary’s and inform your education. As you prepare your written statement, think about including previous experiences, education, and your strengths and interests. Share your motivations for earning the online Nonprofit Management Certificate and how it will contribute to your career.

  • Upcoming application deadlines for Saint Mary’s online Nonprofit Management Certificate:

    • Spring: December 18, 2023
    • Summer: April 22, 2024
    • Fall: August 20, 2024

  • Upcoming start dates for Saint Mary’s online Nonprofit Management Certificate:

    • Spring: January 8, 2024
    • Summer: May 6, 2024
    • Fall: September 3, 2024

  • Once you’ve submitted your application, expect to be notified about acceptance approximately two weeks after your submission date.

Tuition & Fees

A college education is invaluable. You can take it wherever you want to go or as far as you want to go. The cost of quality education should not get in the way of reaching your goals. Here at Saint Mary’s, we are committed to providing a quality education that is accessible and affordable. Explore cost breakdowns for tuition and other fees of the online Nonprofit Management certificate.

Nonprofit Certificate Program Online: Careers & Salary

Make a difference in your community and beyond with the online Nonprofit Management graduate certificate. You will gain specialized knowledge to meet your professional goals and pursue various careers in the nonprofit sector, including community outreach and social services. When you complete your program, you will be prepared for roles such as:

Program Manager, Nonprofit


Social and Community Service Manager


President, Nonprofit


Public Relations and Fundraising Manager


Skills in program management, leadership, project management, program development, and budget management are correlated to pay that is above average for nonprofit managers.1

What You'll Learn

As a graduate of this program, you will be able to:

  • Analyze strategic management principles used in the nonprofit sector
  • Evaluate and apply community collaboration and conflict management strategies
  • Create fund development and financial plans for decision-making
  • Work effectively with nonprofit stakeholders, including volunteers, staff, and administrators

Frequently Asked Questions

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

You may apply for admission to Saint Mary's online Nonprofit Management graduate certificate program anytime. After you are admitted, you may begin taking online classes at the start of any semester: Spring, Summer, or Fall.

The Nonprofit Management Certificate program does not accept transfer credits.

No. As long as you submit your assignments by the time they are due, you can work and study when it is most convenient for you.

All the information about eligibility and admissions requirements can be found on this page.

All of the support systems available to on-campus students at Saint Mary's are available for online learners as well. If you need academic support, a team of advisers is ready to assist. Professors are just a phone call or email away, and every online Saint Mary's student is paired with a dedicated student services coordinator who will make sure your educational and professional goals stay on track. Technical support is also available to online students 24/7 at 877-308-9954 ext. 3.

It's easy! Your journey to a more rewarding career starts by calling 877-308-9954 to speak with an enrollment counselor. Or, you can request more information, and we'll reach out to you. If you already know Saint Mary's University of Minnesota is the right place to earn your online Nonprofit Management Certificate, go ahead and begin the Online Application Process.

No. The certificate you earn online from Saint Mary's is identical to the certificate offered on campus.

You will complete 12 credit hours of program work to earn your online Nonprofit Management Certificate. You'll be able to complete your coursework in as little as two semesters.

The program is fully online.

No, these are instructor-led courses. While there are no set class times, there are assignments with set due dates.

Yes. Certain coursework requires software that is only compatible with a Windows-based PC, and will not properly work on a Mac computer (Apple iOS). Therefore, to be successful in the program, you will either need to use a Windows-based PC or partition your Mac so that the required Windows OS software is available.

Absolutely. Many different types of financial aid are available to those who qualify. To discuss tuition rates and several different financial aid options, call 877-308-9954 to speak with an enrollment counselor.


  1. Payscale. “Average Program Manager, Non-Profit Organization Salary.” July 6, 2022. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Social and Community Service Managers.” April 18, 2022. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from
  3. Payscale. “Average President, Non-Profit Organization Salary.” June 13, 2022. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from
  4. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Public Relations and Fundraising Managers.” April 18, 2022. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from