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Online Nonprofit Management Graduate Certificate

Empower your impact and elevate your nonprofit career.

Nonprofit organizations are constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of the populations they serve as well as their stakeholders’ needs. Professionals working in nonprofits have the opportunity to make a difference in a role that often presents big challenges and even bigger rewards.

The online certificate in nonprofit management from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is designed for individuals holding unrelated bachelor’s degrees, nonprofit professionals wanting to enhance their skills, and those interested in entering the field.

In this four-course program, you’ll gain a well-rounded introduction to the nonprofit sector. Topics covered include strategic leadership and planning, management theory and practice, community engagement, grant writing, and human resource management.

Guided by experts in the field, we’ll explore fundraising strategies, budget creation, legal and ethical considerations, media relations, and effective communication best practices, including social media.

Our program’s focused curriculum sharpens your skills by offering valuable insights for every nonprofit professional, from community leaders to volunteers.

Here, you’ll not only foster the capacity to serve your organization with character and integrity but also nurture your personal and professional growth. Our deep-rooted Lasallian Catholic values mean we provide a quality education rooted in service, inclusivity, and respect for others.

We invite you to join our program and become the driving force in your current or future organization.

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per credit


start dates

1 year

completion time





per credit


start dates

1 year

completion time


Program Highlights

  • Financial aid may be available for this program, helping to ease the stress of paying for courses so you can focus on what matters most.
  • Apply earned credits from this certificate program to one of our five master’s programs or apply them to most other colleges and universities. 
  • Discover scholarships available through our partnerships with several regional and national employers. See if your employer is part of our Trusted Partnership Program. Learn more.

What You’ll Learn

  • Examine strategic management principles in the nonprofit sector
  • Assess and implement strategies for community collaboration and conflict resolution
  • Develop financial plans and fundraising strategies to guide decision-making
  • Evaluate methods for engaging and managing stakeholders specific to nonprofit organizations, such as volunteers, staff, and boards of directors
  • Exemplify ethical leadership and acquire skills needed to effectively collaborate with diverse teams

Information Session

Join us for an information session to learn more about the program, the application process, and more. We offer live information sessions where you can meet program staff, as well as an archive you can view on your own time.

Apply for Admission

Ready to apply? Take the next steps here.

    • Applicants may apply for admission to master’s degree programs at any time during the year.
    • Applicants may complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.
    • Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale. 

  • Students with transcripts from universities located outside of the United States or a waiver country listed here are required to take and pass English Proficiency testing.

    Saint Mary’s accepts: 

    • 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 
    • 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. Please see our academic catalog for a list of all approved waiver countries.

  • Your application must include the following items:

    1. A completed application form
    2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor’s degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution.
      • You have two possible options for obtaining official transcripts:
        • Order official transcripts from all institutions yourself.
        • Saint Mary’s can order and cover the cost of transcripts from institutions that allow third-party requests for eligible degree-seeking applicants. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.
      • Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards). Evaluations from an approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services ( will also be accepted.
    3.  All applicants must submit a personal statement that includes:
      • Brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience and,
      • Statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and their reasons for seeking admission to this program and,
      • Description of the areas which the applicant considers to be their strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities and,
      • Personal information the applicant wishes to share.
    4. Names of one person (including title, organization, email, phone number) who could serve as a professional reference, if needed, during the application review process.
    5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.

    Official Transcripts should be sent to Office of Admission

    Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
    2500 Park Avenue
    Minneapolis, MN 55404

    Or electronically:

    Please reach out with any questions about the application process.

    Phone: (612) 728-5100
    Toll-free: (866) 437-2788

    • Summer: April 22, 2024
    • Fall: August 20, 2024

    • Summer: May 6, 2024
    • Fall: September 3, 2024

  • You can expect to be notified about your acceptance approximately two weeks following your application completion date.

Tuition & Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make education affordable.

Course Catalog

You’ll take these four required courses:

  • Strategic Nonprofit Management
  • Community Engagement and Partnerships 
  • Nonprofit Fund Development and Financial Management 
  • Nonprofit Human Resource Management 

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements.

Careers & Salary

Make a difference in your community and beyond. Meet your professional goals and pursue various careers in the nonprofit sector, including community outreach and social services. When you complete your program, you'll be prepared for roles such as:

Public relations and fundraising manager

$125,620 per year1

Social and community service manager

$74,240 per year2


$61,190 per year*3

Related Programs

Advance your career with flexible programs designed for busy professionals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • At Saint Mary’s, we want you to succeed, and we help you do so, inside and outside of the classroom: 

    Student Central: Your one-stop for student services.

    Library: Resources and services are available 24/7 to all students.

    Writing Center: Offers virtual and face-to-face services to support students. 

    Career Services: Can help you develop your career-readiness skills at any point in your education.

  • If you are in a degree-granting program and enrolled at least half time, you may be eligible for financial aid.

    Learn more here.

  • Life gets busy. Whether you’re raising a family, pursuing your career, or playing an active role in your community, we know you want to keep up with what you love while you take the next step in your career. That’s why Saint Mary’s online programs are flexible and designed to fit your demanding life.

    Learn more here.

News from the School of Business and Technology


Published on: 2024-02-05
Published on: 2024-02-01
  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Public Relations and Fundraising Managers at (visited Feb. 19, 2024).
  2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Social and Community Service Managers at  (visited Feb. 19, 2024).
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Fundraisers at  (visited Feb. 19, 2024).