Certificate in Nonprofit Management

group of people sitting around a table talking

Nonprofit leaders need specialized training to successfully advance nonprofit and non-governmental organizations. The Mandel School has designed a highly personalized graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management (CNM) for emerging leaders and new executives in the nonprofit sector. Coursework can be tailored to the student’s particular career goals and interests in the nonprofit sector.

The Certificate in Nonprofit Management is a 15-credit graduate-level certificate program. Students accepted to the CNM program must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Coursework may also lead to completion of the Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO) curriculum. 

Program Requirements

The Certificate in Nonprofit Management requires a total of 15 graduate credits. The program includes one required class and four elective courses from the approved listings. The certificate may be completed as a stand-alone credential or combined with the Master of Social Work (MSW).

The Certificate in Nonprofit Management (CNM) is a program available to students in the on-campus MSW and intensive weekend MSW programs. The Certificate is also available as a post-master's certificate for MSW alums. 

Current students in the MSW on-campus program and the MSW intensive weekend program, please complete the Notice of Intent to Pursue the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management (CNM).

1 Required Course - 3 credit hours

  • SASS 411. Nonprofit Leadership Dialogues

4 Elective Options - 12 credit hours

Below is a sample list of electives

  • SASS 405. Nonprofit Ethics and Professionalism
  • SASS 407. Nonprofit Revenue Planning and Development
  • SASS 408. Nonprofit Philanthropic Fundraising
  • SASS 409. Nonprofit Strategic Planning
  • SASS 410. Nonprofit Data Based Decision-Making
  • SASS 420. Nonprofit Organization and Management
  • SASS 425. Nonprofit Financial Management
  • SASS 427. International Non-Governmental Organizations
  • SASS 428. Nonprofit Board Governance
  • SASS 430. Nonprofit Human Resources and Volunteer Management
  • SASS 432. Nonprofit Marketing
  • SASS 450. Nonprofit Law

Application Requirements

Application Deadlines

Start the CNM in the fall, spring or summer terms. Our upcoming deadlines are below.

  • Spring deadline: December 1st
  • Summer deadline: April 1st
  • Fall deadline: July 1st


For more information, please contact Rob Fischer, associate professor and chair of the Nonprofit Management Program, or Richard Sigg, director for recruitment and enrollment.

SASS 405. Nonprofit Ethics and Professionalism. 3 Units.

This course is an application of ethical frameworks and analysis to nonprofit organizations. Using cases and essays, the course will help nonprofit managers become better equipped to address ethical problems and dilemmas in their work in the following areas: ethics of boards, ethics and leadership, ethics and organizational culture, professional ethics and ethics and fundraising.

SASS 407. Nonprofit Revenue Planning and Development. 3 Units.

Revenue strategy and development are critical in advancing the mission and core work of a nonprofit organization, and are among the most strategic responsibilities held by an executive director and their board. Nonprofits face a myriad of revenue options which could be pursued but each of these has implications for how the organization advances it mission and its sustainability. The course will examine how to assess these revenue sources and evaluate how they can contribute to an organization's overall financial vitality.

SASS 408. Nonprofit Philanthropic Fundraising. 3 Units.

This course will provide current and future nonprofit leaders with a detailed survey of the practices, principles and process of fundraising, enabling them to effectively create, participate in and manage fund development programs and staff. Successful fundraising is shown to be communication-based and built upon solid relationships with defined constituencies of donors and potential donors.

SASS 409. Nonprofit Strategic Planning. 3 Units.

This is an integrated practicum designed to provide hands-on experience in planning for, designing and conducting strategic planning in nonprofit organizations. Students will learn to assess organizational readiness, facilitate the design of strategic planning processes, create a variety of approaches involving key stakeholders, and finalize a planning design suited to organizational culture.

SASS 410. Nonprofit Databased Decision-Making. 3 Units.

Nonprofit leaders face a wide range of data needs and opportunities to use data to inform strategy and practice. This course is designed to give students a working knowledge of data analysis, statistical concepts, research designs for program planning and evaluation, and techniques for problem solving. By exploring a continuum of decision making opportunities in the nonprofit sector, the course will present methods and frameworks for collecting and interpreting data to inform organizational action.

SASS 411. Nonprofit Leadership Dialogs. 3 Units.

This course is intended to enable students to learn about major nonprofit leadership issues and trends through interaction and dialogue with successful nonprofit leaders. It is also designed to provide outside nonprofit leaders with the opportunity to learn about the quality of the Mandel Center's student body.

SASS 420. Nonprofit Organization and Management. 3 Units.

This course will focus on theories of organizations and general concepts and principles of management, governance and leadership. Organizational design, behavior, performance and effectiveness will be studied, and the special character and management problems of nonprofit organizations will be highlighted and analyzed.

SASS 425. Nonprofit Financial Management. 3 Units.

This course focuses on techniques and principles of financial management including budgeting, finance and investment decision making. Topics include budget formulation, analysis and planning, present value analysis, cost-effectiveness, cash flow analysis, portfolio management and venture planning. Special emphasis will be given to the unique problems of nonprofits in capital formation, generating earned income, managing endowments, gifts and grants, and tax planning.

SASS 426. Research Methods in Social Work. 3 Units.

This course provides an overview of the basic concepts used in the conduct of scientific inquiry and the tools of research methodology. It introduces students to the issues involved in the design, implementation, analysis and utilization of social research. Students are encouraged to focus on a practice-related research problem in their individual or group research projects, as well as to focus on research issues relevant to their specialization, field of practice or field of practicum setting. Students are alerted to the risks of cultural bias in research throughout the course through examples and scientific readings.

SASS 427. International Non-Governmental Organizations. 3 Units.

This course examines the role of voluntary associations in the international arena and in particular, the multiple roles of international non-governmental organizations in affecting international political and economic outcomes. The course also examines the theoretical issues surrounding NGOs and international relations, particularly the relationship between global civil society and international political outcomes.

SASS 428. Nonprofit Board Governance. 3 Units.

This elective course deals with the definition, history and concept of trusteeship, the areas of responsibilities of Boards of Trustees, the authority of Boards and the limits on its exercise, the organization of Boards and their committees, and the Board's relationships with the Executive Director, the staff and the organization's constituencies.

SASS 430. Nonprofit Human Resources and Volunteer Management. 3 Units.

Theories and principles of managing people in organizations are addressed in this course, including motivation theory and human resource development strategies. Particular attention is devoted to issues critical to nonprofit organizations, such as the management of volunteers, management of professionals, working with trustees and staff/board relationships.

SASS 432. Nonprofit Marketing. 3 Units.

This course provides students with a comprehensive overview of the principles and techniques of nonprofit marketing and with an understanding of the multiple contexts in which they are applicable—marketing of products and services, marketing to potential funders and marketing of ideas and behaviors (social marketing and advocacy). The focus of the course is on managerial decision-making to achieve organizational objectives and enhance organizational viability.

SASS 450. Nonprofit Law. 3 Units.

This course provides the student with a basic grounding in the laws and regulations governing nonprofit organizations. Content will include the procedures for incorporating, reporting and maintaining tax-exempt status as a nonprofit organization, a familiarity with legal principles and research methods, and an overview of the legal, regulatory and policy issues facing contemporary nonprofit organizations.