Nonprofit professionals and volunteers yearning to create a bigger impact can now earn the online Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership through the University of Georgia’s Institute for Nonprofit Organizations and Office of Online Learning.
The self-paced program prepares students to support and influence the direction of organizations engaged in fields such as human services, visual and performing arts, youth sports and environmental conservation, among others. No on-campus attendance is required.
The certificate has long been available to full-time students; the online program is available to non-degree-seeking students. Courses can count toward a master’s degree if the student is accepted into the graduate nonprofit program administered within the UGA School of Social Work.
Maddie Goossens, who earned the certificate alongside her social work master’s degree, found that the skills she acquired gave her an extra edge in the job market.
“It gave me a well-rounded background in how nonprofits are run—fundraising, budgeting, events management and networking,” said Goossens, who is a grant and analytics specialist at Catholic Charities Atlanta.
The nonprofit sector is facing a huge staffing challenge. More than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered with the Internal Revenue Service and attract one quarter of the U.S. adult population as volunteers, but personnel with organizational and philanthropic development knowledge are in short supply.
“We’ve heard from employees of numerous nonprofit organizations regarding their need and interest in improving their management and leadership skills as well as strengthening their credentials,” said Tony Mallon, director of the institute. “The online program is ideal for those who find themselves involved in fundraising and writing grant proposals within their organizations or for staff in service agencies who need to evaluate and measure the effectiveness of their work but lack some of the skills.”
Like the master’s degree, the certificate is grounded in principles of enhancing quality of life for underserved communities “That’s one of its strengths,” said Mallon. “It integrates concepts of individual well-being and community investment with best practices for nonprofits in a way that is relevant to a range of issues, from poverty and homelessness to environmental degradation to increasing access to the arts.”
Applications are being accepted for the 12 credit hour program, with courses beginning summer 2018. The curriculum covers basic theory and administration of nonprofit organizations, grant proposal writing, program design and evaluation—a key component of successful grant proposals—as well as fundraising and managing volunteers.
Summer semester classes run June 5 through July 27. For details, visit online.uga.edu/nonprofitcert.