This 30-credit Master of Arts degree is composed of 5 Required Core Courses, 1 Customizable Core Course, and 4 Elective Courses. Within the Required Core Courses is the culminating experience of a Capstone Seminar.

Core Courses - Required

Complete all 5 courses.

• Enroll in "Nonprofit Management Capstone Seminar" during your final semester.

The goal of this course is to convey the history, size and impact of the nonprofit sector while providing the fundamentals of nonprofit formation and management. In the United States, nonprofits are intertwined with our country's legal and tax systems, delivery of basic human services, and social, educational, health, environmental, equity issues and far more. Today, successful nonprofits require strong management systems, including management of finances, human resources, information technology, marketing, performance measures and other operational needs. The course will help the student understand the current thinking on best practices in managing and improving nonprofit organizations and appreciate the interplay of environmental and organizational factors that influence managerial decision-making. This course uses a simulation pedagogy that engages students in actively conceptualizing and building fictional nonprofit organizations. This is a core course for the nonprofit management program.

This course focuses on organizational leadership strategies and the role of ethics within nonprofit and nongovernmental work specifically. A wide scope of ethical issues relevant to nonprofit and nongovernmental work will be reviewed, analyzed and discussed. NPOs/NGOs operate under specific ethical guidelines in order to ensure accountability to the public and their many stakeholders. This course will focus on ethical behavior within organizations and explore instances of when prominent NGO leaders and organizations have been situated to face ethical dilemmas. The course will cover a wide scope of management models, techniques, and organizational values and goals. It will also review the impact that various leadership styles have had on organizations through the study of case studies and what has amounted to optimal leadership effectiveness. In addition to learning strategies to lead high performance organizations ethically. This course will combine theory, practical applications, and technical skills that will strengthen their ability to be strong leaders. Core course for the MA in NGO Management.

470.774 Nonprofit Governance & Executive Leadership: Students will advance their understanding of self-governing nonprofit organizations by focusing on nonprofit boards' expectations, challenges, and opportunities and their executive leadership. This course covers the primary responsibilities of nonprofit boards according to law, custom, and best practices, and it includes ethical concepts, public attitudes, and contemporary legislative and regulatory issues. The course explores theories of effective governance and executive leadership. It examines how ethical considerations relate to perceptions of excellence and shape how staff and volunteer leaders manage people and money. In the discussions, there will be opportunities to explore the roles of boards in the context of the nonprofit environment. This is a core course for the MA in Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Management and Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

From the perspective of a nonprofit leader, this course provides a solid foundation in understanding key financial tools such as audits, financial statements, budgets and tax documents. Using these tools, students will analyze and assess the financial transparency, accountability, and health of various national and international organizations, determine the financial strengths and weaknesses within those organizations, learn how to use that information in the decision-making process, and finally, practice making informed recommendations to organizational leadership. This course is not designed to make students financial experts or practitioners. Instead, it is designed to enlighten students on key financial management concepts that improve their ability to be informed leaders, participants, and donors in the nonprofit sector. Students will also explore the responsibilities and consequences of international nonprofits engaging in activities in the US, as well as implications for US nonprofits operating abroad. This is an elective course for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

In this cumulative course, students may select one of the following capstone options a) a research paper that is a deeper dive on some relevant aspect of non-governmental/nonprofit management; b) a project that will contribute to the sector in some capacity, such as a policy paper, or c) a volunteership or immersive experience working with a nonprofit organization (remote options as well). Identifying a specific area of interest will require some forethought and preparation in advance of the class. It is critical that the topic or issue is one that is of profound interest to the student, and/or builds on knowledge acquired throughout the degree. The capstone is not only meant to address an empirical question but nest it within the context of a broader conceptual framework or sector-relevant debate. All capstones must be relevant to the sector, build on present-day questions, issues, or challenges, and possess an “experiential” element. This could be in the form of original data collection, interviews, consultancy, or tackling a real-life problem in a nonprofit/non-governmental organization. The capstone must be presentable and culminate in a 30+ page paper at a graduate-level of writing. Students will dedicate the entire semester to the capstone.

Core Course - Customizable

Choose 1 of these courses:

The goal of this course is to prepare future nonprofit leaders and board members with the international resource development and marketing fundamentals that help every nonprofit thrive. The course focuses on how to create and nurture an organizational culture where everyone on the staff and board understands, embraces, and acts on his or her role in developing strategic relationships with funders, potential funders, and media professionals. You will gain an understanding of the process, the metrics that drive the process, and the milestone markers that lead to success. You will explore how to develop a board and/or cadre of volunteers who give generously, share expertise freely, connect you to the right government officials and media leaders, and invite others to join them. Data-driven decision-making and all aspects of fund development, marketing, and communications will be woven throughout the course. Led by an internationally recognized practitioner, consultant, and master teacher, the course will use scenarios, discussion, social media, audio, and video clips so that you will walk away with the knowledge you need to secure private and government funding and social capital as a CEO, senior staff member, board chair, or member, and the confidence to do it all well. Elective course for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

In this hands-on course, we’ll help you understand the fundamentals of securing funds from institutional donors. As a staff or board leader of a non-profit, understanding the ins and outs of raising funds for priority projects and capacity building from government agencies, corporations and foundations will add to your toolkit for moving your organization forward. We’ll cover how this aspect of fundraising fits into your overall fundraising strategy and plan. We’ll help you identify the right potential funders for important projects, learn how to land capacity-building funds you can use to grow and sustain your organization, cover the basics of relationship-building with institutional decision-makers, help you use data to build credibility with funders, create pitch-perfect corporate presentations and dive into the process of writing winning proposals and applications. Finally, we’ll cover fulfillment and stewardship. Elective course for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

Elective Courses

Select 4 Electives.

For your convenience, some Electives are presented as a collection of related courses within a Focus Area. These curated collections will help you to identify the targeted knowledge and experiences available to distinguish yourself in your field.

This program has curated three Focus Areas:
• International Mission-Based Organizations
• Project Management, Evaluation, and Leadership
• Social Enterprise

Lobbying is a Constitutional right guaranteed under the First Amendment. It's also big business in Washington, DC, as more than $4 billion was spent on these efforts in 2015. In fact, for many, the term “lobbying” conjures up an image of a shady character passing a cash-filled envelope to an elected official.

The stereotype of lobbyists as greedy predators of the political system detracts from the efforts made by the tens of thousands of people, from lobbyists and concerned citizens alike, who come to Washington every year to exercise their “Right to Petition” the government to make it more responsive and accountable to the people.

This applied course provides students with a practical understanding of how to lobby Congress and the Executive Branch. The course also teaches students about “advocacy” efforts where unregistered public affairs firms employ campaign-styled tactics to persuade decision-makers to support their client’s positions.

This course will provide an overview on project management as it pertains to nonprofit work. The course will teach students how to manage the five aspects of project management: project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation, and closure. Students will learn the full project cycle from start to finish, drawing on actual examples of projects funded by a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations, and foundations. The course will also utilize templates relevant to project management for students to use as a resource in the field. The class will touch on issues relevant to project management such as project scope, objectives, stakeholders, planning, financial tracking, grants compliance, and closing. Elective course towards the Project Management, Evaluation and Leadership track for the Masters in NGO Management.

This course provides an overview on the tools, resources, and training needed to measure the impact of an organization’s programs and projects. M&E plans help nonprofits to determine if they are meeting their intended results, goals and objectives towards their overall mission. Designing a strong M&E system is critical to identifying realistic indicators, tracking an organization’s measurable results; providing programmatic progress; providing accountability to donors; and determining opportunities for growth. The intended results of a strong M&E plan are to enable nonprofits to demonstrate that they are achieving their missions—thus increasing their credibility among beneficiaries and strengthening their appeal to donors. This course will teach students how to develop a strong M&E plan that meets donor, organizational, and/or programmatic needs. Based on M&E results, students will learn how to improve program implementation and achieve greater outcomes. Students will learn to design an M&E plan and the ability to effectively communicate programmatic data to their stakeholders.

Focus Area Electives: Project Management, Evaluation, and Leadership

These courses are relevant if you are working in, or aspire to work with nonprofit organizations, in positions of leadership, monitoring and evaluation, programming, project management, development, human resources, or on a board of directors.

This course will assist leaders in identifying their personal approach to leadership; provide tips on motivating staff by building trusting relationships and shoring up their credibility; suggest influence and persuasion strategies that leaders need to employ when working with bosses, colleagues, direct reports, and critical stakeholders, including funding agencies; develop strategies to build effective work teams; and consider approaches to monitor organizational performance in an ongoing fashion.

Conflict is part of organizational life. People in public sector agencies and nonprofit and for-profit organizations disagree over the meaning of regulations, the use of financial resources, office space, leave time, and many other issues. Managers must have the ability to diagnose disputes and to negotiate effectively to resolve conflicts. This course provides the theoretical background and conceptual framework needed for successful negotiation and mediation. Through presentations and discussions students become familiar with the tools necessary for conflict resolution in their agencies and organizations. Analysis of a party's interests, identification of the necessary style, awareness of communication skills, and planning and feedback are part of the process of becoming an accomplished negotiator.

Focus Area Electives: International Mission-Based Organizations

These courses are relevant if you are working in, or aspire to work with, multilateral organizations and NGOs in the field of international development, and humanitarian affairs.

This course covers the politics of Latin America from 1945 to the present. It is designed to introduce students to the academic study of contemporary Latin American politics. Students are required to apply comparative methods of analysis to contrast regimes and political phenomena beyond governments. Students are expected to compare the institutions, policies and development models of different governments and regimes, as well as the ideology, program, organizational structure and support base of different social movements and political parties. These comparisons enable students to explore both similarity and difference. Students may identify broad commonalities in the politics of a region that shares many cultural features and important structural constraints. However, they should also be aware of distinctions; including the important differences between Central America, the Andean region and the Southern Cone, as well as significant variations between neighboring states.

What makes some countries grow while others do not? What accounts for successful economic development versus stagnation? As these questions become ever more relevant in an increasingly globalized world, this course offers an introduction to the topic. The class will provide an overview of the main classic and current theories of economic development. It will then go on to explore specific current issues in development, including: development aid, role of international organizations, sustainable development, corruption, institution building and regime type. Specific case studies will be examined including China and India, the East Asian 'tigers', development failures in Africa and mixed outcomes in Latin America.

Since the end of the Cold War the world has seen a scourge of civil conflicts emerging across the globe, such as in Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, DRC, South Sudan, and now Syria, global conflicts have put enormous pressure on intergovernmental bodies and governments. Whether too slow to respond, afflicted by political restraints or hindered by bureaucracy, the restrictions on international agencies and governments have often placed NGOs at the fore of response. Partnering with both national governments, military, and international agencies, NGOs have gained recognition for their role in diplomacy, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding. NGOs have gained a prominent role at helping to defuse, mitigate, and prevent conflicts strengthening their influence and recognition. This course will provide an overview on the role that international organizations and civil society (including community based organizations) can have in conflict or post-conflict torn countries. Students will learn how to build strategic partnerships when working with local organizations and NGOs. Elective course for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

Focus Area Elective: Social Enterprise

This course is relevant if you are working in, or aspire to work with a for-profit or nonprofit entity in any capacity.

The goal of this course is a comprehensive examination of social enterprises- organizations that, broadly speaking, “apply commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being”. Social enterprises are a relatively new, 21st century phenomenon, and are typically referred to as hybrids of nonprofits and for-profits. While they are similar to nonprofits in that their missions and social and/or environmental objectives drive their very existence, social enterprises can have different structures than traditional 501©3s- some much more complex, legally and otherwise. Throughout the course we will learn about the various types of social enterprises that exist, comparing US models to models operating internationally, and analyze their pros and cons, challenges and opportunities. We will also explore how social enterprises challenge traditional business and nonprofit paradigms, what role social enterprises have come to play in international development, and finally, how to go about developing your own social enterprise. Elective course for the Certificate in Nonprofit Management.

Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.

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