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Online courses and training for anyone looking to learn more about nonprofit organizations. Topics include: grant writing, fundraising basics, community development, business planning, not-for-profit accounting, volunteer management, and more.

People interested in the nonprofit sector generally seek careers that focus on a cause or belief they are making the world a better place. Nonprofit organizations are typically governed by a specific set of legal requirements that are different than government entities or for-profit companies. As a result, certain organizations may prefer to hire individuals with specific training in, and understanding of, these requirements, such as those who've earned a nonprofit management certificate.

Skills learned in online nonprofit and fundraising courses

Topics covered in nonprofit and fundraising training programs may include:

  • Grant writing
  • Fundraising basics
  • Community development
  • Business planning
  • Not-for-profit accounting
  • Volunteer management

While passion is an important component for a nonprofit employee, developing these skill sets may help individuals not only advance professionally, but maximize the amount they contribute to the organization they choose. Similar to for-profit businesses, many skills are required to successfully run a nonprofit organization. Additionally, smaller organizations may require individuals to come with a broad skill set, while larger organizations may be able to afford employees the opportunity to specialize.

Grant writing courses may provide students with the research skills typically necessary to find grants offered by a variety of agencies, collect data and present their case for funds in a compelling manner. Courses in other fundraising basics, such as galas, direct marketing campaigns and donor relations may also be of interest for those interested in the fundraising side of these organizations.

Other examples of nonprofit management courses include volunteer management, since strategies for working with volunteers may differ from strategies that are effective for employees. Accounting for nonprofits may address differences between nonprofit and other types of businesses as well as the skills necessary to ensure legal compliance.

Types of online nonprofit and fundraising courses

Nonprofit management and fundraising courses are available from a variety of educational providers. Master's degrees and other majors in nonprofit management are offered online by many universities. Certain institutions that partner with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance may offer the National Certification in Nonprofit Management and Leadership.

Not all programs may be reputable or suited for all positions, so the burden is on the prospective student to investigate prior to applying or enrolling to ensure that the organizations they are interested in working for will accept the credential being offered.

Sources

"National Certification in Nonprofit Management and Leadership," Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, November 5, 2014, http://www.nonprofitleadershipalliance.org/cnp/certification.html#sthash.EAFJeVaE.dpbs

"Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) Credential," Lodestar Center, November 5, 2014, https://lodestar.asu.edu/academic-programs/undergraduate-programs/cnp-credential/default#curriculum

"Nonprofit Management - Certificate Program," Duke University, November 5, 2014, http://www.learnmore.duke.edu/nonprofit/certificateprogram/curriculum.asp

"13-1131.00 - Fundraisers," O*NET OnLine, November 5, 2014, http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1131.00

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