Designed at every level to integrate the theory that drives the nonprofit sector, the M.S. in Nonprofit Leadership utilizes the developing body of research on nonprofits. It is intended for both those already working in the nonprofit sector as either a paid employee or a volunteer, as well as for those who wish to move into the nonprofit sector.
The program has the following three broad goals:
- to give students a theoretically-based, practice-oriented, best practices framework for leading in the nonprofit sector of the 21st century, which translates into competencies in finance, fund development, governance, human resources, marketing, and planning;
- to emphasize the practical and real time application of knowledge gained, to ensure that students don’t just learn ideas about leading a nonprofit but also learn how to apply them in the real world under the tutelage of an experienced professional; and
- to ensure that both the knowledge and experience gained are solidly rooted in ethical practice. Thus, while there will be a course focused on the law and ethics of nonprofits, ethical practice will run continuously through each class in the curriculum.
The nonprofit sector is extremely diverse, from social service organizations to arts and culture to environment to social justice and more. The National Taxonomy of Exempt Organizations, used by the IRS and others, identifies 26 major categories of nonprofits, and 655 detailed categories. Variety aside, the majority of the tasks involved in leading a nonprofit varies little from category to category. The Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership is designed to prepare a student to work anywhere in the sector.