Nonprofit Leadership (GC)

Why pursue the NPL Graduate Certificate?

  • The program provides knowledge and skills that help students become competent and competitive in the nonprofit sector. Students engage in service learning that connects coursework to real-world settings, and are required to complete a supervised internship with a nonprofit organization.
  • Nationally, as of 2012 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Feb 2016), nonprofit employment constituted 70% of the educational services sector, 46% of healthcare and social assistance, and 15% of arts, entertainment, and recreation.
  • In Minnesota, as of 2012 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Feb 2016), over 14% of employment was attributed to the nonprofit sector. (And yes, you can earn a salary – with benefits – at a nonprofit!)
  • With planning, the program can be completed online, and students on or near campus can select from a greater number of courses that are part of the program.


Program requirements are listed in the Graduate Catalog.

Hear from a student:
“After graduating Minnesota State University, Mankato, in the summer of 2017, I was constantly looking for ways to enhance my vision as an entrepreneur, community organizer, and a transformational speaker for young POC (person of color) women. I thought what better way to increase my knowledge about nonprofits and effective leadership skills than to apply for a graduate level certificate.”

Rahziya Akeem
NPL Graduate Certificate
Current student

Gainful Employment Program Information

The Minnesota State System makes available data for some of Minnesota State Mankato's undergraduate and graduate certificate programs. Information includes: program length, program costs, students borrowing money, licensure requirements, college scorecard and additional information.

Program Requirements

Common Core

This is a survey course of the nonprofit sector, covering history and philosophy of the sector, ethics, board and staff relations, operations and fundraising, fiscal management, and human resource development.

Prerequisites: none

Restricted Electives

Program Planning and Evaluation - Choose 3 Credit(s).

Emphasis is on analytical skills and group dynamics as well as subject content including collective action strategies.

Prerequisites: none

This course will address theoretical and practical aspects of the planning and evaluation process within social service systems. Evidence-based methods of developing programs and measuring their effectiveness in the human services will be addressed.

Prerequisites: none

Reviews processes and techniques related to evaluation of public programs.

Prerequisites: none

Program Administration - Choose 3 Credit(s).

Theoretical and practical aspects of administering arts organizations. Examines the management, budgeting, marketing, and administration or cultural organizations in the postmodern era.

Prerequisites: none

This course consists of an overview of legislation that directly or indirectly affects recreation, parks, and leisure services past and present, public and private. Students will become participants in the process at several points during the semester.

Prerequisites: none

Implications of sociological knowledge for the administration of Human Services programs. Theoretical and practical aspects of administration with the social service systems.

Prerequisites: none

Financial Management and Development - Choose 3 Credit(s).

Designed as an overview to fundraising and development for nonprofit organizations, this course addresses the development of a fundraising plan and attracting donors. There will be an emphasis on organizational outreach using both traditional and new media.

Prerequisites: none

Designed as an overview of financial management for nonprofit organizations, this course addresses the integration of mission-driven planning and financial management with an emphasis on tax exemption, accounting systems, financial statements, budgets, and regulatory reporting.

Prerequisites: none

This course introduces students to special event planning, development, budgeting, promotion, and evaluation. The use, recruitment, evaluation and recognition of volunteers as well as fund raising strategies are discussed and employed.

Prerequisites: none

This course investigates basic economic principles behind managing finances and budgets in recreation, sport and tourism settings. Particular attention will be applied to revenue generation, specifically via grant writing, and creating and managing budgets.

Prerequisites: none

Raising resources for public and nonprofit organizations from needs assessment through obtaining funding to managing the grant after it is awarded.

Prerequisites: none

Capstone Course

A three-credit internship in a qualifying nonprofit organization is required.
The internship must be developed under the guidance of the Director of Nonprofit Leadership.

Required Internship - Choose 3 Credit(s).

The graduate-level internship in Corrections is designed to provide opportunity to apply classroom learning, practice and enhance research and administrative skills, and experience professional socialization.

Prerequisites: none

Placement in a community or university-based internship provides the student with experience and practical skills in a particular field of work or service and/or provides an opportunity to pursue a specific research interest.

Prerequisites: none

Scheduled work assignments varying in length and content under the supervision of selected professional sponsors.

Prerequisites: none

The internship in nonprofit leadership is designed to provide an opportunity to applycoursework, to refine and enhance key skills in the nonprofit sector, to broaden professional exposure, and to inform further career development. The internship must be completed within a nonprofit organization.

Prerequisites: NPL 673

Field experience focused on development of competencies in recreation, parks, and leisure service settings. For majors only.

Prerequisites: none

The internship is designed to provide opportunity to apply classroom learning, to practice and enhance skills, to experience professional socialization, and to explore a career. It also serves as a vehicle for the student to become more aware of personal strengths and identify areas in which further growth is needed.

Prerequisites: none

Internship in approved social agency.

Prerequisites: none