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Best MBA in Nonprofit Management Online Programs

Best MBA in Nonprofit Management Online Programs

Looking to impact the world while making an income? Here’s the best MBA in nonprofit management online programs to get you there, as well as what you can expect once you’re in this MBA concentration.

If you want to have a positive impact on your community while earning a good salary, you might want to consider a master’s in business administration in nonprofit management program online. According to Howard University, individuals with this degree often can make a difference while making over $100,000 yearly in roles that oversee the finances and day-to-day operations of nonprofits.

As you research and peruse different MBA programs, virtual options might stand out because they offer the flexibility to balance your degree with other work and life obligations. Jumping into a new career is always scary because of all the unknown factors. Is this degree worth the money? Will it be seen as equal to an on-campus degree? How to tell when an online degree is valid and accredited?

To answer all these questions and more, we created this guide to provide examples of what to look for in an online program and some of the best online MBA programs in nonprofit management. 

Spotlight on 3 Top Online MBA Programs in Nonprofit Management in 2023

Searching for the right online MBA in nonprofit management can be tricky. To help, we jump-started the research for you. After looking at schools’ learning formats, tuition, financial aid options, and the programs’ curriculums, three schools stand paramount as the best option. Learn more about each below.

  • Suffolk University

    Suffolk University offers a high-quality MBA nonprofit management online degree that is designed for those working full-time. Since all classes are asynchronous or in the evening, it’s easy to balance school with work. While the class delivery is flexible, the curriculum is as rigorous as other online or in-person programs. Students take required courses in foundational business and leadership skills, such as value-based decision making and innovative thinking, as well as courses specific to nonprofit leadership, such as nonprofit management and grant writing. There’s also the option for students to complete a travel seminar, learning about nonprofit management in a foreign country. While this is optional, it would be a fantastic opportunity for the students to learn about different cultures and how to adapt to new environments. Should this not work for students’ schedules, there is a fully online alternative course about international nonprofit management.

  • John Carroll University

    John Carroll University’s online MBA in nonprofit management program is ideal for those wanting a high-quality curriculum and networking opportunities. In fact, the program boasts that the online option is of the same caliber as their in-person option. While most people will believe that online programs would deny them the opportunity to network, John Carroll reassures the students that they will not lose out on such an important experience. To accomplish this, the school organizes multiple online networking and professional development events for students. When it comes to coursework, half the curriculum consists of foundational courses and the other half is nonprofit management classes. There’s also the chance to take two courses in other concentrations, such as finance or entrepreneurship so students can be interdisciplinary, though this is optional. Most students complete 100% of their coursework in online evening classes, graduating in 16-26 months. Unlike other MBAs, professional experience is not required to apply, making this a great option for recent graduates.

  • Murray State University

    Professionals who are already working in the nonprofit sector and would like to move into a leadership role should consider the program at Murray State University, which was designed for this exact group. The program’s quality education is reflected in its rigorous curriculum. In fact, the majority of the coursework consists of advanced nonprofit management and leadership theory courses. Students also take some foundational business courses and a free, non-credit course in accounting and economics. In the final semester, students complete a capstone project to highlight their managerial skills. Even with this learning-packed curriculum, most students graduate in 12-18 months, making this a fast online MBA in nonprofit management. All courses can be completed online and semesters last seven weeks, so students can adjust their course load more often throughout the year.

Cost of an Online MBA in Nonprofit Management

Depending on the source, the average cost of an MBA ranges from $66,300 and $87,850, but don’t let these numbers fool you. Many students utilize financial aid options to lower the cost, including:

There are also programs that cost less than the averages listed above, especially in the virtual realm since online programs can be more affordable than in-person ones. For a better idea of how much your degree could cost, check out the prices of five popular MBA nonprofit management online degrees. 

How Much Your Online MBA in Nonprofit Management Could Cost

School NameNo. of CreditsCost per CreditTotal Tuition
Asbury University36$595$21,420
Springfield College30$1,178$35,340
John Carroll University30$1,070$32,100
Murray State University30$548.50$16,455
Suffolk University45$1,638$73,710

What to Expect in Your Online MBA Program for Nonprofit Management 

An online MBA in nonprofit management provides a robust curriculum that focuses on the daily operations of running a nonprofit. Students usually take a mixture of more general business administration classes and specialized courses on nonprofits. In some MBA nonprofit management online programs, students have the option to concentrate in another business field, such as finance so that students can gain specialized knowledge, making them more competitive for specific nonprofit roles. 

The only difference between an MBA nonprofit management online and in-person degree is the learning format. In fact, some schools like John Carroll University, highlight that the online option has the exact same rigor of curriculum and networking opportunities as their in-person option.

In an online MBA in nonprofit management, students take courses in lectures through a video conferencing platform or watch pre-recorded lectures. Most assignments are submitted through an online learning platform like Moodle or Blackboard. These platforms allow students and professors to chat with each other online. Also, remember that Zoom and Google Meet have become a fairly common way to connect with each other.

While most online MBA in nonprofit management programs is 100% virtual, some may require students to complete an in-person orientation once or twice during the program. Others might include an in-person internship or capstone program, though those are often in a student’s community and not necessarily near campus so the possible commute shouldn’t be a problem.

Common Online MBA Courses

  • Fundraising

    Since many nonprofits are funded through donations, knowing the ins and outs of fundraising management is an important skill for graduates of MBA nonprofit management online programs. In this course, students learn different strategies to raise and manage donations.

  • Nonprofit Administration

    To be a nonprofit leader, you must understand what the day-to-day operations of a nonprofit should look like. This course covers this topic, as well as different theories on how to make nonprofits run more efficiently.

  • Executive Leadership

    In this course, students in MBA nonprofit management online programs learn how to be effective people leaders. Course content often includes strategies and methods to manage and inspire teams.

  • Nonprofit Communication

    Another important administrative action for nonprofits is to communicate with donors and the community about the events and donation drives the nonprofit is hosting. This course covers different communication strategies, as well as online channels and community outlets where you can share your nonprofit’s message.

  • Financial Analysis

    Often, an online MBA in nonprofit management focuses heavily on the financial side. To round off the curriculum, these programs often include a financial analysis course, where students learn how to analyze the effectiveness of donation campaigns and the management of current and projected funds.

FAQs About Online MBA Programs

  • What’s the difference between an online MBA and traditional MBA program?

    There is no difference in the quality of education between an MBA nonprofit management online and in-person degree. However, online degree’s ability to teach students as long as there’s a wifi-connection make them accessible. Not ot mention, students can also save money and time on the commute. Because of the saved time and flexibility in learning, an online MBA nonprofit management degree is ideal for those who work full-time or don’t live near campus.

  • Can I work full-time while pursuing an online MBA?

    Many students work full-time while getting their online MBA in nonprofit management. In fact, some programs, like the one at Suffolk University, are designed for students who wants to continue working at their jobs full time. To accommodate working students, this program and many others offer evening online or asynchronous courses.

    While many programs are adapted for full-time workers, it’s still important to have good time and stress management skills. For more, check out our guide to stress management for online graduate students.

  • What are the admissions requirements for an online MBA?

    Almost every online MBA in nonprofit management has the same admissions requirements, making it easier to apply. The basic criteria include:

    • Past experience in nonprofit management or a related sector
    • A bachelor’s degree with a competitive undergraduate GPA
    • Satisfactory GMAT scores
    • Written responses to short answer prompts

    Many colleges, such as Suffolk University, also require students to submit essays and a short video about why they want to enter the program.

  • How long does it take to earn an MBA in Nonprofit Management?

    On average, an online MBA in nonprofit management takes two years to complete. Your individual time to graduation can differ, depending on the specific program you enroll in, how heavy your course load is, and if you’re enrolled on a part-time or full-time basis. For a better idea of how long your online MBA in nonprofit management might take, check out the average graduation times for five popular programs:

  • Can I earn my MBA 100% online or do I need to visit campus?

    It is possible to earn your degree completely online. In fact, John Carroll University and Murray State University both make it possible for students to graduate without stepping foot on campus once, as do many other MBA nonprofit management online programs. When there is an in-person component, it’s usually minimal, such as a one-time orientation, or optional, such as the ability to take an in-person elective or study abroad.

What You Can Do with an Online MBA in Nonprofit Management

Getting your online MBA in nonprofit management can boost your earning potential and the job roles available to you. Most graduates with this degree work at the strategic or leadership level, with many reporting titles such as CEO, CFO, or director of communications.

Often, these titles come with a significant pay bump. While the average American makes $61,900 average annually, the salary range for similar jobs as the ones mentioned above is 60,000 to over $208,000.

For a better idea of job responsibilities and salary may look like upon graduation, check out the aforementioned career paths below.

Executive Director

Similar to a CEO for a corporation, a nonprofit’s executive director is in charge of managing the day-to-day and long-term strategy for the company. Strong leadership and business administration skills are needed in this role, so an MBA in nonprofit management can give you an advantage as a possible candidate. 

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Financial Manager

An important aspect for many nonprofits is raising and managing donated funds. As a nonprofit financial manager, you oversee the long-term financial strategy and day-to-day financial operations within an organization. Because this role requires a strong administrative and financial background, graduates of online MBA nonprofit management programs are preferred.

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

Fundraising Manager

If you want to work directly with fundraising efforts, consider becoming a fundraising manager for a nonprofit or a corporation with a nonprofit component. In this role, you’ll manage fundraising efforts and create initiatives to increase donations. 

10th PercentileMedian Annual Pay90th Percentile

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022