In this ever-evolving world, nonprofits play a critical role in addressing social, environmental, and humanitarian issues. Nonprofits are the driving force behind positive change in our society.
A nonprofit organization might not look like an actual business as they don’t make any money. Regardless, nonprofit organizations are structured similarly to any traditional business. The organization requires leaders, a hierarchy, and an environment capable of guiding employees to meet major goals.
Not all nonprofit organizations have indeed been thriving. Traditional churches, community hospitals, and centers are steadily losing members and funding. But on the other hand, more organized nonprofit organizations such as Girl Scouts and Salvation Army in the US have grown tremendously over the last two decades.
Conventionally, volunteer work requires little to no fancy skills, from collecting in the neighborhood for your local church to volunteering at the town fundraiser. However, the trend is rapidly changing as more and more people are opting for professional and managerial tasks in their respective nonprofit organizations.
Unlike a corporate business, a nonprofit doesn’t construct its strategy around money, despite money being a major issue in nonprofit organizations. Most nonprofits base their strategy on the performance of their mission, and the key to better performance is effective management.
If you are looking for a career path that combines your passion for philanthropy with leadership and management strategies, studying nonprofit management is a great way to start. Read on as we have compiled a list of reasons you should take up an MBA in nonprofit management.
- A Meaningful Contribution
One of the biggest reasons people end up in philanthropy work is the job satisfaction that comes with making a positive and lasting effect on society. The same is true for nonprofit management. While greater job satisfaction leads to higher employee engagement, this employee engagement is not much use if left unaccounted for. According to Harvard Business Review, nonprofits could never make demands from their volunteers as they weren’t paying them, but this mindset has greatly evolved over the years. Nonprofits now believe that a volunteer must get greater satisfaction for their accomplishments by making a greater contribution precisely because they aren’t given a paycheck.
This steady change to trained professionals with higher accountability is a result of better management and leadership. By acquiring knowledge in nonprofit management, you can develop the skills and expertise needed to lead and contribute to organizations working for positive change.
- A Growing Industry
The nonprofit industry has grown tremendously over the years and is now a critical component of the global economy. In the US alone, over 80 million adults worked at nonprofits, giving an average of five working hours per week, accounting for a 10% of the total workforce.
As the sector grows, so does the demand for management professionals specialized in dealing with nonprofit organizations. By opting to study nonprofit management, you are setting yourself up for a rewarding and impactful career path with ample job opportunities.
- Develop a Diverse Skillset
To effectively work with nonprofit management, management and leadership skills alone are not enough. You must develop a diverse skillset that will help you effectively manage the organization while also providing a deep understanding of societal issues. An MBA in nonprofit management is different from a traditional MBA in this respect. Pursuing a nonprofit management degree equips you with valuable skills in leadership, fundraising, program evaluation, financial management, volunteer management, and strategic planning.
Conveniently, these skills are transferable and will find application in various sectors, including government organizations, foundations, and social enterprises.
- Ethical Leadership Development
One of the most important topics included in all MBA courses for nonprofit management is ethics or ethical leadership development.
Understanding and cultivating ethical leadership skills helps foster a better understanding of the unique challenges and setbacks faced by the nonprofit sector. As a nonprofit leader, you are responsible for managing resources, building trust with stakeholders, and making decisions that must always align with the organization’s mission and values.
The nonprofit sector is one of the few business sectors where the ultimate power does not reside with the CEO. Rather, a board committee constantly reviews their performance and certifies that all actions and decisions support the organization’s mission. As a nonprofit leader or manager for a portfolio, you must have a clear understanding and knowledge of the ethical values that are common to all nonprofits.
- Networking and Collaboration
Nonprofit management is nothing if not effective networking and collaboration. As a nonprofit leader, you will constantly find yourself amid partnerships between other nonprofits, corporations, government agencies, and volunteers to achieve shared goals.
By studying this field, you gain exposure to a huge network of professionals, mentors, potential employers, and stakeholders. Making the most of these connections can significantly enhance your career prospects while providing valuable support and guidance. Additionally, a degree in nonprofit management can equip you with the fundamental skills required for effective networking and communication. These skills will be highly valuable, regardless of wherever you decide to work.
- Global Perspective
Nonprofits almost always run on a global scale, addressing complex challenges that go beyond borders. Studying management in a nonprofit gives you global exposure to social issues, helping you develop a global perspective on societal issues of this world and cross-culture competencies.
All this will ultimately aid you in engaging across diverse cultures and communities and create an impact on a global scale.
- Social Entrepreneurship
Societal entrepreneurship is a rapidly growing sector. Much like nonprofits, it merges business principles with social impact.
A nonprofit management degree will teach you the required skills needed to develop and manage innovative projects addressing societal challenges. So, if you are planning to launch your very own social venture or plan to work with organizations that are driving social innovation, then this field of study is the perfect fit for you.
Opting to study nonprofit management provides you with a unique opportunity to combine your passion with effective management strategies. As a rapidly growing field, there are ample job opportunities for those looking to leave their mark. The nonprofit organization provides unique global exposure and experiences. So, if you plan to enter this sector, a good nonprofit management study program goes a long way.