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Explore our MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership

The nonprofit sector requires leaders and managers who are creative, skilled, and strategic in creating and maintaining organizations that successfully address their missions.

Nonprofit organizations also employ an increasing share of the nation’s workforce, with employment growth outpacing that of a number of major industries.1 Advance your career in this important high-growth sector as you enhance your ability to create positive social change with Walden’s online master’s in nonprofit management.

Whatever your background, you can gain the critical skills needed to lead diverse and complex nonprofit organizations. This master’s in nonprofit management and leadership degree program allows you to apply concepts you learn in class to a virtual city that simulates complex real-world scenarios. You will also have the opportunity to engage with scholar-practitioners who share their academic and professional experiences to help you quickly apply what you learn.

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Program Details

General Program Specialization

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • 48 quarter credits
    • Foundation course (3 cr.)
    • Core courses (40 cr.)
    • Capstone course (5 cr.)

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.


Course Code Title Credits
The courses must be taken in the prescribed sequence below.
NPMG 6116
Foundations of Graduate Study

This course introduces students to graduate-level expectations and protocols for scholarly research and academic writing. Reflecting Walden's mission and vision of promoting positive social change, this course helps students build a foundation for success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. Course assignments focus upon students' professional goals, strategies for online student success, research skills, and academic integrity. Assignments are designed to build critical thinking skills and provide opportunities to apply academic lessons to real-world practice. Students are encouraged to take advantage of Walden's wealth of student support systems, especially the Walden Library and the Writing Center.

(3 cr.)
NPMG 6200
Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofit (NPO) and non-government (NGO) organizations can serve to affect people and communities through positive social change. NPO and NGO leaders require a fundamental understanding of the nonprofit sector, including related ethical, legal, financial, and global perspectives. Through the lens of the NPO and NGO leadership, students in this course explore social entrepreneurship, marketing, communication, and governance. Gaining practical insight, students also apply theories presented in the course either to build a business plan for a new NPO/NGO or to evaluate an existing one. 


  • NPMG 6116

(5 cr.)
NPMG 6405
Ethics and Social Justice

Ethics is a foundational element of leadership. In this course, students examine the philosophy of ethics as well as responsibility and social justice—basic tenets of public service. Students explore the complex social, political, and related ethical challenges leaders face as they seek to meet the needs of diverse constituents. They examine ethics and social justice related to economic disparity, power, and privilege. Students also assess demographic data and current social trends and themes to understand, analyze, and address ethical and social justice issues that impact service delivery in a global community. Applying concepts presented in the course, students engage in an in-depth assessment of an emerging or persistent ethical or social justice issue, through which they demonstrate their ability to make recommendations for improvement or change.


  • NPMG 6200

(5 cr.)
NPMG 6420
Organizational Management and Leadership

Public and nonprofit leaders in all areas of public administration require a thorough understanding of the expectations of their roles as leaders and managers of diverse and complex organizations. Students use theoretical and applied perspectives from which they study the intricacies of these roles, including the distinction between leadership and management, organizational culture, change management, systems theories, and organizational development. Students gain a practical understanding of these topics through the application of principles and concepts to public, private, and nonprofit organizational settings.


  • NPMG 6405

(5 cr.)
NPMG 6435
Human Resource Management: Building a Capable Workforce

The acquisition, development, and retention of talent are critical elements in the success of any organization. In this course, students examine theories, approaches, and systems related to hiring, managing, training, and retaining employees in government and nonprofit organizations. Through the use of case studies, students explore topics that include legal and ethical considerations, diversity, performance management, the establishment and implementation of policy, technology, and conflict management. Students apply principles and concepts learned in this course to real-world situations encountered in public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

(5 cr.)
NPMG 6451
Board Governance and Volunteer Management

The success of nonprofit organizations (NPOs) is largely dependent on the effective management of program volunteers and board members—individuals who often serve as the lifeblood of NPOs. Students in this course explore the volunteer management process, including volunteer recruitment, orientation, training, supervision, and evaluation. They focus on methods that organizations use to create and maintain an effective Board of Directors to ensure that the board governs and guides the organization toward their mission. Students design a board development or volunteer management plan based on processes presented in the course and fundamental concepts acquired earlier in the program.

(5 cr.)
NPMG 6465
Strategic Planning: Collaboration, Cooperation, and Coordination

In an increasingly complex world, leaders and managers in public and nonprofit organizations plan strategies to fulfill the organizational mission and enhance stakeholder satisfaction. Students in this course explore the role and process of strategic planning, including collaboration, cooperation, and coordination. They also examine the benefits, challenges, and pitfalls of strategic planning, in addition to the impact of globalization. Students apply these concepts to real-life scenarios and develop a strategic plan for a nonprofit or public organization.

(5 cr.)
NPMG 6480
Evidence-Based Evaluation Methods

Nonprofit and public/government organizations need to be able to show positive evidence related to their mission and ability to effect social change to remain viable. By developing performance improvement evaluation plans that are structured with metrics, leaders can disseminate an organization's progress to build stakeholder engagement and collaboration. Students in this course will be introduced to a critical appraisal of levels of evidence, performance improvement and evaluation methods, and the importance of dissemination of organizational outcomes to help contribute to a positive future for social change.


  • NPMG 6461

(5 cr.)
NPMG 6461
Resource Development

All nonprofit organizations require financial resources. Obtaining philanthropic financial support is essential to program delivery and stability. Students in this course explore the concepts of philanthropy and development, identification of funding sources, donor/prospect cultivation and education, and solicitation and appreciation strategies. They focus on processes and strategies for creating an organizational philanthropic culture based on ethics and donor relationships. Using these strategies and other concepts presented in the course, students create a resource development plan for a nonprofit organization.

(5 cr.)
NPMG 6910

In this course, students have the opportunity to reflect on and demonstrate integration, synthesis, evaluation and application of the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed over the course of the Master of Public Administration or Nonprofit Management and Leadership programs. Students complete a capstone paper designed to maximize the application of concepts and skills learned during their program of study, with particular emphasis on the knowledge base and literature of public administration, public policy, and/or non-profit management and leadership. The capstone paper documents the results of a literature review addressing a research question related to a specific public policy or nonprofit management issue. The course also challenges students to reflect on how this program has and will, impact their personal, scholarly, professional, and positive social change agent growth.


  • All prior coursework

(5 cr.)

Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.

Tuition and Fees

General Program Specialization

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost amount
Tuition 48 quarter credit hours $507 per quarter hour $24,336
Technology Fee Per quarter $165 $825


*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 20 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost between $1,000 and $1,400.

Paying for Your Education

Our Enrollment Specialists can help you outline a plan and find resources for funding your education.

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Program Savings

Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.

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General Program and Specializations

General Program

Gain the management and organizational skills you need to lead diverse and complex nonprofit organizations or to serve as a social change agent in local and global communities.

Global Leadership

Explore strategies for helping Global South countries or developing regions build modern, sustainable communities with the Global Leadership specialization.

International Nongovernmental Organizations

Gain an understanding of the effects of globalization and learn how to work effectively with nongovernmental organizations, voluntary organizations, and intergovernmental organizations around the world.

Local Government Management for Sustainable Communities

Discuss what sustainability and livability mean and explore a wide range of tools, strategies, and skills you can use to create sustainable communities that are more environmentally sound, economically prosperous, and socially equitable.


Create your own learning experience and focus on nonprofit management and leadership theories, principles, and practices in an area that matches your specific goals and interests.

Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Explore critical leadership and practical skills—such as grant writing and generating resources—to support your own ideas and organization.

Program Outcomes

Career Outlook

Growth in the nonprofit sector continues to outpace the rest of the economy, creating a variety of new management opportunities. With an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Walden University, you will have the opportunity to quickly take charge of your career and develop the skill set required to lead a nonprofit organization and have a far-reaching impact on your community.

Potential career options in nonprofit management may include:

  • Community Development Manager
  • Executive Director
  • Program director
  • Director of development
  • Volunteer manager
  • Program manager
  • Program specialist
  • Social Entrepreneur

Career positions may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this online master’s in non-profit management and leadership program will be prepared to:

  • Understand and apply concepts, principles, and processes related to nonprofit organizations in domestic and international settings.
  • Apply relevant ethical and legal guidelines and practices in public, private, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Understand cultural diversity issues and apply cultural competency in public, private, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Understand and use appropriate statistics, research methodology, and program evaluation to conduct research related to public, private, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Apply concepts, principles, and processes related to budget, finance, resource development, and strategic planning to nonprofit organizations.
  • Apply strategies related to marketing, public relations, and communication in nonprofit organizations.
  • Understand and apply strategies for acquiring, managing, developing, and retaining volunteers and board members in nonprofit organizations.
  • Understand and apply theories, concepts, and practices related to leading and managing in public, private, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Understand and apply theories, policies, and practices of governance across sectors, domestically and internationally, in public, private, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Apply concepts, theories, and skills gained to create positive social change to public, private, and nonprofit organizations in domestic and international communities.




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