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What Can I Do With an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership

Explore five career paths a master’s degree in nonprofit can offer.

As a leader in a nonprofit organization, you can apply your strategic and managerial skills to enable your institution to successfully help others. You can be a force for positive social change and feel good about the impact you make. Nonprofit organizations employ the third-largest workforce in the U.S.,1 offering a diverse array of career possibilities. Discover five job roles that may be a good fit for those with an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership degree.2


  1. Program director
    Program directors develop events and activities for specific groups. For instance, a museum program director might focus on creating events that will appeal to an adult audience for a natural history museum. As the leader of the program, a director may be responsible for budgeting, fundraising, planning, sales, and program evaluation.
  2. Community development manager
    Development managers identify the needs of their community and determine the best ways to meet those needs. As an example, a university community development manager might survey students, develop policies and procedures, guide program initiatives, and oversee renovation or construction projects.
  3. Development director for a healthcare organization
    Many hospitals and healthcare organizations hire development directors to lead fundraising efforts. A development director might represent the organization to prospective donors and community leaders and create strategies to raise funds while also providing stewardship to current donors. If a hospital wanted to build a new wing, the development director would determine fundraising goals and work to meet those goals.
  4. Volunteer director
    Many nonprofits accomplish their goals with the help of volunteers. In fact, some organizations have more volunteers than paid staff. A volunteer director may recruit, train, and assign work to volunteers. To retain volunteers, directors may create recognition programs or plan appreciation events.
  5. Executive director of your own nonprofit
    After earning your management degree, you might decide to become a social entrepreneur and start your own nonprofit organization. If you’re passionate about an issue and see a solution, you could develop and lead your own nonprofit or B Corp. Whether you want to help underserved artisans sell their handcrafted goods, develop community gardens in neighborhoods that lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables, support at-risk youth through educational opportunities, rescue animals, or battle the effects of climate change, a degree in nonprofit management can help you develop the skills to make a positive impact on your community or the world at large.

A management degree focused on nonprofit organizations can prepare you for a fulfilling leadership role. Walden University is an accredited university offering an online master’s degree in nonprofit management. Walden’s MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership degree program enables students to develop strong leadership skills, foster cultural diversity, conduct research, apply budgeting principals and financial processes, understand volunteer and board member retention, implement leadership concepts and practices, and more. You can choose from specializations such as Global Leadership, International Nongovernmental Organizations, Local Government Management for Sustainable Communities, and Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation. You can even choose a Self-Designed specialization, which allows you to develop your own learning experience and focus on nonprofit management practices in an area that matches your personal interests.

With an MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from Walden, you can develop the leadership skills needed to direct a nonprofit program or start your own organization. Walden’s online master’s program in nonprofit management allows you to focus on local government, international organizations, global leadership, or your own social entrepreneurship endeavor. Earn a business degree that can help you effect social change in your community—and beyond.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

2Career positions may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,