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Explore our MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation specialization

Do you see yourself as a social entrepreneur, creating meaningful and sustainable change through innovation? In this specialization, you’ll explore critical leadership and practical skills—such as grant writing and generating resources—to support your own ideas and organization.

Designed for entrepreneurial professionals and students across all disciplines, coursework in this Walden MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership specialization covers a range of organizational activities and structures and nonprofit sector responses.

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Minimum Degree Requirements

  • 63 quarter credits
    • Foundation course (3 cr.)
    • Core courses (40 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (15 cr.)
    • Capstone course (5 cr.)

These credits represent the minimum credits required for program completion. The number of credits for 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 6880
Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation: A Global Perspective

This course is designed for individuals who have a passion for improving conditions for people and the environment, whether locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally. Social entrepreneurship and innovation are vehicles for moving beyond social change to widespread social transformation at the root cause and systemic levels of the biggest and most intransigent problems of the world. Students learn to become social innovators as they build citizen and community engagement and develop partnerships and multi-sector coalitions among social justice organizations, nonprofits, businesses, and public agencies. This course is intended to help students identify ways in which this concept, processes, and skills can be integrated into their work to increase their contribution to creating a just, sustainable, and peaceful world.Students will learn the process, find practical applications, and design a plan to (a) solve or find practical solutions to social and environmental problems; (b) innovate by finding a new product, service, or approach to a social problem; (c) create social value; and (d) transform or revolutionize dysfunctional systems or industries. Additionally, they will learn to use innovative, sustainable, scalable, and measurable approaches, apply social entrepreneurship and innovation skills, and anchor competencies.

(5 cr.)
NPMG 6881
Grant Writing

Grant writing is a highly marketable skill that requires many nonprofit, educational, and community organizations to secure external funding in order to provide needed services to the community. In this course, students will explore the basic skills needed for grant writing including identifying potential funding sources, creating objectives and a needs statement, preparing and justifying a budget, identifying appropriate assessment plans, and writing an executive summary. Course assignments will allow students to directly apply what they are reading and discussing by writing a full grant proposal based on an actual Request for Proposal (RFP).


  • NPMG 6880

(5 cr.)
NPMG 6883
Transformative Change in a Global Environment

Students in this course are engaged in a collaborative study of the nature and methods of transformative change in the complex networked organizations that operate in today's global environment. Students in the course will explore the nature of the global environment and its challenges to the leaders that operate within it. They will discuss the various kinds of organizations that operate across borders and the challenges these organizations face in accomplishing their goals. Students will discuss the global environment as a networked system in which organizations operate. They will evaluate the challenges of such complex systems to global leaders and the strategies that can be used to adapt to these challenges while promoting transformative change. Students will focus on the analysis of these challenges in a single organization through the development of a leadership case study.


  • NPMG 6880
  • NPMG 6881

(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.)

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost amount
Tuition 63 quarter credit hours $507 per quarter hour $31,941
Technology Fee Per quarter $165 $1,155


Effective February 27, 2023

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost amount
Tuition 63 quarter credit hours $530 per quarter hour $33,390
Technology Fee Per quarter $170 $1,020


*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 30 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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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.



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