The Nonprofit Management Pathway in Alverno College’s Pivot Your Skills Pathways Program offers a highly relevant and flexible learning track to equip professionals with the skills needed to be effective contributors and leaders in nonprofit organizations.
Professionals who participate in the Nonprofit Management Pathway can expect to move through this sequence of learning. Units may be waived if a professional is deemed to have sufficient experience in a specific content area.
Unit I: The Business of Nonprofits
In this unit, you will learn what it means to be a nonprofit, how nonprofits differ from businesses, why they exist and the many community needs they serve. You will understand what nonprofits focus on and how they remain viable and stable. You will learn who leads and operates nonprofits by exploring the nonprofit structure and its governance. Finally, you will learn and apply the current resources and tools available to assist nonprofits in the external assessment process, including meeting government requirements.
Unit II: Delivering on Mission Through Strategy
In this unit, you will understand how strategy helps lead organizational mission, vision and values. You will analyze the different types of nonprofits and use strategic planning tools to help develop strategy that is aligned with mission. You will understand the importance of leadership in cultivating a strong culture of communication and collaboration in order to achieve alignment of strategy across the organization. Finally, you will learn how effective governance can successfully advance strategy.
Unit III: Financial Resources and Management
In this unit, you will understand how to successfully manage and measure financial performance in nonprofit organizations. You will understand the concept of a break-even budget as well as how organizations adjust for changes in income and expenses. You will learn about different sources of income to obtain diversified funding as well as how to manage expenses to align with income projections. Finally, you will learn how to analyze nonprofit financial statements and ratios, and understand basic accounting for internal and external reporting necessary to achieve operational efficiency and financial accountability.
Unit IV: Development – Building Brand and Relationships
In this unit, you will learn how to build a reputable brand that fosters strong community relationships. You will understand various fundraising techniques and learn about the different kinds of donors. You will understand the purpose, benefits and challenges of different outreach methods, such as special events, campaigns and fundraising programs. Finally, you will learn the critical integration of communication and marketing strategy with brand messaging for nonprofits to successfully tell their story and increase their impact.
Unit V: Programs, Operations and Project Management
In this unit, you will understand the operations of a nonprofit. You will explore the important role of human resources in developing an organizational culture of engagement. You will learn the role of technology necessary for functional efficiency and strategic growth. You will explore the different types of nonprofit programs and services, how to develop and perform program evaluations and how to define meaningful measures of performance. Finally, you will learn key project management principles necessary for effective program implementation.
Unit VI: Growing Partnerships with Lasting Impact
In this unit, you will learn how a nonprofit measures success for meaningful impact. With change constantly occurring, you will learn and apply change management methods to understand and manage change effectively for continued success. You will explore how to cultivate community partnerships and learn how to engage all stakeholders within a collaborative framework. Finally, you will explore your professional role in a nonprofit and how to effectively balance the investment of your time and commitment with your personal well-being to achieve continual growth.
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Associate Professor of Business, School of Professional Studies, Alverno College