What explains the growing popularity of MBA programs in Nonprofit Management? An increasing number of business students are looking for more than just a big salary; instead they are looking to create change by leveraging their MBAs to become nonprofit managers, or to work in nongovernmental organizations and social enterprises.
Nonprofit-focused MBA can help students apply core business principles (like strategy, finance, and marketing) to these organizations, so they can effectively drive social impact. While the learning provided by generalized MBA programs can be applied to nonprofits, a growing number of business schools are offering specialized MBAs in Nonprofit Management or related degrees. These programs might cover concepts such as human rights, international development, and corporate social responsibility (CSR), among others, while exploring core business topics as well. [See also: The Top 10 MBA Programs for Sustainability / CSR]
Students can also choose to pair their MBA with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) or a Master of Public Policy (MPP) through dual-degree offerings.
After completing an MBA in Nonprofit Management, students can go on to a variety of careers, such as managing a social enterprise or running a nonprofit organization.
Below, please see the Top 10 MBA Programs for Nonprofit Management.
Students interested in delving deep into nonprofit management can pursue the school’s Public & Nonprofit Management MBA program. Three percent of Questrom’s MBA class of 2019 went into the nonprofit sector.View School Profile
Students in GWU’s MBA program can pursue a Certificate in Nonprofit Management, which is offered through the Tratchtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration and aims to help students understand the intricacies of managing nonprofits. The school’s Institute for Corporate Responsibility produces relevant research.View School Profile
McDonough’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative is a nexus for research and events relevant to the nonprofit sector. Besides the school’s MBA program, Georgetown also offers a nonprofit management program called “New Strategies” aimed to help senior nonprofit managers excel in their roles. In recent years, upwards of eight percent of the MBA class has gone onto be nonprofit managers.View School Profile
MBA students interested in managing nonprofits can use Oxford's Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship as a hub for making connections and finding resources. The center can also help students tailor their experiential projects to focus on social innovation. The school also offers a selection of social entrepreneurship electives.View School Profile
Although the school does not offer an MBA in Nonprofit per se, interested students can pursue the MBA specialization in Public Policy & Management, which covers relevant topics. In recent years, six percent of the school’s MBA classes have gone into nonprofits.View School Profile
Through a range of unique curriculum—such as classes in "Grant Writing and Management" and "Public Service Communication"—the school's specialized MBA / Nonprofit prepares students for a career in this field. Suffolk also offers an MPA degree in nonprofit management.View School Profile
Geneva, a hub for international organizations and NGO activity, is a magnet for those seeking a career in the nonprofit sector. The school offers a specialized “International Organizations MBA” that examines management of intergovernmental, public and nonprofit organizations.View School Profile
Weatherhead's Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, launched in 2002, serves as a hub for MBAs looking to work in not-for-profits and other mission-oriented organizations. In recent years, upwards of thirteen percent of the school’s MBA classes have gone into nonprofits. In partnership with the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Weatherhead also offers an Executive MBA Nonprofit Certificate.View School Profile
In any given year, some five to ten percent of graduates go into the nonprofit sector. In the past, students have been recruited by nonprofit organizations like AmeriCare, the Nature Conservancy, and the Environmental Defense Fund.View School Profile
With the “Heller MBA in Nonprofit Management,” Brandeis is one of only a handful of schools to offer a specialized MBA in this field. The program's curriculum is designed to look at management through a nonprofit lens, with a specific focus on “the triple bottom line” (people, planet, profit). Grads go on to do fulfilling work in organizations like the Peace Corps and the AIDS Action Committee.View School Profile
Related MBA News
Why Sustainability Tops the Agenda for Business Schools
Apr 27, 2020
Under pressure on all fronts to move beyond ‘profits at all costs’, business schools are making sustainability part of the core MBA curriculum
Post-MBA Careers in Social Impact
Jan 09, 2019
Yes, the pay can be lower, but today’s business school students are pursuing career paths with purpose, not just for profit
Investments That Can End Poverty
Feb 23, 2015
Some business schools and MBA students see impact investing as a way to make a difference, as well as turn a profit
More than Profit: Can an MBA Program Help Make a Difference?
Mar 10, 2014
How a growing number of MBA programs are preparing people to work in non-profits and other mission-driven organizations