If you are interested in pursuing a career working for not-for-profit social services agencies, it’s beneficial to earn a degree in non-profit management. Non-profits are tax-exempt public charities, as opposed to private foundations, that are formed to provide a public benefit in the state in which they serve. The public benefit that is being provided through the non-profit depends on the organization’s mission, which can range from providing food and shelter, to helping individuals with mental illness.
Non-profits are always looking for generous and charitable volunteers. It’s even possible for professionals who want to make a difference in their communities to land roles within non-profit organizations without possessing a degree, however, climbing up the ladder to management is much quicker with a degree under your belt. If you’d like to be in charge or running a non-profit, here’s how you would go about earning a degree:
Look For Financial Aide Options
Returning to school can be intimidating for adult re-entry students. Not only is the thought of going back into a classroom setting scary for independent adults, the idea of funding a degree is as well. Fortunately, there is a lot of aide options available to independent students. The first step to getting a degree would be researching how to pay for tuition fees and supplies.
There are a number of different alternatives to getting student loans. If you are going to attend a public school, the first and most popular option would be to apply for Federal Financial Aide by filling out an application for FAFSA. You may qualify for a Federal Pell Grant and other assistance depending on your income. From there you can determine if you qualify for scholarships, other grants, school-specific aide, and lastly loans.
Find an Accredited Non-Profit Management Program
Once you have settled on the best funding sources, you can start the next process which would be to pinpoint the most reasonable and respected non-profit management programs. If you were to search for strictly degree programs majoring in the field, there would be hundreds of results that don’t really help you narrow down your options. This is why the best place to start would be to find an accredited program that’s acknowledged by the Department of Education.
The most trusted source for finding accredited non-profit education programs would be to reference the list of programs through the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC). The NACC provides clear curricula goals for nonprofit programs and serves as a seal of approval for students looking for trustworthy degree programs.
Choosing a Method of Instruction
Students who must complete scientific labs or practical training in person can’t earn their entire degree online, but non-profit management students can. This is why choosing a method of instruction is important. You may be more interested in traditional classroom instruction but others may prefer the convenience offered by distance education programs. Compare the course content delivery and be realistic about your abilities to study independently.
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After you have completed a 120-credit program to earn your bachelor’s degree, you can pursue upper-level roles within smaller non-profits. To work your way up to management in larger non-profit, you may need to move on and learn how to get a master’s degree in non-profit management.