Advanced Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Advanced Certificates
Online Programs

Designed to prepare students to succeed in leadership and administration of nonprofit organizations, the Advanced Certificate Program in Nonprofit Management is intended for practicing managers and leaders in a broad range of human service, cultural, educational, religious, and community organizations, and for those who wish to prepare for professional advancement. The curriculum provides a theoretical and practical examination of the governance of nonprofit organizations, the management of volunteers and professionals, marketing, resource development and fundraising, strategic planning, program evaluation, financial oversight, and the social and political context of the nonprofit sector. All classes are offered during late afternoon or evening hours for the convenience of working adult students.

The curriculum covers all aspects of nonprofit administration and management:

  • Leading and managing non-profit organizations and interacting with boards of directors
  • Supervising volunteers and professionals
  • Fundraising and resource development
  • Marketing
  • Quantitative and qualitative program evaluation
  • Financial management
  • Planning and decision making
  • Social, economic and political trends affecting the nonprofit sector

Online & In-Class Formats Available

This certificate is available as a fully online or in-classroom certificate. Learn more about our online learning options.


CFRE International Approved Courses

Some Nonprofit Management courses are approved for 37.5 CFRE certification points per course. Please review our individual course descriptions to determine which courses are approved.

required course work

Some Nonprofit Management courses can be applied to the M.A. in Nonprofit Management degree program, or the M.A. in Human Resources Management program, offered through University College.

Required Courses: 12 units

  • Management in Nonprofit Organizations (U76 507) - This course provides an overview of fundamental principles of management, governance, and leadership in nonprofit organizations. Particular attention is given to issues of motivation, supervision, and evaluation of professional staff and volunteers, and working with the board of directors.
  • Resource Development for Nonprofit Organizations (U76 508) - This course concentrates on effective fund raising management, accenting the practice, principles, processes and programs of fund raising from the private sector. The ethical, theoretical, and practical contexts for fund raising and resource development will be discussed as well as contemporary resources to aid today's fund raising professional. A comprehensive review and analysis is provided of annual and major gift programs together with planned giving and capital campaign strategies. Donor motivations and characteristics are also examined.
  • Financial Management in Nonprofit Organizations (U76 525) - This course focuses on important financial and accounting principles and techniques, with particular attention to operational and project budgeting, financial statement analysis, cash flow projections, endowment building and investment management, and strategic financial planning. Course content is designed to help non-accountants understand standard accounting concepts and procedures, manage the record keeping function, make effective financial decisions and report financial status to key constituents.
  • Legal Issues Impacting Nonprofit Organizations (U76 570) - This course focuses on the opportunities and requirements placed on nonprofit organizations under Federal and State law. We explore how nonprofits are organized, governed, operated, and financed within this legal framework.
Elective Courses: 3 units

admissions requirements

This graduate certificate program is open to qualified students with a baccalaureate degree, although others with significant professional or volunteer experience may apply after consulting with the program director. Qualified individuals in the community may also enroll in selected courses without participating in the full certificate program. With permission, students may enroll in Nonprofit Management courses before they are officially admitted to the certificate program.

application requirements

Completed application form

The online application is available online on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed, required documents have been received, and the application fee is paid.

Official transcripts from all previous college work

Contact the registrar at each previous college or university attended to request an official transcript. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar to University College.

Personal statement

Tell us about yourself in a brief essay (about 250 words). Why are you applying to University College? What are your goals, both academic and professional? What do we need to know when considering your application?

TOEFL scores (if applicable)

If you are not a U.S. citizen, official TOEFL scores must be forwarded to University College.

Graduates of a U.S. university or college or Canada, Australia, and U.K. residents are exempt if they have earned a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree from such college or university.

$35 application fee

You may pay by credit card online, or via check or money order payable to Washington University in St. Louis. You may also pay the fee by cash at the University College office. 

This fee is waived for all WashU staff.

Three Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation should be completed by teachers or professional associates. They can be submitted as part of your online application or mailed to University College.

Personal Interview

A personal interview with University College staff is recommended, and an interview may be requested by the Program Coordinator or Director of Admissions. 

Writing Sample

Describe a significant challenge to the nonprofit sector over the next three years, and explain how you will respond to this challenge as a nonprofit professional.

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Still have questions?

Program Coordinator: Amy Cole Buehler | (314) 935-6700 | abuehler@wustl.edu

Administrative Assistant for Academic Programs: Holly Schroeder | (314) 935-6759 | cschroed@wustl.edu

Director of Advising and Student Services: Elizabeth Fogt | (314) 935-6778 | efogt@wustl.edu