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3 Nonprofit Specialties that Can Make You Essential to Any Organization

By Bisk
3 Nonprofit Specialties that Can Make You Essential to Any Organization

Nonprofit professionals looking to advance their careers may find their initial degrees only take them so far. This is especially true for those who enter the field from another profession; while a background in education, law, medicine or business may open that first door, advanced credentials in a nonprofit specialty area are often required to pursue top-level positions.

Nonprofits need leaders in key posts that not only bring mission-specific knowledge to the table, but also have a grasp of the nuts and bolts required to successfully manage their organization. This is where many professionals have found a nonprofit executive certificate can help them advance their careers by making them even more essential to the organizations they serve.

Advanced education tailored for the nonprofit sector is designed to provide the education leaders in this sector need to drive their organizations forward. Reputable programs are crafted to provide the required skill sets while also addressing the distinctions that set nonprofits apart from profit-making ventures.

Professionals considering advancement in the nonprofit arena are likely to find that three nonprofit educational specialties lend themselves well to gaining knowledge and making resumes stand out: leadership, fund development and management.

Exploring the Specialties

High-demand specialties in the nonprofit sector are all meant to augment mission-critical knowledge with the business fundamentals most organizations require to attain their goals. Certificate concentrations may open the doors to top leadership roles, such as department-level management positions and executive directorships.

Three of the most in-demand specialty tracks in the nonprofit leadership arena share some commonalities, but each has important differences that set them apart:

  • Transformational nonprofit leadership – Students who pursue a nonprofit executive certificate in this concentration will gain the business knowledge required to serve in top leadership roles, including executive directorships. This specialty is considered appropriate for those looking to launch careers in the nonprofit sector or nonprofit professionals seeking to advance. Courses in this specialty area cover such topics as the business fundamentals behind nonprofit leadership like budgeting and fundraising. Students also delve into focus areas like leadership skills, board development, grant writing and nonprofit advocacy.
  • Nonprofit fund development – This specialty track often covers the basic business skills required to lead nonprofits while going into greater depth on the topic of generating funds to drive an organization’s mission forward. Students gain a strong understanding of the principles behind effective grant proposal writing and learn about successful fundraising strategies for nonprofits. These skills are critical for the success of any nonprofit that relies on donations and grants to meet its goals. 
  • Nonprofit management – A concentration in nonprofit management helps develop a range of business skills such as budgeting, communications and resource allocation.  However, instruction is tailored to applying these skills in a nonprofit environment; students learn how such abilities fit into philanthropic and charitable business models rather than those designed for corporations and other for-profit firms.  This specialty is an excellent choice for those who want to advance through various nonprofit management roles (supervisor, manager, director) and eventually into executive positions. 

Professionals who want to get ahead in the nonprofit sector are likely to find acquiring specialized knowledge and skills is necessary.  The best way to do so is often a nonprofit executive certificate program that helps make them essential to the organizations they serve.

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Category: Nonprofit Leadership