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Leadership & Management of Nonprofit Organizations (B.S.)

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Passion is care in action. It’s doing work you believe in for a cause you value. With the right blend of commitment, knowledge and talent, you can conquer a challenging career that can be truly rewarding. As a nonprofit professional in the making, you probably already have the commitment. In the SDSU Leadership and Management of Nonprofit Organizations (LMNO) Program, you’ll acquire the knowledge and develop the talents to engage in your cause.

So what’s your cause – youth, children, the arts, education, animal welfare, the environment, human services, or international affairs? Is it something else? Whatever it is, LMNO at SDSU will help you convert your passion into action.


An Education In Advocacy

As a student in leadership and management of nonprofit organizations, you’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of the nonprofit sector, including the role of philanthropy in the United States and the history, philosophy, ethics and organizational structure of nonprofit and social services agencies. You’ll also learn fundraising practices; see how the various roles of human services professionals intersect with the nonprofit field; and apply leadership and team development strategies to organizational structures.

To further your personal and professional skills necessary for success in the nonprofit environment, you’ll complete a 3-credit internship experience at a nonprofit organization related to your specific career interest.

Grassroots Training: What Do LMNO Majors Do In Class?

  • Study business basics in accounting, financial management and fundraising courses.
  • Assess societal needs with courses such as Consumer Needs and Program Funding, Program Design, Implementation, and Evaluation, and Principles and Practices of Social Entrepreneurship.
  • Learn to effectively gain support for social causes through courses in promotion, marketing, advertising and public relations.
  • Practice the principles of managing people via human resources, volunteer management and organizational leadership.
  • Apply leadership strategies to nonprofit work in the real world through the senior seminar and leadership-in-action field experience and internship.
  • For course information, either contact our EHS Academic Success Team or visit our program page on the online course catalog.

From Chalkboard To Board Of Directors

Graduates in LMNO at SDSU are aptly prepared for rewarding positions within the nonprofit world. While there are common roles among nonprofit organizations, the work done by the professionals that fill them is anything but common.

Executive directors oversee all aspects of a nonprofit organization, including marketing and promotion, fundraising, program development, human resources and finances.

Marketing managers are tasked with the three-fold purpose of understanding the key stakeholders of an organization; crafting relevant and compelling messages to develop and maintain support for the cause; and, using appropriate communication channels to effectively deliver those messages.

Public relations managers often serve as the public face of an organization and are responsible for maintaining its public image. They are experts at articulating the mission, values and facts of the organization and manage media relations by writing press releases, staying current on relevant policies and interacting with media at events.

Fundraising managers are responsible for all things financial within a nonprofit organization. In addition to creating budgets and tracking expenses, fundraising managers oversee donor development, prepare grant proposals, and coordinate events.

Volunteer coordinators assess staffing needs for nonprofit events and programs, then subsequently recruit, train, and place volunteers based on interests, skills and knowledge.

Program directors coordinate all event and other programmatic efforts of the organization from the development of new initiatives, budgeting and staffing to logistics, execution and program evaluation.

Become a Certified Nonprofit Professional

In addition to earning the LMNO degree, you also have the option of becoming a Certified Non-profit Professional through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA). That means you’ll be recognized by nonprofit organizations as someone who has met foundational and professional proficiencies necessary for career success in the nonprofit sector.

Requirements of the certification include earning competencies in 10 areas related to nonprofit work, including communication, culture and diversity, resource management, ethics in decision-making, program development and others. The certification also calls for the completion of an internship, participation in the NLA student organization and attendance at the Alliance Management Institute.


Fast Facts:

  • New Major: Created in 2017!
  • 1.6 Million Nonprofits in the United States*
  • 11.4 million jobs in the nonprofit industry*
  • Students can become a certified nonprofit professional
  • The certified nonprofit professional credential is the only national credential preparing students for careers in nonprofit management.
  • Certified Nonprofit Professionals are 7 times more likely to reach executive director and CEO level of nonprofits.**
  • Major complements over 30 minors on-campus
 *Independent Sector, http://www.independentsector.org/about/the-charitable-sector/
**Nonprofit Leadership Alliance and LinkedIn Study, https://www.nonprofitleadershipalliance.org/credential/results/

Not sure if this major is for you?

Check out the Degree Explorer in Leadership and Management of Nonprofit Organizations, to learn more. 

For more information contact: