Prepare to make a difference.
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, Leadership and Management of Non-profit Organizations (LMNO) at SDSU will help you convert your passion into action. As a student in LMNO, you’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of the nonprofit sector. You’ll also learn fundraising practices, examine volunteer management techniques and apply leadership and team development strategies.
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.
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 the LMNO catalog.
Where will your LMNO major take you?
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.
Potential Internship Sites and Employers
- American Red Cross
- Make-A-Wish Foundation
- United Way
- Boys & Girls Club
- Chambers of Commerce
- Hospital Foundations
- Country Clubs
How to set yourself apart.
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 10 core competencies, completed an internship, participated in the NLA student organization and attended a national non-profit conference.
Not sure if this major is for you?
Check out Leadership and Management of Nonprofit Organizations to learn more.
For more information contact:
Caitlin Thilges is currently the Event Coordinator for the School of Public Health and Indiana University Bloomington.
“Initially, I selected the Leadership & Management of Nonprofit Organizations major because of my heart for service. Having grown up in a family that placed an emphasis on serving others, I was an avid volunteer. As I arrived at South Dakota State University and began taking courses, my passion for leadership emerged and it became very clear that the LMNO major was the right fit for me. Looking back, I am so grateful for that choice as I can pinpoint distinct ways that my LMNO coursework improved my leadership skills and provided me with a community of great friends and a broad professional network.”
Kayla is the Director of Development and Special Events and the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Plains.
"Since graduating from SDState with my undergraduate in LMNO, I went on and received my Master of Education degree in Administration of Student Affairs from SDState. My undergrad helped me make connections with faculty, staff, and community members who encouraged me to continue education and expand my network. While working on my masters, I got the pleasure of working with sophomores and freshman to find their place at SDState as an Academic Advisor. I currently work at the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Plains helping plan events and raise money for our youth members. Working in both professions has allowed me to help make a difference every day and I chose the LMNO major because it was the perfect mix of classes to help me succeed in my professional career no matter which path I chose to go on."
Casey Stickland graduated with his LMNO degree in 2022 and through the major found a love for serving the community. The many volunteer and project opportunities within the LMNO program allowed Casey to work with multiple Brookings nonprofits and he found his passion for community and economic development when working with the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce. In his current role, Casey works to serve Young Professionals, SDSU Students and New Residents as well as working with many Volga businesses and community leaders.
"I chose the LMNO major because it offered a well-rounded educational path leading to a career in the nonprofit field. The specialized course matrix offers information on all areas required of the leaders of a nonprofit organization. Utilization of experts in the various areas of nonprofit management as professors within the course offers students an inside view of those opportunities within our field. The pursuit of this major has helped me reach my goal of being the Executive Director of the South Dakota Public Assurance Alliance."
"I have nothing but praise for my time spent in this program, it was an integral part of my college experience! Its courses not only allowed for professional, leadership, and academic growth, but also gave me the flexibility to discover my passions. It gave me the tools to be part of the solution to creating a better world.
Now a Master of Public Administration candidate and Graduate Research Assistant at Ohio University, I can confidently say that much of the knowledge, many relationships, and countless opportunities that the LMNO program provided me was foundational for success in my continuing academic journey and endeavors afterward. For anyone who wants to make a positive difference, this is the program for you."