Main Navigation
Apply Now Request Info


Nonprofit Administration Graduate Certificate

Credits to Earn Your Certificate
CSU Online Grad Students Secured Plans Related to Their Career
Grad Students Would Choose CSU Online Again
In research expenditures in FY23
Certificate Overview Open Accordion
Online nonprofit administration certificate

Earn your Nonprofit Administration Certificate online

Build a rewarding career affecting change in an area you care about. Working in the nonprofit sector often requires a strong "find a way" or "make a way" mentality that drives the kind of innovation needed to make an impact. CSU's online nonprofit management certificate builds the essential skills to foster organizational and programmatic success and provides you with a framework for how nonprofits work and how to get things done.

You gain skills in:

  • Board development
    Begin your strategic thinking on how to recruit and work with a board of directors to accomplish organizational goals.
  • Program architecture
    Learn to design and structure programs to ensure strategic objectives align with organizational end-goals.
  • Human resources and staffing
    Learn to understand organizational culture, how to build a staff team, create position descriptions, and identify necessary staffing resources.
  • Resource development
    Find out how to evaluate funding opportunities to determine priorities in applying for resources. Become knowledgeable about fiscal planning and grant writing.
  • Volunteer recruitment and management
    Build an effective volunteer base that is invested in your organization. Distinguish and apply human service values, ethics, theories, and skills to nonprofit management and volunteer programming.
  • Communications
    Develop your organizational branding, communication strategies, and increase your marketing skills.

Learn from experts working in nonprofit management

Course instructors in the online nonprofit administration certificate have significant personal experience as active practitioners in the field. By dedicating the time to study nonprofit management and learn from experienced instructors, you will gain evidence-based tools and have access to current research that adds to what you have learned on the job.

Instructors bring real-world experience into the classroom to help you better understand:

  • Capacity building
  • Design with intentionality
  • Donor cultivation
  • Nonprofit administration
  • Board development
  • Strengths-based coaching
  • Financial sustainability

Build your portfolio and expertise

Upon completion of the online graduate certificate in nonprofit management, you will have a professional portfolio of work that displays your knowledge. You have the opportunity to complete an organizational design proposal, from mission and goals through financial planning and volunteer resourcing. You can utilize projects from their current job for class assignments, getting feedback from instructors and other students.

Gaining financial planning, fundraising, grant-writing, and donor cultivation skills is integral to on-the-job success and, often, career advancement. In this online certificate program, you will practice these skills with hands-on guidance. Courses will give you the opportunity to create various materials to build your portfolio, including:

  • Strategic plan
  • Nonprofit budget
  • Volunteer recruitment, training, and evaluation plan
  • Fund development plan
  • Grant funding source analysis
  • Agency goals

Advance your career in the nonprofit sector

Gain the nonprofit training you need to step into an active leadership role within an organization. The online nonprofit administration certificate is designed to prepare students to lead at a management level within nonprofits and build a thriving organizational culture.

Students are prepared for nonprofit leadership positions such as:

  • Program Director
  • Program Manager
  • Business Manager
  • Event Manager
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Development Director
  • Volunteer Manager
  • Advocacy Director
  • Community Organizer
  • Fundraising Manager
  • Grant Administrator
  • Project Manager
  • Special Events Director
  • Hiring Manager
  • Fundraiser

Apply credits toward your master's degree

Nonprofit administration certificate courses can be taken independently of the Master of Social Work, or can be applied to the M.S.W. degree program as electives that will provide curricular focus in nonprofit management.

Health and Human Science Matters Podcast

Find out how CSU’s research is making an impact by tuning into the Health and Human Science Matters Podcast, a collection of lively, engaging conversations with members of the college community.

Curriculum Open Accordion

The online Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration requires three courses:

Required Courses:

  • SOWK 660 – Nonprofit Program Development (3 cr., fall)
    You will learn to:
    • Demonstrate knowledge in principles of planning, development, capacity building, and necessary elements for designing and implementing strategic programs with high-functioning teams.
    • Develop skills necessary to assume leadership, management, and program development positions in the nonprofit sector.
    • Analyze and apply knowledge of the principles and elements of ethical decision-making to real-world dilemmas within nonprofit organizations.
    • Evaluate effectiveness of organizational programs, interventions, and actions based on human service values and ethics.
    • Demonstrate critical thinking in leadership roles regarding external collaboration, community accountability, and team development skills with respect for diversity and strengths of groups and communities engaged.
    • Apply knowledge of components of program development through creation of program development proposal, including executive summary, budget, and evaluation plan.
    • Illustrate knowledge in strategic program planning and management, community organizing, staffing and boards, evaluation and implementation strategy in varied organization structures and cultures.
  • SOWK 661 – Financial Development (3 cr., spring)
    You will learn to:
    • Develop an annual nonprofit strategic plan.
    • Construct clear and measurable agency goals.
    • Prepare a nonprofit budget.
    • Devise goals for fund development plan.
    • Select and analyze grant funding sources for nonprofits.
  • SOWK 662 – Volunteer Development and Management (3 cr., summer)
    You will learn to:
    • Distinguish human service values, ethics, and skills for nonprofit management to volunteer programming and management.
    • Describe and apply theoretical models of volunteerism and volunteer management to organizational contexts.
    • Identify ethnocultural diversity and its impact on volunteerism and organizational engagement.
    • Assess an organization for volunteer readiness and program support needs.
    • Compare and contrast strategies for volunteer recruitment, training, and retention.
    • Examine effective volunteer involvement policies to enhance productivity towards organizational goals and minimize potential risks.
    • Evaluate the effectiveness of volunteer programming and roles.
    • Volunteer programming and roles.
How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadlines

Applications are reviewed as they are received. You can expect to be notified of your application status within two weeks of submitting all application materials.

Note: Applications submitted after the deadline may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.

Fall August 1
Spring January 1
Summer May 1

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

1Review Admission Requirements

The online certificate requires that students have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution.

2 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Select "Nonprofit Administration (Certificate) – Distance" when choosing the Program of Study. (Note: You must first select "Certificate" at the top.)

3 Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript from the institution where you earned your bachelor’s degree. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary):
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Kyle Yates
Prospective Student Support Coach
Schedule Time to Talk

Program Details

9 credits
$725 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
Certificate Awarded
Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration
Time Frame
Can be completed in 3 semesters
Admission Reqs.
  • Undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year institution.

Application Dates

Fall semester
August 1
Spring semester
January 1
Summer semester
May 1

Request Information

By providing your information, you consent to receive calls, emails, and/or text messages from CSU Online. Consent not required to purchase goods or services. For more info, call 1-970-491-5288. We respect your privacy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.