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Nonprofit studies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nonprofit studies or nonprofit management is a multidisciplinary field of teaching and research that focuses on practices of the nonprofit sector and can date back to the 1920s.[1] This area of inquiry examines the management and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector.

Nonprofit studies may also refer to studies of the voluntary sector, third sector, nongovernmental organizations, or civil society.


The Master of Nonprofit Organizations (MNO or MNPO), Master of Non-profit Management (MNM), Master of Not-for-Profit Leadership (MNPL), Master of Nonprofit Studies (MNpS), Master of Public Affairs (MPA), Master of Philanthropic Studies, Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA), Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management (MPA), Master of Business Administration in Nonprofit Management (MBA), and similarly named degrees offer graduate-level training in nonprofit studies, management, and leadership in the nonprofit sector.

As evidenced by the lack of a uniform name, degrees in nonprofit management are a relatively new phenomenon. While some universities have established centers for nonprofit studies, such as the Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Case Western Reserve University, the Institute for Nonprofit Organizations at the University of Georgia, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University, most nonprofit management programs are within schools of social work, public administration, or management. However, as the field has grown, there are increasing numbers of free-standing graduate and undergraduate programs not bound within traditional disciplines. The Nonprofit Academic Centers Council (NACC) has developed curricular guidelines for degree programs in the nonprofit and philanthropic studies field that has helped to guide many universities in the development of their degree and certificate programs.[2] In 1983, the School of Management at the University of San Francisco was the first institution in the nation to offer the Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) program.[3]


A typical nonprofit Master's program would require coursework in most or all of the following subjects:

Program structures include traditional resident graduate programs, part-time programs for working professionals, and correspondence or online programs. In addition, many universities offering master's degrees also offer graduate certificates for students pursuing a graduate degree in another discipline.

USA institutions offering master's degrees in nonprofit organizations[edit]

USA institutions offering online master's degrees in nonprofit organizations[edit]

Nonprofit research[edit]

Academic journals[edit]


  1. ^ Ma, Ji; Konrath, Sara (2018). "A Century of Nonprofit Studies: Scaling the Knowledge of the Field". VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations. 29 (6): 1139–1158. doi:10.1007/s11266-018-00057-5. hdl:1805/19864. ISSN 0957-8765. S2CID 195067944.
  2. ^ "Non-Profit Academic Centers Council - About". Non-Profit Academic Centers Council. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  3. ^ "University of San Francisco School of Management MNA Program-Information". Retrieved 12 November 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Weber, P. C., & Witkowsky, G. R. (2016). Philanthropic Disruptions: Changing Non-Profit Education for an Engaged Society. Journal of Public Affairs Education,22(1), 91-106. Retrieved April 30, 2018.