Demand for Nonprofit Leaders is Growing

The nonprofit sector is facing a huge staffing challenge. More than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations are registered with the Internal Revenue Service and attract one quarter of the U.S. adult population as volunteers, but personnel with organizational and philanthropic development knowledge are in short supply.

Since its launch in summer 2018, UGA’s online nonprofit management and leadership graduate certificate has responded to well over a hundred program inquiries. With so many nonprofit professionals and volunteers seeking the skills to become nonprofit industry leaders, this online graduate certificate meets working professionals where they are to address the growing need for nonprofit leadership in our communities.

As the only program of it’s kind offered through a school of social work, the courses prepare students to support and influence the direction of organizations engaged in fields such as human services, visual and performing arts, youth sports, and environmental conservation, among others. No on-campus attendance is required.

Today there are 65 students earning the graduate certificate in nonprofit management with 6 enrolled exclusively in the online offering. The certificate is available to non-degree seeking students, but the course can also count toward a master’s degree if the student is accepted into the graduate nonprofit program administered within the UGA School of Social Work.

Kat Lucas is a current student pursuing the graduate certificate in order to further her career.  

“The nonprofit management and leadership graduate certificate has taught me the methods and theories that are essential to a future social entrepreneur like myself. This certificate is a catalyst for future management and leadership opportunities in the nonprofit sector.”

Here’s what students are saying about their experiences in the online courses.

"Communication from the instructor was timely and very responsive. I also appreciated the guest speaker videos that related to the text, it helped give the material context."

"All the assignments were very well-organized, and it was very clear how they related to the goals of the course."  

"I love the reference material which helped in my research. I love the feedback I received that help me look at things differently."

“The materials we received each week were relevant and helpful.  The instructor’s guiding comments were extremely important throughout the course.”

Applications are being accepted for the 12 credit hour program. The curriculum covers basic theory and administration of nonprofit organizations, grant proposal writing, program design and evaluation—a key component of successful grant proposals—as well as fundraising and managing volunteers.

Applications are open for Summer enrollment until May 1 and for Fall enrollment until July 1. For details, visit