Not-for-Profit Leadership Curriculum

The Not-for-Profit Leadership focus area is intended to help you enhance your leadership skills in any not-for-profit organization. You will learn how to work as an integral part of the organization by building relationships with business partners, providing motivation for success, and helping the organization reach its highest potential. A strong framework of ethics and critical thinking skills put you a step ahead of the rest.

Through the Not-for-Profit Leadership focus area, you will be able to:


Interdisciplinary Courses

15 credit hours required; all courses listed.

Explores both historical and contemporary explanations of the self in a variety of natural and social contexts. Examines the role of society on the development of self and the impact of the individual on society.

Explores the interaction of culture, creativity, and the arts with leadership. Students will examine creative leaders throughout history from a wide variety of cultures and organizational settings. Students will explore their own creativity and its potential impact on their ability to “think outside the box” and enhance their unique leadership style.

Provides an overview of leadership models to help students identify their own leadership styles. Examines leadership skills that support diverse individuals in complex and technology-rich environments.

Examines the process of ethical decision-making. Through the examination of sources and issues, students develop an awareness of ethical questions, a language with which to frame and confront those questions, and methodologies to examine their import, possibilities, and challenges. Also, addresses differences between legal and ethical issues that affect decision-making.

Examines the research process and explores how to critically analyze research and build upon the work of others. Provides an overview of assessment and evaluation techniques, statistical procedures, and technologies that can be used to inform decision-making.

Focus Area - Not-for-Profit Leadership

MLD students must select a focus area. 21 credit hours required; all courses listed.

Introduces types of funding organizations, guidelines that should be used to select appropriate funding opportunities, partnership building, and strategies to write winning proposals and grants.

Discusses strategies that help NFP leaders work with boards, staff, volunteers, partners, and clients anticipate, respond, and reshape their organization to adapt to changing environments. Emphasizes motivation, interpersonal communication skills, conflict resolution, goal-setting, training, and personnel evaluation within the context of the organization‟s mission. Provides overview of laws related to sexual harassment, discrimination, hiring/firing, and fair labor practices.

Introduces technology that supports communication, marketing, and fundraising. Teaches strategies to identify needs and acquire appropriate resources. Also emphasizes use of technology to manage organizational processes.

Discusses budget processes that involve the NFP board. Emphasizes integration of resource planning and management, analysis of program objectives in relation to budget, and communication of financial and compliance information to relevant groups. Includes overview of NFP accounting and budgeting software.

Emphasizes development of an organizational vision and strategic plan that supports the mission and balances continuity and charge. Highlights the developmental stages that organizations experience as part of the systemic change process. Reinforces the importance of connecting strategic planning with ongoing operational functions of the organization.

Capstone course incorporates various perspectives of the core and the focus area. Requires a real-life project that is approved by the focus area advisor. Example projects for this area include: a grant proposal for an NFP organization, a strategic plan that includes a marketing and financial plan, and a board or volunteer retreat plan with specific goals outlined.

Information About Course Requirements

We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to insure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest graduate college catalog.  Always consult your program director when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.