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Nonprofit Leadership

Master the complex and dynamic skills you need to make an impact in the non-profit sector.

A blonde woman in a black blazer and glasses stands on a sidewalk, arms crossed, and poses for a photo.
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
2 Years (varies for part-time studies)
Credential:
Graduate Certificate

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Overview

This graduate certificate program prepares you with knowledge and skills in strategic leadership, finances, marketing, human resource management, partnership development and fundraising.

Non-profit organizations provide a range of programs and services in health, education, recreation, arts and culture and the environment. They play a key role in improving our communities and our quality of life.

In this program, you learn:

  • Differences between governance and management
  • How policy, board motions and bylaws are developed and implemented
  • How to set ethical standards for yourself and others
  • Fundamental principles and best practices for positive leadership
  • How to work with partners to achieve results
  • Basic financial accounting
  • Human resource management approaches that help create a productive environment

You also design, implement and manage fundraising activities and community programs. A special focus is placed on the importance of marketing and its impact on the organization.

Study options

  • This program is only available for part-time study through online delivery.
    • The time to complete the program through part-time study is two years.

Choose NSCC

  • Courses are delivered online so the program can be completed around your busy schedule.
  • This program was developed to meet the growing needs of non-profit organizations across Nova Scotia.
  • Apply your work experience and knowledge through a Capstone Project, where you develop and implement a project plan relevant to your work.
  • Learn from knowledgeable faculty who bring academic and professional experience to each course.

2022-23 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2023

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Online Learning -- Part time Online – Asynchronous Online – AsynchronousDelivered fully online with no scheduled classes. Seats available

Admission requirements

Program requirements

  • You may be required to complete a current, official criminal record check, vulnerable sector check and/or child abuse register search. A conviction or finding in family court may impact your ability to complete the Capstone Project. Inability to complete this project will impact your ability to complete program and graduation requirements.
  • Up-to-date immunizations may be required.
  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition

2022-23 tuition will be announced in the late Spring once approved by the government of Nova Scotia. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. Amounts below were for the 2021-22 academic year.

Tuition (Domestic):
$4,401
Tuition (International):
$7,261

Tuition, fees and program costs

Tuition for part-time study option is calculated on a per-course basis and is paid at the beginning of each term

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

This program is not eligible for a Nova Scotia Student Loan.

Career options

  • Graduates take on a range of positions in non-profit or advocacy organizations, cooperatives or social enterprises. Typical job functions include: fundraising, marketing, communications, project management, volunteer management.
  • For those currently working or volunteering in a non-profit organization, this program will prepare you to assume more responsibility or progress within the organization.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you can apply to earn credit. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

ADCO 3004 - Community and Program Development
This course introduces students to practical considerations in the development of effective programming when working in the community. Students will explore the dynamics of community change, as well as practical approaches for taking action to facilitate community change. Additionally, students will examine practical aspects of planning, program development, and evaluation for programs within the nonprofit sector.

NPLD 3000 - Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations
This survey course addresses the fundamentals of nonprofit organizations providing the learner with a broad understanding of the history, impact and operation of nonprofits.

NPLD 3001 - Governance of Nonprofit Organizations
This course helps learners appreciate the roles and responsibilities of Boards of Directors in nonprofit organizations, understand how boards function over the lifetime of a nonprofit and explore what makes boards and individual board members effective and ineffective.

NPLD 3002 - Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations
This course will prepare leaders to plan, initiate and manage both intentional and systematic change in their organizations. It will focus on individual and organizational capacities and offer tools for comprehensive strategic analyses. Strategic management will be presented as a process of internal and external review, the setting of achievable outcomes, and the implementation of a standard of practice. Case studies are used extensively throughout the course.

NPLD 3003 - Nonprofit Communications
This course exposes students to the communications processes needed to develop and implement an effective plan designed to promote a nonprofit organization and its mission.

NPLD 3005 - Philanthropy and Fund Development
This course provides an overview of the practice of fund development in the nonprofit sector in Canada. The concept of philanthropy and a range of fund development approaches will be explored. In addition, the ethics and professionalism required in fund development will be addressed.

NPLD 3006 - Human Resource Management for Nonprofits
In this course learners will look at the key components of human resource management while recognizing that nonprofit organizations have the unique challenge of balancing the interests of board members, staff members, independent contractors, and volunteers.

NPLD 3007 - Financial Management of Nonprofit Organizations
This course focuses on financial management concepts and skills that are required for nonprofit organizations to achieve their mission. In particular learners will increase their understanding of planning and budgeting, cash flow management, and financial reporting.

NPLD 3008 - Marketing Nonprofit Organizations
This course provides students with a basic understanding of marketing principles. It provides an overview of various reasons a nonprofit needs to focus on marketing as well as the steps required to create an integrated marketing plan.

NPLD 3009 - Introduction to the Capstone Project
In this course, learners will design a capstone project. The course supports students to integrate skills and knowledge addressed in the Non-profit Leadership program to create a project that can be completed in five weeks and will be of advantage to a nonprofit organization or social enterprise.

NPLD 3030 - Non-profit Leadership Capstone Project
The Capstone Project course gives learners the opportunity to put into practice what they learned in the Non-profit Leadership Program. Undertaken during the spring term, learners will, under the guidance of a faculty advisor and an organizational supervisor, implement their capstone project in a non-profit organization or social enterprise.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

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