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Nonprofit Leadership

Advance and apply your leadership skills for impact within the dynamic and diverse nonprofit sector.

A graduate of the Nonprofit Leadership program stands in front of a floral mural and smiles.
Genevieve Allen-Hearn is a graduate of eCampus's Nonprofit Leadership Graduate Certificate program.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
2 Years
Graduate Certificate

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Advance your knowledge and skills in this graduate certificate program in strategic leadership, financial management, marketing, human resource management, partnership development, governance and fundraising. Apply your nonprofit leadership skills for impact through a final capstone project that is unique to you and your area of interest.

In this program, you learn:

  • Differences between leadership and management
  • Alternative and conventional governance models
  • How policy, board motions and bylaws are developed and implemented
  • How to set ethical and equitable standards for yourself and others
  • Fundamental principles and best practices for professional development
  • How to work with partners to achieve impactful results
  • Basic nonprofit financial management
  • How to design, implement and manage fundraising activities and community programs
  • The importance of marketing and its impact on the organization
  • Human resource management approaches that help create an inclusive environment

Nonprofit organizations provide a range of programs and services in health, education/research, advocacy, social services, associations/unions, international, religion, recreation, arts and culture, and the environment. They play a key role in improving our communities and our quality of life. Through this program you will advance your skills to make an impact in your work.

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 2 years.

Choose NSCC

  • This program is intended for those currently working or volunteering in nonprofit organizations (though this is not a requirement for admission).
  • Courses are delivered online so the program can be completed around your busy schedule.
  • This program was developed to meet the growing needs of nonprofit organizations across Nova Scotia.
  • Apply your work experience and knowledge through a Capstone Project, where you develop and implement a project relevant to your work.
  • Learn from knowledgeable faculty who bring academic and professional experience to each course.

September 2025

Campus Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Part time Asynchronous online
Delivered 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 amounts are for the 2024-25 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

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

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.

Career options

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

Future study options

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 may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

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 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 non-profit sector.

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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