Nonprofit Leadership, Innovation, and Organizational Sustainability

Graduate Certificate

"This certificate provides an incredible return on investment for a nonprofit organization," said Ron Kuntze, director of the University of New Haven’s Nonprofit Institute. "It’s an investment in a world-class educational experience for a key leader who can help transform a nonprofit organization."

What profits a nonprofit? Great leadership.

The most effective nonprofit organizations have great leaders at the top. The good news for you is there are plenty of opportunities of those who have the right skills. In fact, the growth rate for management positions in nonprofits is double that for management positions in for-profit organizations.

The University of New Haven’s graduate certificate in Nonprofit Leadership, Innovation, and Organizational structure will develop your leadership and strategic management skills and instill in you the business acumen you need that ensure your nonprofit organization has a much greater chance of sustaining and thriving in today’s rapidly changing environment.

You will also prepare a two-year strategic plan for your nonprofit, gaining insight from your classmates and expertise from your professors as you help strengthen the foundation of your organization, enabling it to make an even great impact on the community and the people it serves.

Business of Helping

This graduate certificate program is housed in our Pompea College of Business, for it is here that you will acquire the invaluable tools of business planning, structure, social entrepreneurship, leadership, and innovation. It was developed through extensive, in-depth interviews with dozens of New Haven area nonprofit executive directors, nonprofit boards, and graduates from competitor programs.

This laid the foundation for a long-term relationship between community nonprofits and the University of New Haven, which is dedicated to providing resources and intellectual capital in support of their missions.

"A very important – and, perhaps, unique – aspect of the certificate program is that the curriculum was built from the ground up," says Andrew Eder, a philanthropist who has sat on many nonprofit boards, who is chair of the advisory board for the University’s Nonprofit Institute. "This means that we made personal visits to executive directors of many not-for-profits in the New Haven area to understand their individual needs in order to build the coursework for this program. There was quite a bit of commonality in those needs, which became the nucleus of our certificate program."

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What You'll Learn

The program was designed for executives who have little downtime. The four-module certificate unfolds over an 18-month period during which you and your fellow students meet as a cohort twice a year for an intense, week-long immersion. Each week represents a full course, for which you will earn three credits. As a cohort coming together four times during the program, your networking possibilities and collaborative potential will soar, not just within the program but outside of it, too.

  • You will learn to plan, deliver, and execute a long-term strategic plan to help your organization grow into an innovative social enterprise and then update this plan after gaining knowledge from each course. This "living document" is unique in this market and highly rated by our nonprofit partners.

  • You will learn expense control, cash flow analysis, financial analysis, and fundamental cost structures. Learn to make better decisions in an environment of limited resources.

  • This course identifies key revenue sources for nonprofit firms and potential opportunities for funding improvements and revenue enhancements. Topics include grant development, sourcing and writing, prospect research, planned giving analysis, braided funding, and collaboration.

  • In this culminating course, personal leadership training and innovation are directly integrated into strategic planning, financial analysis, and growth strategies for the nonprofit firm. Larger-scale partnerships and alliances, board development and governance, and strategic communication are incorporated into the final project.

Learn from professors who are dedicated to your success.

Our faculty are leaders and innovators in their fields, bringing both deep professional experience and academic rigor to the classroom.

Next Steps
  • An advanced degree from the University of New Haven will help you take your career to the next level. Each program offers convenient scheduling, personalized attention, and state-of-the-art facilities.

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  • The University of New Haven Graduate School is an excellent value with reasonable tuition. Of course, you will still have bills to pay and the Financial Aid office can help.

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