Nonprofit Administration
The late Sen. George McGovern and his wife, Eleanor McGovern, dedicated their lives to advancing the wellbeing of populations around the world through active involvement in humanitarian outreach and political change. Our majors intentionally equip students to engage in careers meant to improve lives at the global and grassroots level.

Nonprofit AdministrationWant to work with diverse populations, advocate for social justice, or maybe develop a nonprofit organization dedicated to a cause you care about? Are you well suited to motivate and inspire others, manage people, and serve?

A degree in nonprofit administration will prepare students to manage people, negotiate budgets, and lead effective change. In addition, major coursework provides ample opportunity to apply classroom knowledge through academic service-learning projects that connect students to local, regional, and global nonprofit organizations. As part of their capstone experience students will either create a nonprofit organization or connect to an existing nonprofit to assist with organizational development.

Why NPA? “Management of not-for-profit organizations can be a delicate dance of administrative skills to keep operations in budget and in accord with legal requirements, and leadership to persuade volunteers, donors and granting agencies to assist in meeting the group’s mission. Unfortunately, the online Free Management Library writes that many nonprofit managers have a non-management background. Management training is essential, but is not often affordable for a nonprofit’s limited budget,” (Chronicle of Higher Education, 2013).

“In discussion with Presidents of nonprofit organizations in South Dakota and throughout the U.S., I have discovered that there is a great demand for nonprofit leaders who have been trained with a certain administrative skill set. “Many social services majors who are attracted to the nonprofit sector do not have the skills needed to manage people, budgets, etc.” (Betty Oldenkamp, President Lutheran Social Services, 2013).

What can I do with a nonprofit administration degree? “Estimates of the number of nonprofit careers run from between 7 percent to over 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. Regardless of your notion of the ‘typical’ nonprofit organization, the true scope of the nonprofit sector will likely surprise you – it includes organizations in arts and culture, community economic development, health care, and even government.” (, 2013).

Some job prospects include:
  • Executive director - similar to a CEO
  • Director of development - head of fundraising
  • Director of marketing/communications - more emphasis on public relations
  • Chief financial officer - grant disbursement and broad accounting functions
  • Director of MIS - information systems
  • Program director - similar to a product manager
  • Human resources director - in larger organizations
  • Manager of special projects - for unique project work
  • Grant coordinator
  • Grant writer
  • Fundraiser
  • Director of a government run program
  • Health care administrator
  • Lobbyist for a nonprofit group or cause
*The 2014-15 DWU Academic Course Catalog lists the Nonprofit Administration major on Page 141. This major was created after the printing deadline of the catalog and although it is called a Nonprofit Administration major, it is listed under Leadership and Public Service (which is the department that Nonprofit Administration falls under). The courses are all listed correctly.
Dakota Wesleyan University was named to the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
Dakota Wesleyan University is proudly affiliated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Members of any and all faiths are welcome and encouraged to experience an education based on learning, leadership, faith and service.
Dakota Wesleyan University has been honored as a College of Distinction through demonstration of excellence in these areas: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant communities and successful outcomes.
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