Over the years, many nonprofits have failed because they haven’t been able to manage the business side of their organization. Here to help is Webster University’s new MA in Nonprofit Leadership which promises to equip students with skills that will help them maintain a financially stable organization.
“It’s an incredible challenge for people not only to work for a nonprofit but to run one as well,” said Barrett Baebler, director of the master’s program. “Today’s nonprofit is not your grandfather’s nonprofit. Nonprofits now have to learn how to balance the need for cash flow and mission to be able to run the organization.”
Some of the business-focused topics addressed in the program are earned revenue in nonprofits, mergers and alliances, governance, and resource development among others.
Baebler said there are only a handful of universities that have a nonprofit focus program housed within its business school. Most of these programs are found within social work or public administration.
“Students who are seeking a job in a nonprofit will benefit from the program because they will learn the business side of the nonprofit world sector,” Baebler said. “For those students who are already working in a nonprofit, one of our advantages is giving them some of the skills they’re going to need to make them a better candidate for promotion.”
Though the program doesn’t guarantee students will get a promotion after completing it, Baebler said recent surveys indicate that over the next five years there will be a void of people who have skills to take on leadership roles in nonprofits, not only in St. Louis, but across the nation as well.
According to a study conducted in 2010 by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance called The Skills the Nonprofit Sector Requires of its Managers and Leaders, commitment to management and leadership is needed by nonprofit organizations. The study also found that workforce preparation and education programs are needed to prepare nonprofit leaders. The results of this research were released last year.
Before the program was announced, Webster students were able to complete a certificate in nonprofit management that also focused on the business side of these types of organizations. The certificate is no longer being offered, yet its core courses are the same ones being offered in the new master’s program.
Currently, Baebler and other faculty are developing more core courses and electives for the new program. Nonprofit Organizations and Financial Management and Budgeting in Nonprofits will be available to take in Fall 1.
For more information on the program, contact Dr. Barrett Baebler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-246-7940.