Principles of Leading Transformational Nonprofits

Mendoza College of Business

How long?

  • 8 weeks
  • online

Mendoza College of Business


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Who should attend

Principles of Leading Transformational Nonprofits is designed for people working in nonprofit organizations who do not have formal business education or training. It is an opportunity to close skill gaps to improve their job effectiveness.

About the course

Learn to Lead Positive, Transformational Social Change

In this introductory course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of nonprofit management and leadership of nonprofit organizations as you explore key topics such as budgeting and finance, nonprofit advocacy and more. By providing you with the business acumen to succeed in serving nonprofit organizations, this course better prepares you to lead positive, transformational social change. A requirement for each nonprofit certificate program, Principles of Leading Transformational Nonprofits is a great primer for the foundational knowledge that you will constantly utilize as a nonprofit advocate and leader.

What You’ll Learn

  • How Leadership Styles Impact the Nonprofit Sector
  • Key Ways to Create a Philanthropic Culture
  • Effective Marketing Techniques for Nonprofits
  • Proven Methods to Evaluate a Program or Organization
  • Ways to Maximize the Benefits of Social Media


8 Week Course

Lesson 1 - How to Leverage a Polarity

  • Course Introduction
  • Leadership Polarities
  • Organizational Polarities
  • Polarity Dynamics and Getting Unstuck
  • Stacking Polarities

Lesson 2 - Leadership Styles

  • Introduction to Leadership
  • Leadership and Communication Styles
  • Historical Leadership Approaches
  • Style Leadership
  • Transactional Leadership
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Kouzes and Posner Transformational Leadership Approach
  • Leadership Development: How to Strengthen Your Leadership Style

Lesson 3 - Creating a Philanthropic Culture

  • Giving Trends: Part A - C
  • Managing for Success: Part A - B
  • Donor Motivation: Part A - C
  • Making the Ask: Part A - B
  • Historical and Philosophical Factors in the Development of the Nonprofit Sector
  • The Nonprofit Sector vs. the Governmental and For-Profit Sectors
  • Challenges in Naming the Nonprofit Sector
  • Strengths and Weaknesses of the Nonprofit Sector

Lesson 4 - Marketing for Nonprofits

  • Defining Marketing
  • The Marketing Plan and Segmentation, Testing, and Positioning (STP)
  • The Four Ps
  • Financials and Metrics
  • Digital Marketing Strategy Redefined: Search Engines and Social Media
  • Social Media Strategy: Goals and Governance
  • Social Media Strategy: Education and Execution
  • Social Media Strategy: Measurement and Adjustment

Lesson 5 - Program and Organizational Evaluation

  • Introduction to Program Evaluation
  • Framework for Program Evaluation: Step 1 and 2
  • Framework for Program Evaluation: Step 3
  • Methods and Tools
  • Framework for Program Evaluation: Step 4
  • Framework for Program Evaluation: Step 5
  • Framework for Program Evaluation: Step 6
  • Limitations, Pitfalls, and Ethics

Lesson 6 - Introduction to Nonprofit Advocacy and Social Enterprises

  • Introduction to Advocacy
  • Effective Lobbying
  • Tips for Effective Lobbying
  • Rule-Making
  • The Basics of Nonprofits and Social Enterprises
  • The Board, Corporate Structures, and Ventures of Social Enterprises
  • Market Research and the Business Plan
  • Elements of a Successful Business Plan

Lesson 7 - Nonprofit Law and Writing the Grant Proposal

  • State Law Legal Forms
  • Tax-Exempt Status
  • Benefits of Section 501(c)(3) Status
  • Limits of Section 501(c)(3) Status
  • Grant Proposal Writing: Preparing
  • Grant Proposal Writing: Funding
  • Grant Proposal Writing: Creating a Narrative
  • Grant Proposal Writing: After Submitting

Lesson 8 - Budgeting, Finance and the Strategic Plan

  • Accounting Terminology
  • Accounting Principles and Concepts
  • Types of Accounting and Accounting Equation
  • Basics of Financial Statements
  • Introduction to Strategic Planning
  • Strategic Planning: Vision and Mission
  • Strategic Planning: Situation Assessment
  • Strategic Planning: Priorities, Initiatives, and the Plan
  • Course Conclusion

Principles of Leading Transformational Nonprofits at Mendoza College of Business

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