Evidence and Support for Developing a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership

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Henry, Jillian
Master of Leadership Development
The nonprofit sector has grown by leaps and bounds in the last decade alone. The nonprofit sector represents the third largest industry, right behind retail and manufacturing. This means nearly 11 million people are nonprofit employees, according to a 2012 study by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Civil Society (Salamon, Sokolowski, & Geller, 2012). Nonprofit professionals are looking for ways to enhance their skills and knowledge. By offering an entry way into higher education, certificate programs provide access to critical skills needed as well as an affordable pathway to higher education. To remain competitive in the field of nonprofit education, the Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network must offer a higher value for their participants. If the Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network could offer a certificate in nonprofit leadership that is backed by a college or university, participants could add this credential to their resume, and possibly go on to pursue a master's degree, furthering their knowledge and expertise for greater good in the nonprofit sector. This research project outlines evidence for why certificate programs are a useful and tangible asset for nonprofit professionals and provides a recommended plan of action for implementing a certificate in nonprofit leadership to be offered by the Indiana Nonprofit Resource Network and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.