Association Careers Education

It used to be that nonprofit executives just sort of “fell” into the profession. Many made the transition from the corporate world to nonprofits, often for the very benefits listed on the why nonprofits? page.

Today, more and more colleges and universities are offering degrees, especially at the graduate level, in nonprofit management. Gaining more education about the field makes for better nonprofit leaders. And, by experiencing coursework and real world experiences through internships, college students can graduate with a better understanding of the field before accepting that first nonprofit job.

For a listing of colleges and universities in Georgia offering programs or courses in nonprofit management, click here.

Association careers: certification

Regardless of what degree you’ve earned or what your past work experience is, continuing education should always be a part of your career plans. When you attend professional development events, you earn continuing education units that can count towards advanced certification within the field.

Earning a designation specific to the nonprofit field shows your commitment to your profession and enhances your professionalism and knowledge about the field. You should definitely consider obtaining the appropriate designation in your area of interest. Some advanced certifications related to the nonprofit field include

  • CAE - Certified Association Executive
  • QAS - Qualified Association Specialist (online in sponsorship with FSAE)
  • CFRE - Certified Fundraising Executive
  • CMP - Certified Meeting Professional
  • CMM - Certified Meeting Manager
  • APR - Accredited in Public Relations

While the process varies, to earn advanced certification typically involves working a minimum number of years in your field, earning a minimum number of continuing education credits and successfully completing a knowledge exam. See the links page for more information about any of these designations.