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Nonprofit University

Certificate of Nonprofit Program Management Essentials

Developing, managing and growing a nonprofit program requires proper planning and specific knowledge and skills. The combination of these variables creates a solid roadmap to community impact and long-term success. Program Management is an on-going systematic process that nonprofit professionals follow as they plan, implement and evaluate an initiative. The process is not limited to a specific subject matter nor is it confined to a set term or planning cycle. The process can be applied on a small scale to an individual workshop; on a larger scale to a comprehensive community initiative or global effort. The scope may be different but the principles of program management remain the same.



Primarily intended for program coordinators and managers with less than five years of experience in program management, and oversight of one program with one or two funding sources and a small team (typically fewer than five staff and volunteers).



  • Program design and evaluation
  • People leadership and organizational culture
  • Community engagement
  • Customer service
  • Program/service delivery
  • Systems, processes, policies, and procedures
  • Collaborating with Finance/Accounting/Administration, budgeting and financial management
  • Collaborating with Development and Fundraising
  • Collaborating with Marketing and Communications



PRO 210 | With or For? Program Design and Community Engagement
Whether building a program from the scratch or running an existing one, understanding the core purpose and rationale for a program is essential for maintaining success and credibility year after year. This course covers the importance of understanding and (re-)assessing the community to be served, designing a program by defining what it intends to accomplish (intended impact), and establish evaluation procedures to measure these outcomes. Moreover, you will discuss nonprofits’ roles as good community members and partners, focusing programmatic design, implementation of resources, and evaluation on strengthening assets and adding value.

PRO 220 | Dollars and Sense: Program Budgeting and Tracking
This course will walk you through program budgets, examining typical internal/organization and external (usually funder/grantor) formats. You will look at the ways to align differences between these sometimes varying internal and external expectations in budget categories and timelines, and you will consider your successful relationship with your finance/administration team, supported through regular tracking and internal reporting.

PRO 230 | Everyday Leadership
Many programs have lean teams, often led by coordinators and managers who may have come out of or currently still involved in direct service delivery themselves, and could be supervising former or current peers. This course is designed for the tactical, coordinator/manager leadership level at nonprofits, whether supervising a small team or managing and implementing a project yourself.

PRO 240 | People First: Nonprofit Service Delivery
Regardless of your program’s focus area within the broader nonprofit sector, by legal definition your ultimate goal is public good. We serve people, and as such we hold ourselves to high standards. How well those standards are documented and disseminated, however, is often another matter. In this course you will address the above questions, considering how to keep the running of your program focused on (and, sometimes, out of the way of) serving your clients.

PRO 250 | Raising Awareness, Driving Action: Communications, Development, and Programs
Two essential, but often overlooked, relationships for successful programs are with internal audiences: marketing/communications and fundraising/development. Both partnerships depend on reciprocal understanding and appreciation of processes, systems, and reasons for information collection, storage, tracking, and dissemination. Programs provide the raw materials for social-media posts, newsletters articles, blog and website content, and grant applications and reports. Rather than a last-moment scramble to assemble the data and stories that bring programs to life on the page, these three internal teams must establish regular methods for sharing current, meaningful information between each other.


  • Coming soon


9:00 am - 12:30 pm EST


Online Class 

Registration Details

Member: $599
Nonmember: $799

Questions? Contact us at [email protected] or 678-916-3081.

PRO 210 - coming soon 
PRO 220 - 10.21.20
PRO 230 - coming soon 
PRO 240 - coming soon 
PRO 250 - coming soon 


Thanks to the generous support of The Wells Fargo Foundation, GCN offers a limited number of partial scholarships for staff and board members of eligible organizations to attend Nonprofit University. Learn more