Elena Dalton knew she wanted to work for a nonprofit. She felt like she had the potential but wasn’t sure where to focus.
The online Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management (NPM) at UNC Greensboro gave her the confidence she needed.
“This really gave me the tools to do that, the language to do that, and the skills that I needed,” she says.
Dalton is the food recovery coordinator for F.A.R.M. (Feed All Regardless of Means) Café in Boone, a nonprofit community kitchen where everyone eats, regardless of ability to pay. She’s also the garden coordinator for Hospitality House in Boone, a housing facility for individuals experiencing homelessness or poverty-related crises.
“I am really proud to say what I do every day,” she says.
An online certificate for a nonprofit career
The online graduate certificate is for students who already have a bachelor’s degree and are looking for skills in grant writing, fundraising, marketing, and strategic planning. The program prepares graduates for nonprofit careers, including management positions, human service agencies, foundations, or professional associations, or further graduate study. Students who enroll in the certificate program can apply to the Master of Public Affairs program and receive 12 hours of credit toward the degree.
Learn how nonprofits work
Dalton says she gained knowledge in many areas of nonprofit work.
“I had a lot to learn, so I really did absorb quite a bit of information in a very short amount of time,” she says.
She learned a variety of skills:
- Grant writing
- Social media
- Updating Websites
- Scheduling an annual fund campaign
She completed much of her individual and group coursework for an internship at FEAST Asheville, including organizational analyses, a resource development plan, and making suggestions for annual fund efforts.
“I was so impressed with the caliber of professors and the quality of information that they were giving me, and I really enjoyed every class I took,” she says.
Applicable skills transfer to the field
Dalton applies her new knowledge to both of her current roles. At the Hospitality House, Dalton works with hundreds of volunteers who clock about 5,000 hours each year. Volunteer management skills help her streamline, organize, and ensure she’s using the volunteers in a way that’s mutually beneficial to them and the organization, she says.
The food recovery program at F.A.R.M. Café is brand-new. “I’m utilizing everything we learned about forming partnerships, building relationships, stewardship, all those pieces of it,” she says. “Combine that with marketing and promoting the program, grant writing to try to find funding to sustain our program. Just about every class I took has played into these jobs.”
Learn anywhere with a flexible format
Dalton completed the program from western North Carolina while staying home with her young daughter. The online format was a must.
She says she had to be self-motivated to do weekly readings, participate in forum board discussions, respond to questions, write papers, and complete group and individual projects. As a full-time student, it took less than a year for her to complete.
“I really think highly of this program and what it allowed me to do in a short amount of time,” she says.
Want to know more?
To find out more about the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, download a brochure.