Nonprofit Leadership Alliance
Turn Your Passion Into Profession
What is the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance?
The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) is a national alliance of colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to educating, preparing and certifying professionals to strengthen and lead nonprofit organizations. Founded in 1948 as American Humanics by H. Roe Bartle – a visionary and social entrepreneur who believed that the most important determinant of nonprofit success is the quality of its workforce. Bartle saw a significant deficit in nonprofit leadership – at a time when demand for youth programming was at an all-time high. His response was to build a hands-on training ground that would be housed in an academic environment. Bartle’s vision lives today in the Alliance: the largest network in the world working to build a pipeline of talented and prepared professionals.
UNO is one of over 30 campus affiliates offering the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential, which is the only nationally recognized nonprofit credential. The program is open to all undergraduate students, pursuing any major, and is housed in the School of Public Administration in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service.
What is a CNP?
The Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential is the only national nonprofit credential preparing students (undergraduate, graduate and professionals) for careers in nonprofit management. Students who complete a leadership development program at one of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s affiliated colleges or universities are awarded the credential and gain access to a network of nonprofit career resources, including the CNP network.
The training for the Alliance’s CNP credential is based on the 10 core competencies that hiring managers are looking for in prospective employees. In fact, research shows that professionals who receive their CNP credential are seven times more likely to rise to director or higher levels (compared with their non-CNP peers). Learn more about how to get certified.
- CNPs learn professional competencies that have been developed through partnerships between academic and professional partnerships. Students pursuing a CNP also engage in hands-on learning through leadership and service activities, as well as internships.
- Students who earn a CPN are in top leadership positions in some of the country's best known nonprofits, such as the Y, the Girl Scouts, and the American Red Cross
- Our nonprofit workforce partners tell us that CNPs are 2-3 years ahead of their peers. They enter the workforce being able to manage a program, develop a budget, lead staff and run fundraising campaigns, among other professional competencies. CNPs also develop a keen appreciation of diversity, have a stronger understanding of innovation, and know the history and role of nonprofits in communities. While your peers are still learning, CNPs are out there working!
Competency-Based Professional Skills
- NLA prides itself on being a program that weaves together the academic and the professional. Students learn professional nonprofit competencies through academic coursework. These competencies were recently validated by a survey of more than 3,200 nonprofit leaders nationwide. Students then apply those competencies to real world settings through structured internships and student-led service activities.
The CNP Credential
- CNPs earn the ability to display the CNP credential right after their name, like any other academic or professional credential. (Example, Jane Doe, CNP)
- CNPs have exclusive access to CNP Launch & Internship Center, which is a matching system that connects NLA students and CNPs with nonprofits that are hiring interns and employees.
- National NLA has a vast array of partnerships around the country, like UNO, and is strongly supported by the country's largest nonprofit organizations, such as: American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Camp Fire USA, Feeding America, Junior Achievement, National Urban League, United Way of American, and many others!
- The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance program opens a world of opportunity. Examples of potential entry-level positions for students include: Case Manager, Program Director, Teen Coordinator, Membership Field Director, Finance/Database Clerk, Public Relations Director, Volunteer Director, and other positions they may create special just for you.
Today's nonprofit professional needs a broad set of skills. They need to know how to run a program, make a budget, raise funds, recruit and manage volunteers, and interact with a diverse community of constituents, colleagues, board members and supporters.
Typically, undergraduate education doesn't adequately prepare people to lead nonprofits. Here at UNO we do! We partner with nonprofits locally and nationally, as well as academicians and practitioners who have a wealth of experience in the nonprofit sector. We offer students an experience-based, co-curricular career preparation program. This co-curricular part of a student's education provides direct interaction with nonprofit professionals and hands-on practice-based coursework that makes better nonprofit employees. It's time to turn your passion into a profession, so reach out and let us help you make your dreams a reality.
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