Business Administration

Top 5 B-Schools for Non-Profit Management

Top 5 B-Schools for Non-Profit Management
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Noodle Staff March 21, 2012

Interested in managing a non-profit, NGO or socially conscious company? These five schools will give you the skills you need.

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Business school isn’t just for people who want to make big bucks on wall street, it’s also a training/breeding ground for students who are interested in starting a non-profit, NGO or socially conscious company. The business of running a successful non-profit is miles away from the business of running, well, a business. And if you want to combine the two, as companies like Tom’s and Warby-Parker (donating one product for each product purchaed, in this case shoes and eye wear respectively) have done to great success, you’ll need an understanding of both.

So which business schools are especially strong in non-profit management and social entrepreneurship? We looked at the top 10 schools in this category as ranked by U.S News & World Report, Find the Best, and Poets & Quants and came up with a list of schools that appear most frequently at each position in the rankings. Below are the top 5:

Stanford University Graduate School of Business

Stanford’s Public Management Program at the Center for Social Innovation was the first of its kind in the country and trains students for futures as non-profit executives, advocates, government leaders, and social entrepreneurs. The Center also offers a week-long Executive program for business, non-profit, philanthropy and governement leaders. To get a taste of the research coming out of the CSI, check out their Social Innovations Conversations Podcast.



University and Program Name Learn More

UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business

The Center for Non-Profit and Public Leadership at Haas provides MBA students with courses, conferences and research opportunities. In the 2010-2011 school year, the Center offered 11 courses, from the flagship “Social Sector Solutions” (S3), to “Financial Management of Non-Profit Organizations” to “Strategic Approaches for Global Social Impact.” In the past 3 years, 31 students have worked at the Center as fellows, researchers, project leads and interns. One other perk: non-profit/social entrepreneurship is popular at Haas. 41% of the MBA students take classes at the Center, which translates to a great community of cohorts for projects and even future business ventures.

Northwestern University Kellogg School of Business

Kellogg’s Center for Non-Profit Management offers an Executive Non-Profit Management Program and allows Kellogg students to work with local non-profits and schools through the Net Impact Club and Neighborhood Business Initiative. Courses at the Center focus on issues facing non-profit leaders such as fundraising strategies and board governance.

Yale University School of Management

Yale SOM’s Program on Social Enterprise offers a plethora of courses for MBA students interested in socially conscious business practices. Course titles include “Microfinance and Economic Development,” “Public and Private Management of the Environment,” and “Strategic Management of Non-Profit Organizations” among others. Click here to see the full listing of courses offered through PSE. They also offer a seminar series called Program on Nonprofit Organizations, as well as numerous conferences and opportunities for research.

Harvard Business School

Harvard is home to the Social Enterprise Initiative where students are invited to participate in courses, field-based learning experiences, internships and career development programs. Course titles from 2011-2012 include “Affordable Housing the in U.S.: Field Course,” The Energy Business and Geopolitics,” and “Institutions, Macroeconomics and the Global Economy.” Click here to see the full list. In addition, HBS also offers a Social Venture Track Business Plan Contest that awards 2 students with funding to start putting their business plan into action. The school also offers 7-10 Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship grants of $10,000 to first year students showing leadership in the not-for-profit sector.

(Last Updated on February 26, 2024).

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About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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