A degree in business remains to be the most popular choice for students in higher education. In fact, over 20% of students currently in college are seeking an education in business. While many students enter into their undergraduate career not knowing what specific branch they would like to work in after graduating, graduate students entering into an impactful program like an online MBA will most likely be prepared to pursue a concentration that interests them.
Today, one worthwhile specialization to consider in business is that of nonprofit management. There are many colleges and universities across the country that offer an online nonprofit management MBA. To get a better idea of what a degree like this would entail, it is essential to know the difference between a nonprofit and for-profit organization. Here are just some of the key areas that differ between the two types of organizations:
A Nonprofit and For-Profit Differ in Purpose
A for-profit organization has its primary purpose evident in its very title; a for-profit is created to make money. Success within a for-profit organization is always looking at the bottom line. It wants to keep costs down and earnings up. Apple, for example, is one of the most successful brands in modern history. With a slew of innovative products, excellent marketing, and loyal fanbase all over the world, it is no wonder that Apple continues to report stellar numbers for their total revenue and earnings each year. Apple is a for-profit organization.
A nonprofit may actually be profitable in creating a product or service to humanity, but instead of having the bottom line be all that matters, a nonprofit organization looks for ways to serve the common good by advocating a social cause or promoting a particular standpoint that will benefit humanity in some way. There are many nonprofit organizations in operation today, and more are created on a daily basis. The National Center for Charitable Statistics has recently reported that there are well over 300,000 nonprofit organizations currently operating in the United States alone.
A Nonprofit and For-Profit Differ in Funding and Tax Handling
The matter of funding is another huge difference between nonprofit and for-profit organizations. A for-profit start-up organization will typically get its initial funding from a bank loan or find investors to front funds to get equipment, production, and staffing in place. Once a traditional for-profit starts marketing its wares, the hope is that revenue created by sales will keep the brand in the black, so that growth can take place and the organization becomes self-sustaining.
A nonprofit organization also needs funding to get products and services going, yet a nonprofit will often solicit donations from people who have the same ideals or priorities. Donations and funding can come from grants, corporate sponsors, or individual donors who contribute to a nonprofit’s efforts. In recent years, nonprofits of all sizes have seen some success from crowdfunding which is free marketing for a cause that results in many private individuals being able to support a cause by giving in typically smaller amounts and sharing a need, which will often go viral thus garnering more support.
The matter of taxation is yet another difference between a nonprofit and for-profit organization. Traditional for-profit organizations are responsible for paying different types of state and federal taxes based on their income. As a benefit to nonprofit organizations, which are created out of the need to serve others in some way, there are tax breaks given to help these organizations put even more resources back into their missions. Nonprofits, often known as 501c3 organizations, can give a receipt for a donation to those who contribute to their efforts, which will show up as a tax-deductible gift on the donor’s tax records.
How will an online Nonprofit Management MBA prepare me for a career in nonprofit work?
Nonprofit organizations benefit greatly from properly trained nonprofit managers. A degree like the online nonprofit management MBA was created for this very purpose. Even though these organizations are known as “nonprofit,” they still must adhere to many of the same principles that keep a for-profit organization in the black and running smoothly. Upon completing a degree like the online nonprofit management MBA, a professional is ready to consider seeking a position of leadership within a nonprofit as a program director, executive director, fundraising manager, or a social services manager.
Managers working within nonprofit leadership must be well-versed in sound business theory and know what it takes to lead teams well. These people are often motivated by wanting to serve the common good. They must also know how to communicate well and work with volunteers as many nonprofit organizations count on a volunteer base to meet many of their goals. An online Nonprofit Management MBA is one of the best degrees a graduate student interested in the world of nonprofit work can pursue as it has been designed to equip professionals with the tools they will need to be successful in nonprofit leadership.
What are some of the most successful nonprofit organizations in the world?
While going green and doing humanitarian work has grown more visible in the last few years, there are organizations that have been working for decades and continue to do noteworthy work for the common good. These organizations are the ones usually making the most significant impact on our social improvement and public service. If you are looking to build a career in nonprofit management, it is important to know what some of the biggest and best nonprofits are in the industry, for you might find yourself working with them or for them at some point.
Since 1865, the Salvation Army has been serving people in a multitude of ways. Today, most see the Salvation Army present during the holiday season with bell ringers asking for donations outside of storefronts. The Salvation Army works year-round with maintaining thrift stores and working through various humanitarian efforts.
Another very successful nonprofit organization with a high profile in America is Habitat for Humanity. This organization works to build homes for the underprivileged and offers excellent services through advocacy and affordable housing programs. Many local Habitat organizations also feature resale stores for house building materials.
These are just two of many nonprofit organizations that are making a difference in millions of people’s lives. After completing a degree like the popular online nonprofit management MBA, organizations such as these can benefit from knowledgeable and on-mission business graduate students desiring to serve the common good.