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10 Top-Rated NGO Management Courses You Can Audit For Free

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can be found everywhere. Estimates suggest, there are currently 10 million around the world. These organizations address social justice issues like public health, disaster recovery, arts and education, and more. Because NGOs are so influential, they need managers who understand how to lead projects, raise money, and handle other responsibilities included in NGO management. Here are ten NGO management courses:

International Organizations Management

Offered by the International Organizations MBA of the University of Geneva, this 17-hour course introduces how business and management tools apply to international organizations. Focusing on cross-sector partnerships, the course gets into how these organizations work and their challenges. Sections include UN leadership, public-private partnerships, and marketing and fundraising. Subtitles in English are available. It’s designed for beginners.

Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector, Nonprofit Organizations, Nonprofit Leadership and Governance

As the name makes clear, this course is about the nonprofit sector, organizations, leadership, and governance. While developed with North America in mind, the course creators hope it still offers content for the rest of the world, too. It’s offered by the University at Buffalo. Topics include an introduction to the nonprofit sector and the function of boards. The course takes about 10 hours to complete and has flexible deadlines.

The Roles and Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards of Directors within the Governance Process

Part of the same course series as the class above, this one focuses more specifically on boards. Sections include “The Board’s Role In Planning” and “The Board’s Role In Performance Assessment.” Course takers will understand the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit boards and the challenges they face. It takes about 11 hours to complete the course. There are flexible deadlines.

Social Impact Strategy: Tools for Entrepreneurs and Innovators

This beginner-level course from the University of Pennsylvania introduces social impact strategy and social entrepreneurship, forging a pathway for innovation. The goal of this course is to help students establish social impact organizations, which include nonprofits. The strategy has four stages: define, design, pilot, and scale. The course takes 7 hours to complete. Deadlines are flexible.

International Project Management

An advanced course from the Rochester Institute of Technology, students will gain knowledge and skills to manage projects that stretch across organizations and countries. The course addresses factors like culture, language differences, religious and legal practices, politics, and more. Using case studies and examples, students will get a clear view of context and develop skills. Many NGOs are international, so knowing how to manage international projects is very valuable. The self-paced course takes 9 weeks to complete with 8-12 hours of work per week.

Programme Management: A Monitoring and Evaluation Approach

Offered by University of Cape Town and developed by the UCT faculty, this course covers the basics of monitoring and evaluation. This course will be relevant to anyone who wants to lead a programme or collection of projects towards a common goal. This includes both individuals in the public sector who must strategically deliver on programmes with economic and social benefits, and private sector professionals who must report projects against funds and objectives.

How to Fundraise: A Guide to Fundraising for Non-Fundraisers

From the University of Kent, this course gives practical advice on non-profit fundraising. Course takers will learn about who gives money, how they give money, and why they give. Through this course, you’ll develop skills in fundraising management and strategy- an important part of NGO management – so your nonprofit can succeed. It takes 3 weeks with a commitment of 3 hours per week. It’s targeted to anyone working in non-profits or charities, including leaders and those new to fundraising.

Entrepreneurship in Nonprofits

Offered by the University of Basel, this course covers topics like social entrepreneurship, new financing models for nonprofits, and how to measure impact. If you’re interested in entrepreneurship and social good, this course explores different methods and practices that blend the two. There are benefits to infusing the spirit of entrepreneurship into nonprofit management. The course takes five weeks if you study for 4 hours per week.

International Leadership and Organizational Behavior

This 15-hour course from Bocconi covers the theory and practice of organizational behavior and international/intercultural leadership. It’s a complicated subject, but very valuable if you’re a leader in a non-profit organization or hope to be a leader one day. Topics include cultural differences, communication, motivation, and more. Students will develop skills that help them understand their behavioral patterns and leadership challenges. There are English and Arabic subtitles offered with the course.

Managing the Organization 

This 12-hour course is part of the Strategic Leadership and Management Specialization from the University of Illinois Masters of Business Administration. Its goal is to turn you into a better manager. Topics include theories and frameworks, how to address challenges, decision-making and ethics, and more. There are English subtitles available, as well as flexible deadlines.

About the author

Emmaline Soken-Huberty

Emmaline Soken-Huberty is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She started to become interested in human rights while attending college, eventually getting a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, and climate change are of special concern to her. In her spare time, she can be found reading or enjoying Oregon’s natural beauty with her husband and dog.