Disclosure: Human Rights Careers may be compensated by course providers.

Top Nonprofit Courses You Can Take Anywhere, Anytime

Equip yourself with the knowledge and skills you need to effectively build, manage and grow nonprofit organizations. Learn about essential nonprofit competencies such as management, fundraising, grant writing and leadership. 

We have compiled a list of nonprofit courses that you take online at your own pace. The individual courses are free to audit but you can choose to opt-in for a paid verified certificate for an extra fee. Financial aid is available for those who qualify through the course provider.

#1 Improving Leadership & Governance in Nonprofit Organizations Specialization (4 course bundle)

This learning opportunity is a bundle of four courses that will equip you with a thorough understanding of the basics of the nonprofit sector. The Specialization is offered in partnership of the University at Buffalo and the New York State University. The entire learning experience takes roughly six months to complete. You can choose to audit the individual courses for free one by one or enroll in the specialization that includes all courses for a free trial period before purchasing access. The courses included in this specialization are:

  • Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector, Nonprofit Organizations, Nonprofit Leadership and Governance
  • The Roles and Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards of Directors within the Governance Process
  • The Factors that Influence the Effectiveness of Boards and the Governance Process
  • Capstone – Managing Board Change for Higher Levels of Leadership and Governance Effectiveness

#2 Entrepreneurship in Nonprofits

This online course is offered by University of Basel and aims to equip learners with the tools they need to become successful social entrepreneurs. You will learn about organizational strategies, social entrepreneurship and social innovation. The course will also cover classic and innovative financing models including impact investing. The last module of the course is dedicated to impact measurement. The course is tailored to everyone who aims to work or already works in the nonprofit sector and there is no prior knowledge of economic tools needed to attend the course. The course may also be useful to NPO executives and current students.

#3 Theory of Change for Development

If you want to learn more about monitoring and evaluation to measure the impact of your organization, this course might be an excellent fit. The course will provide you with a Theory of Change Toolkit to assess change processes. The course is specifically tailored towards development managers, monitoring and evaluation practitioners, donor agencies, NGOs, academics, and other stakeholders. Offered by the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg the course takes roughly seven weeks to complete with a weekly dedication of 3-4 hours.

#4 Fundraising and Development Foundations

Grant writing is an essential skill to ensure financial support for projects and campaigns of nonprofit organizations. In this course you will learn about the basics of Fundraising. You will explore how to write a direct mail appeals, craft an impactful email appeals, and develop scripts for phone solicitation. The course is offered by University of California, Davis and takes roughly 15 hours to complete. The course videos include subtitles in multiple languages.

#5 Community Engagement: Collaborating for Change

In this course you will learn how to engage with communities ethically, respectfully, and sustainably. It is offered by University of Michigan and takes roughly 20 hours to complete. You will learn about the principles and strategies for engaging with communities through partnerships, research, service and learning. The course is a good fit for practitioners from a variety to sectors including community-academic partnerships, social change projects, non-profit internships, civic performance, public scholarship and more.

About the author

Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) provides information about online courses, jobs, paid internships, masters degrees, scholarships and other opportunities in the human rights sector and related areas.