Milestone Agreement Reached: Nonprofit Certificate Now Awarded By Michigan State University

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The Society for Nonprofit Organizations (SNPO) announced today that it has signed an agreement with Michigan State University's Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (CARRS) to jointly award a "Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management."

The Society for Nonprofit Organizations (SNPO) announced today that it has signed an agreement with Michigan State University's Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (CARRS) to jointly award a "Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management."

The certificate is awarded for successful completion of a series of eight online educational programs that were produced by SNPO's Learning Institute. It provides the nonprofit sector with one of the first online programs to jointly award a certificate by both a major university and a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

This development means that nonprofit professionals can now obtain a meaningful credential without taking time off of work or spending money on travel. Since these online courses are available on-demand, it also means that they can be taken when it is convenient for the learner.

The President of the Society for Nonprofit Organizations, Katie Burnham Laverty, says "We are thrilled that MSU's CARRS Department has agreed to jointly award the certificate. We put considerable thought into creating courses that would provide a solid foundation of knowledge for anyone working in the nonprofit sector, making these courses accessible, and pricing them so that they are affordable for even the smallest of nonprofit organizations. This agreement provides outside validation of the end result of these efforts."

Background
The Learning Institute was started by SNPO in 1996 to fill a void in nonprofit training. At the time, formal education in nonprofit management was virtually non-existent. The training that was available generally came in the form of disjointed workshops. With funding from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and partnerships with United Way of America and PBS, SNPO gathered recognized experts in a number of fields and spent many months developing a strong educational design.

The programs were originally delivered live via satellite, and broke new ground in bringing together community-based nonprofit organizations throughout the country for distance education. In order to reach a wider audience and due to the growing popularity of the Internet, the courses were converted to an online format in 2004. In 2006, SNPO began talks with Michigan State University on jointly awarding the certificate. Since the programs were not produced by Michigan State University, a thorough academic review of the course content was required. Upon completion of the review, Michigan State University's CARRS Department agreed to jointly award the certificate.

About SNPO
The Society for Nonprofit Organizations is a 501(c)3, national membership organization with over 6,500 members. Founded in 1983, the Society encourages sharing among nonprofit organizations, and promotes excellence in leadership, management, and governance practices. For more information about the Learning Institute courses, visit http://www.nonprofitcourses.org/li

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