The “Best Place” Debate: A Comparison of Graduate Education Programs for Nonprofit Managers



This article presents a critical examination of the curricular elements of nonprofit management degree programs in colleges of business, public administration, and social work. What are the major curricular elements in each type of program? How do the curricular elements of these programs compare with generic management degree programs? What are the central challenges facing managers of nonprofit organizations, and how are these challenges addressed in each program? Based on the curricular review, is one setting more favorable for students of nonprofit management? What are the views of stakeholders regarding the “best place” to educate managers?

Data collected from focus groups and surveys of stakeholders in each of these academic settings are presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for the future of nonprofit management education in the United States.