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Supporting and Promoting Nonprofit Careers and Nonprofit Degrees

My career has come full circle. I am very thankful that I now direct the 100% online Master of Science in Nonprofit Administration and the Institute for Nonprofit Administration and Research at LSU Shreveport. It is a career dream come true; I am the product of nonprofit education, where I earned a master’s and a Ph.D. focusing on nonprofit administration. My bachelor’s, certificate, and master’s degree helped me be a more effective nonprofit manager, and my Ph.D. taught me how to do effective nonprofit research.  

I study nonprofit management education in a variety of contexts and disciplines, such as experiential education approaches used within master’s degree programs affiliated with Nonprofit Academic Centers Council member centers (Carpenter, 2014); the impact of American Humanics on alumni career paths (Altman et al., 2011); the impact and use of nonprofit graduate students’ applied projects on nonprofit organizations (Carpenter & Krist, 2012); and the need for a professional doctorate in philanthropy (Carpenter, 2016) and I co-authored the Teaching Nonprofit Management Textbook (Bezboruah & Carpenter, 2020).  

I am passionate about helping people run more effective nonprofits and preparing people for nonprofit careers. In 2008 I put that passion to work when I volunteered for the Nonprofit Workforce Coalition on a campaign to promote nonprofit careers. Even even though there are 1.9 million nonprofits in the United States and over 10 million nonprofit jobs, nonprofit degrees and careers are still misunderstood and largely unknown.  

Today there over 50 master’s degrees in nonprofit management across the United States and 30 Bachelor’s degrees in nonprofit management. A few of these programs, like LSUS’ MS in Nonprofit Administration, are 100% online. Most of these programs are members of the Nonprofit Academic Centers Council, a membership organization comprised of nonprofit academic centers and programs at accredited colleges and universities focused on studying nonprofit/nongovernmental organizations, voluntary action, and/or/or philanthropy. The Nonprofit Academic Centers Council has accredited 12 stand-alone nonprofit degrees including the MS in Nonprofit Administration at LSUS!  

These stand-alone nonprofit degrees provide specialized courses in nonprofit management, volunteer and staff management, fundraising, nonprofit boards, nonprofit financial management, and nonprofit advocacy and lobbying. There are also Public Administration, Business, Social work, and Public Policy degree programs that offer a few courses or a concentration in nonprofit management. However, for nonprofit employees who want to become executive directors or development directors, or operations directors within nonprofits, the nonprofit-specific degree is the way to go! So start your new journey now and learn more about LSU Shreveport’s online Master of Nonprofit Administration program today! 

Heather Carpenter, PhD 

Associate Professor and Director, MS in Nonprofit Administration 

Norman A. Dolch Super Professorship 

Interim Executive Director 

Institute for Nonprofit Administration & Research 

Louisiana State University Shreveport 



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