The Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential is the only national nonprofit credential preparing students (undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate) for careers in nonprofit management. 

This group is a powerful network of professionals who are leading some of the country’s most successful social-impact organizations. In addition, the national and local nonprofit organizations that are part of the Alliance network hire more than 50,000 people annually. These are organizations that value the training and preparation that is core to the CNP program.  Recent research completed by an independent organization shows that CNPs are seven times (7x!) more likely to rise to director+ level than their non-CNP peers. 

Due to the unique combination of classroom training, practical experience and leadership activities, CNPs get hired and rise more quickly in their organizations. Plus, CNPs have access to CNP Launch, an exclusive matching system that connects our students and CNPs with nonprofits that are hiring interns and employees.

Four Core Components of Earning Your CNP

1) Coursework through the Alliance’s network of colleges and universities

  • Students receive education and training in the core competencies that nonprofit managers want when they hire new employees.
  • Students completing the program must have a minimum of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution.


Communication, Marketing and Public Relations


Cultural Competency and Diversity


Financial Resource Development and Management


Foundations and Management of the Nonprofit Sector


Government, Leadership and Advocacy


Legal and Ethical Decision


Personal and Professional Development


Program Development


Volunteer and Human Resources


Future of Nonprofit Sector

2) Internship or professional experience at a nonprofit organization

  • A minimum of 300 internship hours is required (those working in the nonprofit sector might be exempt).
  • Internship stipends in the amount of $1,500 are available on a competitive basis.

3) National conference

  • Students have the opportunity to attend the Alliance Management Institute: a national nonprofit career development conference where they 1) meet local and national thought leaders, 2) participate in real and mock interviews, and 3) have the unique experience of serving as a consultant to an existing nonprofit organization.

4) Leadership and service activities

  • Students participate in a wide variety of activities that support classroom learning and prepare them for future leadership roles.
  • Students participate in the nonprofit student association on their campuses, which connects them with the national nonprofit student association.