Nonprofit Leadership

A Nonprofit Leadership students presents at the annual Nonprofit Leadership Award Luncheon

Program Description 

Nonprofit organizations are in the business of making the world a better place. They change lives and solve our communities' toughest problems – but are only as effective as their leadership. Dedicated and skilled professional staff members are needed to create and lead programs, develop and manage resources, promote causes, work with youth, analyze data and carry out countless other essential functions. Students in the nonprofit leadership major achieve the professional competencies that nonprofit sector employers seek.

Rockhurst’s nonprofit leadership program is consistently recognized nationally for excellence in community service and engagement. In 2017, our program earned the highest national recognition: the National Campus Program Excellence Award. Moreover, Rockhurst is the only university in the Kansas City area that offers students the opportunity to earn the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. Independent research conducted by LinkedIn found that CNPs are seven-times more likely to rise to director-level or higher positions than non-CNP peers.

Rockhurst's award-winning team of nonprofit management and leadership faculty members include senior leaders of local and national nonprofit organizations working in the field. They bring their experiences and networks to the classroom to benefit your learning and professional development.

Learning Outcomes 

  • Effectively use financial information in the management of a nonprofit organization
  • Implement fundraising activities as identified in a strategic fund development plan
  • Demonstrate the elements of program planning in nonprofit organizations
  • Analyze the impact of laws and regulations on the function of nonprofit organizations
  • Create a professional network by actively developing relationships with mentors in the field

Prospective Students 

Current Students 


  • Internships: Our internship program enables students to gain professional experience, lead projects and programs, develop their professional network, and engage in hands-on learning in a supportive organizational setting. Numerous internship opportunities are available for students in the nonprofit leadership program. Completion of a 300-hour supervised internship is required for the major.
  • Hands-on Class Projects: The program is grounded in active learning and hands-on experiences; class projects include developing marketing and social media plans, coordinating volunteers and programs for youth, writing grant proposals to fund community programs, conducting community assessments, and interviewing executive leaders of nonprofits.
  • Annual Speed Networking: The annual Nonprofit Speed Networking event provides a fun, interactive way for students to learn about a wide variety of organizations and to network with nonprofit professionals, fellow students, and alumni as you explore internship opportunities and potential career paths.
  • Alliance Management Institute: Students have the opportunity to attend AMI, a national conference for college students preparing for leadership roles in nonprofit organizations.


Recent graduates of the Nonprofit Leadership program are serving in professional leadership positions in organizations locally and around the country and world. For example:

  • Julianne Delessio, ’17, Development & Operations Associate, Teach for America, Kansas City
  • Lauren Mohatt, ’17, Events Manager, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, Omaha
  • David LeFebvre, '09, CNP, CFRE, Vice President of Philanthropy, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond, VA
  • Josh Goralski, ‘14, International Program Director, Wine to Water, Chicago; Consultant, Archdiocese of Chicago Parishes
  • Katie Survillo '16, Regional Relationship Coordinator, Head for the Cure, Kansas City
  • Logan Heggemann, '16, Manager of Donor and Grant Relations, Union League Boys and Girls Club, Chicago
  • Maigan Bridgette, ’15, Site Supervisor, YMCA of Greater Kansas City