Philanthropy/Nonprofit Development MA

Philanthropists image

Program Description

Designed primarily for professionals currently employed in philanthropy and nonprofit settings with three to five years of experience, this interdisciplinary program has the following goals:

  • to develop and enhance your professional skills and knowledge in the fundraising and nonprofit sectors;
  • to further understanding of ethical policy and legal issues as they relate to philanthropy and nonprofit development; 
  • to advance knowledge of scholarly research, theories and models in the area of nonprofit organizational development, donor relations, grant writing, corporate/foundation relations, advocacy, public funding and evaluation/accountability; and, 
  • to enhance mastery of skills in the aforementioned areas.


Fall and spring courses are taught in eight-week modules, with some courses meeting Monday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. (CST) via Zoom. Some courses and coursework are offered online using eLearning, a Blackboard learning management system requiring Internet access and a web browser. Summer courses will be four weeks in length and may include video conferencing sessions on Monday evenings.

  • Philanthropy and Nonprofit Development: An Overview
  • Fundraising and Grant Seeking for Nonprofit Agencies
  • Evaluation, Research and Accountability
  • Psychology, Law and Philanthropy
  • Studies in Applied Research Methods
  • Strategic Management of Human Resources
  • Studies in Critical Thinking in Philanthropic and Nonprofit Issues
  • Financial Decision Making for Youth/Human Service Agencies
  • Public Relations Campaign Methods
  • Readings in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Development
  • Research
  • Public Policy, Advocacy and Public Funding

Program Faculty and Staff

Primary Faculty and Staff Contacts
Julianne Gassman
Professor, Recreation, Tourism and Nonprofit Leadership; Director, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance

Application Process

As a completely online course, you will find all you need to know to initiate an application with UNI Distance Learning or call 800-648-3864 or contact for assistance. Additional resources are also available from the UNI Graduate College.

Complete the online Application for Graduate Study and submit required materials requested by the Department of Health, Recreation and Community Services at the same time or send separately at the time of application submission or after submission.

Please note that you are applying for admission as a graduate for fall 2020.

The program for which you are applying is Philanthropy/Nonprofit Development M.A.

Entrance exams are not required.

International students: Please contact the Office of International Admissions at or 319-273-2195 for specific instructions.

Required departmental materials:
  • An applicant statement responding to three questions within the application for admission
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Resume

Required application materials can be attached (in .pdf format) to the application at the time of or after submission or sent directly to the Office of Admissions.

Office of Admissions
University of Northern Iowa
002 Gilchrist Hall
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0018

What to expect

When your application for graduate study is complete, you will receive confirmation from UNI Admissions staff that they have received and forwarded your application and transcripts to the Department of Health, Recreation and Community Services for review. 

The department will review your application materials and contact you about your admission status. Following admission to the program, you will be provided enrollment information.

Delivery of the program is contingent on a sufficient number of students being accepted into the program.


Maximum Award Apply By
Dean's Graduate Fellowship $1,500 8/16/2021

Frequently Asked Questions

General information

Program-specific information

Additional FAQs