What is Nonprofit Management? An Overview with Dr. Steve Grill - Grace College Online Skip to content

February 16, 2023

What is Nonprofit Management? An Overview with Dr. Steve Grill

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“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 says that God has pre-planned good deeds for His followers to do. And Dr. Stephen Grill believes that exciting reality should motivate us to seek out a future of helping others.

Doing the Unexpected

Grill, a Grace College undergrad himself, believed he had a path laid out for him. He planned to graduate with his communication degree and then head into the world of business. Seems like a reasonable plan, right? Well, when God has good works in store for you to do, sometimes things change in unexpected ways.

At the very end of his college career, Grill had the unusual opportunity to student teach even though he wasn’t an education major. And suddenly he knew that God had equipped him to help educate others. It was the perfect fit.

“I thought, if I can give students skills they can use to change the world in positive ways, why wouldn’t I do that?” And thus, his entire trajectory changed. Within two years he started teaching at Grace and began an exciting 52-year career as a college professor and nonprofit manager.

Equipping Others to Serve

Nearly eight years ago, Grill was given the opportunity to begin an online masters in nonprofit management for Grace. The college administration challenged him to make the program unique by emphasizing the practical management skills his students would need in order to successfully use their passion to help others. Nonprofit leaders, typically, are motivated to serve, but they often need the administrative tools necessary to make their organizations thrive.

Since the program’s beginning, hundreds of students from across the nation and around the globe have completed the nonprofit management graduate degree, and more than 95% of those grads are employed in nonprofit organizations. The wide scope of what their organizations accomplish is remarkable. Grace graduates now serve with Samaritan’s Purse in Africa, work for the Salvation Army in New York City, mentor children with special needs in Japan, lead YMCA’s in Midwestern towns, share the gospel of Jesus in Los Angeles, feed and house veterans in North Carolina, run Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapters in Indiana, lead an amazing county-wide Arts program in a rural community, provide shelter for homeless women in Washington D.C., care for animals in need of TLC in TN and so much more!

Exactly What Is it?

When asked “What is Nonprofit Management?” Grill explains that often people view nonprofits from different perspectives, some considering them to be more like business firms with a social purpose.

“Our program attempts to blend these perspectives and to provide a balanced overview of the field,” said Grill. “We emphasize the servant mission of nonprofit work, but we teach the business skill sets to accomplish those missions.”

According to Grill, although some people portray nonprofits as less well-managed than businesses, that perspective is often inaccurate. Our Grace College program encourages students preparing for careers in nonprofit management to proceed with pride and confidence that their field is as distinguished as management in business or government.

Unique, Personal, and Attainable

The 36-hour Grace College Nonprofit Management Program is crafted to make its students successful servants. The curriculum consists of skill-based courses lasting eight weeks and is designed to be completed totally online, taking one course at a time. The program from start to finish takes exactly two years. Topics including fundraising, leadership of boards, volunteers and employees, grant writing, understanding of basic finance, marketing and personal management skill development are all included in the course work.

Also, each student is provided two opportunities to work individually on projects of their choosing. These “applied nonprofit management” projects give students the chance to contribute to the real-world needs of the nonprofits most important to them.

The Grace Way

Our program is affordable, and each student knows that they are valued individually by our professors. “People think that a nonprofit is just a business with a specific mission,” says Dr. Grill. “But when we ask ourselves, ‘What is nonprofit management?’ the mission is to truly serve.”

Hebrews 10:24 tells us, “provoke one another to love and good works.” Grill believes that’s exactly what the Grace College Master’s in Nonprofit Management program was specifically designed to accomplish in the lives of his students. He explains that our professors altogether have hundreds of years of management experience, and they are excited to share that experience with the next generation of nonprofit leaders.

Professor Matt Metzger directs the Marketing Department at Grace and he teaches marketing in the program. He sums up the personal vibe of the program when he says, “I just love getting to know the students as friends, and I’m thrilled to meet amazing people from all over the world.”

Getting Started

Do you have a passion to serve, but are not sure where to start? Or are you working in a nonprofit organization that you want to help thrive? We want to walk with you and work with you! Learn more about the nonprofit management degree through Grace College Online today.

DID YOU KNOW? The NPM program has generous textbook donors who provide all but one textbook for the entire course of study. That means our students only purchase one text in order to complete their studies!