Nonprofit Leadership Alliance

National Certification in Nonprofit Management and Leadership

What is the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance?

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) is a coalition of colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations devoted to preparing, educating, and certifying college students to excel in nonprofit careers.  The University of Nebraska at Omaha is one of over 30 campus affiliates offering the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credentials, and is the only nationally recognized nonprofit credential.  The program is open to all undergraduate students, pursuing any major, and is housed in the School of Public Administration in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service.

For more information, contact Megan Nelson, Career/Student Services Associate of the School of Public Administration at or 402-554-4874

How to Earn Certification

Students seeking CNP credentials will complete four core requirement areas that will help cultivate their skill set, broaden their educational horizon and strengthen their leadership in the nonprofit sector by:

  • Enrolling in NLA-related coursework focusing on 10 competencies
  • Participating in a 300-hour internship with a nonprofit organization
  • Attending at least one Alliance Management Institute (AMI)
  • Engaging in leadership and service activities as a member of the NLA Student Association at UNO

NLA Program Curriculum

The NLA coordinator advises all students in selecting appropriate NLA program-related course work. Students must complete all course work as required by UNO to obtain a baccalaureate degree as well as complete five to seven NLA-related courses. Many of the NLA courses will count toward degree requirements for a student’s major. Requirements will vary from major to major. To determine which courses meet certification requirements, contact the NLA coordinator.

NLA Internship/Practicum

The student internship at a nonprofit organization is considered the “capstone” experience. Students must complete a 300-hour internship at an approved site. A student may conduct an internship for credit if this option is available in the student’s major department. A student internship manual is available for NLA students preparing for their internship experience. Please contact the NLA coordinator for more information.

NLA Co-Curricular Activities

Students seeking CNP credentials must participate in the NLA Student Association) while completing the NLA core courses. The NLA Student Association will organize several learning and networking opportunities for NLA students. Please note: Students will be required to attend at least one Alliance Management Institute for certification. It is typically held in January in various locations across the country. Students will be expected to raise money as an organization or pay for the conference.

Student Performance

Students must achieve at least a 3.0 average in NLA core courses. In addition, students must demonstrate that they have satisfactorily met each of the NLA competency areas as well as other NLA requirements noted above before they are recommended for national certification. Once students are awarded certification, the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credentials can be used after their name like any other academic or professional credential, (for example: Jane Doe, CNP).

Kick Start Your Nonprofit Career

If changing the world through nonprofit work is your mission, we are here to help. Contact Megan Nelson at or visit Join NLA Today to learn more about your next step to becoming a Certified Nonprofit Professional through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.