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. UNO is one of over 30 campus affiliates offering the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential. The program is open to all undergraduate students, pursuing any major, and is housed in the School of Public Administration, College of Public Affairs and Community Service.

How to Earn Certification 

Students pursuing the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential through the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance are required to complete five overarching requirements that will cultivate their skill set, broaden their educational horizon and strengthen their leadership in the nonprofit sector. These requirements include:

1. Enrolling in three NLA-required courses (PA 2170, PA 3500, & PA 4500)

2. Participating in a 300-hour internship with an approved nonprofit organization

3. Attending at least one Alliance Management Institute (AMI) Conference

4. Engaging in leadership and service activities with the NLA at UNO student organization on campus

5. Completing the 10 required competencies through relevant coursework, internship experience, leadership, volunteer and service opportunities, and professional seminars

For more information, contact Megan Nelson, Career & Student Services Associate of the School of Public Administration at or 402.554.4874.

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).

Nonprofit Management Minor

As UNO continues to serve as the State’s premiere metropolitan university, the Nonprofit Management Minor exemplifies UNO’s metropolitan and collaborative extension to the community. With 1.6 million registered nonprofits in the U.S., the need to educate and empower UNO students with the skills to lead the nonprofit sector in the Omaha metro is crucial. As interest in the nonprofit sector continues to climb, so will the need to service the Omaha community and the State of Nebraska in its effort to meet the needs of its growing population. The Nonprofit Management Minor is open to students in any discipline area at UNO,

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.