Getting Certified

Who We Are

The Nonprofit Leadership Alliance is a national alliance of colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations dedicated to educating, preparing, and certifying professionals to strengthen and lead the nonprofit sector. Some of the national nonprofit partners include: American Red Cross, United Way of America, and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

What We Do

Each year we implement the UNI Volunteer Fair and the Cedar Valley Nonprofit Awards Luncheon. Weekly activities include collaborating with nonprofit organizations, raising funds for student projects, taking field trips to area nonprofits, networking with professionals, and having fun!

Our Goal

The goal is to reduce the learning curve of nonprofit professionals, allowing them to immediately impact their organization and communities.

What Is The CNP?

The Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) Credential is the only national nonprofit credential preparing students for leadership in the nonprofit sector.

To earn the Certified  Nonprofit Professional (CNP) Credential, students must fulfill the following:

Complete the Required Course Work

  • RTNL 2130-01: Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector
  • RTNL 3110-01: Management and Human Resource in RTNL
  • RTNL 4320-01: Financial Resource Management in RTNL
  • ACCT 2120 (120:030): Principles of Financial Accounting
  • RTNL 2210-01: Nonprofit Leadership Practicum I
  • RTNL 4210-01/5210-01: Nonprofit Leadership Practicum II
  • Elective: 1 elective from this list: Click Here
  • Minimum 120 hour Internship required for certification

Common Substitutes:

  • MGMT 3153 – Organizational Management
  • MGMT 3155 – Human Resource Management
  • ENGLISH 4770 – Applied Writing – Proposals and Grants
  • Internships from any department

Other courses may be substituted upon approval.

The certified nonprofit professional credential gives students priority access to nonprofit job opportunities with competitive salaries!

CNP’s Are…


  • Research indicates that CNP’s are seven times more likely to rise to director+ level than their non-CNP peers.


  • 90% of CNP’s from established alliance campuses find a nonprofit job in 6 months or less.


  • Top skills listed among CNPs include fundraising, public speaking, community outreach, and event planning.


  • Hiring managers report that the learning curve for CNPs is reduced by as much as two years due to the practical experience that comes from intensive internships, service-learning activities, and research-based training.


  • More than one in four CNPs have a position of director or above at their current employer. Top job titles among CNP’s include executive director, founder, CEO, and president.

(National Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, 2018)

The Alliance Benefits

  • YOU CAN earn a national credential
  • YOU CAN distinguish yourself in your major/minor
  • YOU CAN learn about important work of nonprofits in the Cedar Valley and nationwide
  • YOU CAN gain field experience
  • YOU CAN build a GREAT network
  • YOU CAN build close relationships with highly motivated students
  • YOU CAN be part of the best alliance organizations in the nation

More Information

More about the Internship (RTNL 4510)

  • This required internship will provide first-hand experience for those hoping to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector.
  • Some of the national nonprofits UNI students have interned within the past include: Make-A-Wish, Boys and Girls Clubs, American Red Cross, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and more.

More about the Nonprofit Leadership Practicum (RTNL 2210/4210/5210)

  • Students will participate in an Annual Fundraising Campaign; raising over $20,000.
  • Students will participate in service projects.
  • Students will partake in numerous professional development opportunities.
  • Students will gain experience in event planning and coordinating.

Graduation Requirements

  • Students must obtain their Baccalaureate Degree before earning their certification.