Certified to change the world

UNI is the only institute in the state of Iowa that offers the nationally recognized nonprofit credential, the Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP), to its students. The CNP is available to all UNI students and complements any major. Receiving this credential prepares students to enter the nonprofit field by equipping them with the knowledge and experiences necessary to excel in their future careers. In fact, research shows that professionals who have received their CNP credential are seven times more likely to rise to a director or higher-level position than those without the certification.

Certified Nonprofit Professional

Research shows that professionals who have received their CNP credential are seven times more likely to rise to a director or higher-level position than those without the certification.

So, how can UNI students earn their CNP?

Step 1: Take four required classes. (Course substitution will be considered.)

Step 2: Participate in the student-run organization on campus, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA).

Step 3: Attend the annual Alliance Management Institute (AMI), which is a nonprofit leadership conference.

Step 4: Complete a 300-hour internship or field-based experience.

Step 5: Attend the annual Alliance Management Institute (AMI), which is a nonprofit leadership conference.

NLA, formally known as American Humanics, was founded in 1948. The NLA headquarters are in Kansas City, Missouri, and is the only nonprofit organization to meet the need of educating and preparing students and professionals to be leaders in the nonprofit sector. Being involved in UNI's NLA organization allows students to build professional development skills, participate in meaningful and fun events, attend nonprofit conferences and have access to internships and scholarships that other students may not have access to.

Participants are expected to attend at least one of the AMI conferences in order to graduate with your CNP. Each year, AMI is located in a different city in the nation. Last year, 42 students went to Houston, Texas, where they received the Program of Excellence Award, which recognizes the best program in the country. In January 2017, 38 students will be headed to Denver, Colorado, for the wonderful opportunity of attending this conference.

UNI NLA members have received several awards and recognitions at past AMI conferences, including:

  • First Place Graduate Research for "Students' Perception of Fundraising Through Personal Solicitation,"
  • First Place Undergraduate Research for "The Role of Special Events in Raising Contributions and Awareness for Nonprofit Organizations,"
  • Second Place Graduate Research for "Effective Mission Messaging in Nonprofit Organizations: A Content Analysis,"
  • Third Place Graduate Research for "Going Viral: A Case Study of Lessons Learned from the ALS Foundation and the Ice Bucket Challenge" and
  • Third Place Undergraduate Research for "Social Media: Has It Impacted Organizations or Not?"

AMI is a great place for young professionals to learn new skills and to network with professionals in the nonprofit sector. Students in NLA also learn valuable fundraising skills through their Annual Giving Campaign, which helps students attend without financial burden. UNI is unique in that way, as many students from other universities have to pay to get to AMI on their own. This years giving campaign just kicked off recently, and their goal is to raise $31,000.

As a part of fundraising efforts, NLA hosts their annual Duck Dash in the WRC swimming pool and each student is responsible for earning $500. This includes a personal donation, calling past donors and presenting to family, friends and organizations about NLA for donations.

If you are interested in becoming certified to change the world, you can contact Angie Widner at widner@uni.edu or Julianne Gassman at julianne.gassman@uni.edu

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