Nonprofit Studies

business classroom

A nonprofit organization is one that that has a primary mission to improve the good of society versus making and distributing financial profits. These organizations allow groups of people to address causes that could not be done individually or effectively achieved through government or for-profit businesses. These causes vary widely and include community health, education, cultural activities, animal welfare, and protecting the environment.

Nonprofits play a critical role in Oregon. According to the Nonprofit Association of Oregon:

  • Oregon is home to 22,000 nonprofit organizations
  • These organization employ over 140,000 people which represents 12% of all private sector jobs
  • 99,000 of the jobs are in the area of health and human services
  • Over 33% of Oregonians volunteer which is one of the highest rates in the county

Nonprofit Community Development Certificate

This 33 credit certificate is designed to prepare students for engagement in the nonprofit community through volunteer service, entry-level employment or articulated transfer to Portland State University’s BA/BS in Community Development (when combined with a completed transfer degree). The certificate includes coursework from Business Administration, Communication, Sociology, and Political Science to provide students with a diverse and appropriate education for understanding the human, social, business, economic and legal aspects of nonprofits.

Nonprofit Service-Learning Opportunities:  Students4Giving Program

Students4Giving is an initiative that was created in 2007 to educate and inspire a generation of engaged citizens, philanthropists, and community leaders. The program is embedded in the BA 208: Introduction to Nonprofits and Philanthropy course where students learn about the non-profit world. In addition, the students direct a real grant process allocating up to $10,000 to local nonprofit organizations. The students evaluate grant proposals using criteria learned in class, conduct site visits to nonprofit organizations and select grant recipients after extensive research and discussion. For more information, visit the Students4Giving website and watch the Students4Giving video.

What's Next?

  • Meet with an Advisor. (Formal admission to the Program is not required.)
  • Apply for admission to PCC.