Marlboro College Graduate School

MS in Management - Mission-Driven Organizations

At the Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies Program, our Master of Science in Managing Mission-Driven Organizations (MDO) program is built upon our proven success in educating nonprofit leaders. This program sets a new standard in professionalizing nonprofit organizations by blending nonprofit-specific topics with relevant courses drawn from our MBA in Managing for Sustainability.

Career Outlook
There are currently 10.5 million jobs in traditional non-profit organizations throughout the country. This number increases numerous times when we include other type of mission-driven organizations. Examples of mission-driven organizations include well known brands such as Ben & Jerry's and Seventh Generation. These pioneers have inspired individuals and communities, such as the locavore agri-innovators of Hardwick, VT who are the focus of the book, The Town that Food Saved. Other organizations and undertakings include the community-oriented venture capital firm Underdog Ventures, and New England’s vibrant farm to school movement. Mission-driven organizations have even found their way into public policy with Vermont’s groundbreaking legislation in support of L3C "Low-profit Limited Liability Corporations." Report after report shows that work in mission driven organizations looks promising.1The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate a job growth of 14% in the 2011-2018 time span.2

Program Outcomes
If you are a current or aspiring executive director (ED) or a social entrepreneur, you already know the challenges you face. With the broad scope of work that falls within these endeavors, we focus on the skills and critical thinking needed for your success; we do this by providing a grounding in organizational sustainability while respecting the empowering nature of mission driven work. These lead to tangible outcomes in:

  • Fundraising & Philanthropy
  • Systems Thinking
  • Outcomes & Evaluation
  • Marketing
  • Boards & Governance
  • Project Management
  • Financial Management
  • People & Teams

Designed for professionals like you
This degree, like all Marlboro graduate programs, takes an experiential learning, project-based approach. Students are strongly encouraged to bring their work projects into the classroom, allowing for better time management as well as giving them the full benefit of first-hand learning. Blending coursework from the MDO and the MBA curricula creates a more well-rounded graduate who has the skills to engage the increasingly complex worlds of mission-driven organizations. Here’s why nonprofit professionals join the MSM-MDO program:

  1. Convenience. Face-to-face classes meet only one weekend per month. Students progress through the program at their own pace.
  2. Real nonprofit skills. This degree is designed to give people the skills to be highly effective, top-tier nonprofit EDs.
  3. Great networking. Seventy percent of all nonprofit EDs nationwide feel isolated in their positions.3 Go to school with nonprofit leaders and build a support network you'll sustain throughout your career.
  4. Affordability. Our per-credit tuition is very reasonable, and financial aid is available.

The 36 credits required for graduation are designed with reference to the Nonprofit Academic Careers Council standards. Students attending school full-time can complete the coursework and finish their Capstone project to complete the degree in about 18 months.

To learn more about the MS in Managing Mission-Driven Organizations (MDO) program, email Matt Livingston, our Director of Graduate Admissions or call at (802) 258-9209.

Marlboro College Graduate and Professional Studies is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC), which accredits schools and colleges in the six New England states.


Information for Prospective and New Students about Orientation, Class Weekends, Study Plans and Prerequisites


The Chronicle of Philanthropy 1 & 2, Career Thought Leaders, Nonprofit HR Solutions, Common Good Careers

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, on the internet at (visited July 2, 2012). 

According to the new national survey Daring to Lead 2011



Nonprofit Management

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    2. MS Managing Mission-Driven Organizations
    3. Certificate in Nonprofit Management
    4. Graduate Courses
    5. Board Trainings
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    8. Nonprofit Jobs & Careers
    9. Graduates at Work
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