LinkedIn study: CNP credential key to nonprofit career advancement

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DATE: Sept. 18, 2014
CONTACT: Christa Beall Diefenbach, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (Email)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Certified Nonprofit Professionals (CNPs) are seven times more likely than non-CNPs to reach a director-level or higher position at a nonprofit organization, according to a recent study conducted by LinkedIn. The report indicates a strong correlation between earning the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance’s credential and reaching a high level of leadership within the nonprofit sector. CNPs also remain in the nonprofit sector 50 percent longer on average than non-CNPs, the study found.

“The findings of this study from LinkedIn reinforce the value of the CNP credential,” said Susan Schmidt, CNP, president of the Alliance. “The report affirms the profound impact our programs have on both a nonprofit professional’s career and the sector in general.” LinkedIn recently teamed up with the Alliance to determine the effect of the Certified Nonprofit Professional credential – the only national certification that combines critical skills and knowledge, practical experience and a national perspective. The Alliance is a network of 50 universities, colleges and national nonprofit organizations working to strengthen the social sector with a talented and prepared workforce. LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 313 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

“This research demonstrates that the Alliance’s competency-based approach provides a winning combination in terms of career advancement and commitment to the sector,” commented Schmidt. “It is tremendous to have independent research validating the strategy that has been a benchmark of
our programs for more than 65 years.”

To gather insights for the survey, LinkedIn compiled data from more than 500 of its members who are current or past employees of the Alliance’s national nonprofit partners, such as Feeding America, YMCA and Boy Scouts. The study included a sample of both CNPs and non-CNPs. The research also looked at the entire universe of CNPs on LinkedIn and determined:

  • Almost half of CNPs on LinkedIn (43 percent) work in nonprofit organization management or in education.
  • Of the CNPs who list education on their profile, 43 percent have received a master’s or doctoral degree.
  • More than 1 in 4 CNPs have a position of director or above at their current employer.
  • Top cities where CNPs work include: Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Los Angeles and Houston.
  • Top fields of study among CNPs registered on LinkedIn include: business management and administration, public administration, psychology, sociology, business, education and social work.
  • Top job titles among CNPs registered on LinkedIn include: executive director, founder, volunteer, CEO and president.
  • Top industries among CNPs registered on LinkedIn include: nonprofit organization management, higher education, education management, and hospital and health care.
  • Top skills listed among CNPs registered on LinkedIn include: fundraising, public speaking, community outreach and event planning.

About the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance: Since 1948, the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance has worked to strengthen the social sector with a talented, prepared workforce. Its Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) credential is the only national nonprofit management certification in the U.S. The Alliance system, which includes 40 colleges and universities, 13 national nonprofit partners and more than 9,000 CNPs, is the largest network in the country working to build a talent pipeline for the social sector.

LinkedIn Infographic

LinkedIn Study: CNP Credential Key to Nonprofit Career Success