Advanced Track

The Certified Nonprofit Credential (CNP) takes your experience and tangibly shows your commitment and expertise in the nonprofit sector. By earning the CNP, you’ll join a network of more than 11,000 CNPs around the world and access CNP-only continuing education resources and job opportunities.

The CNP Exam is for working professionals with nonprofit experience. Traditionally, it takes 3 to 6 months to earn the credential, but if you meet the requirements, you can apply to access the CNP Study Guide and to take the exam.

How to earn the credential


Meet the requirements? You’re an excellent candidate for the CNP Exam & Study Guide! Here’s how it works:

  1. Access to CNP Study Guide, an easy-to-use online guide, to prepare for the Exam.
  2. The Study Guide covers foundational knowledge on key nonprofit content found on the exam.
  3. Then demonstrate your nonprofit expertise by sitting for the CNP Exam.
    • The CNP Exam consists of 100 short answers (multiple choice or true/false) questions. The exam has a two-hour time limit and requires a score of 76% to pass.
  4. Review sample questions to test your knowledge.
  5. Pass the exam to earn the CNP!


Education and Experience 

To be eligible for the exam, individuals must meet education and experience requirements through one of the following combinations:

Volunteer Leadership Experience

All those who earn the CNP credential are required to document that they have participated in at least one volunteer leadership/service activity during the past five years. Below are the activities that meet this requirement.


National Conference Participation 

All CNPs are required to attend a national conference within the past 24 months. The multi-day conference should provide CNP competency-related professional development, opportunities to network with peers and subject matter experts, and coverage of national issues of importance to the social sector. If you have not attended a conference that meets this requirement, you may attend the virtual conference, Elevate.

What you get with the CNP Credential
CNP Digital Badge (Certified Nonprofit Professional)

After successful completion of all the requirements, you will have:

  • Membership in the Association of CNPs (a national network of 11,000+ like-minded leaders).
  • Access to CNP-only continuing education resources and job opportunities.
  • A lifelong credential showing your commitment to and expertise of the nonprofit sector. 

Receive a digital badge and the option to print an e-certificate of the CNP credential. The badge may be shared on LinkedIn and other social media. The Alliance’s Digital Recognition Program is powered by Acclaim.

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