Program Managers are responsible for planning, managing, and implementing activities/projects that will help improve their non-profit’s overall performance and achieve their mission.
“Seeing people benefit from the positive outcomes of the programs you have created and implemented.” Sharon Preston, Senior Program Manager, Junior Achievement Northern California
- Implements program growth/expansion strategic plan.
- Recruits program volunteers to meet program goals by securing new sources for volunteers and renewals from existing volunteer sources. Develops and delivers recruiting presentations.
- Assures program quality through phone calls, classroom monitoring, participant servicing, evaluation instruments and newsletters. Continually provides feedback, program materials and resources to consultants and teachers.
- Develops and implements volunteer orientation programs, i.e., securing location of training, developing orientation materials, scheduling volunteers, ordering program materials, distributing registration and evaluation forms.
- Develops and implements methods of volunteer recognition, i.e., planning logistics of event(s); informing consultants, teachers, school administrators and business executives of event; planning and distributing appreciation materials.
- Being a leader
- Sales, marketing, public relations
- Training/teaching experience
- Presentation skills
- Math (budget management)
- Strong written/oral communication
- Event planning
- Project management
- Knowledge of database management; computer literacy (ex. Microsoft Office.)
- Attention to detail
- Long hours
- Willingness to travel
- Having a flexible schedule
- Was involved with organizing school activities.
- Participated in organizations as club officers, running for school offices and participating in class government.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education/experience.
- There is no specific major that directly refers to program management but it is helpful to have degrees in social work, non-profit management or human services.
- NOTE: Certification to become a program manager is highly recommended.
- Become certified as a Program Manager Professional. With a Project Management Institute (PMI) certification behind your name, you can work in virtually any industry, anywhere in the world, and with any project management methodology.
- Begin to coordinate a variety of activities and events for a school club, class, church youth group.
- Hold a leadership position in school organization. It is good for cultivating your communication, organization, and management skills.
“This will expose you to managing logistics, familiarize you with working within a budget, position you to speak with a variety of stakeholders and professionals to arrange the details.” Sharon Preston, Senior Program Manager, Junior Achievement Northern California
- Pursue experiences coordinating events or one major project and build on it by adding multiple projects.
- Seek opportunities to coordinate several events simultaneously.
- You can start by applying and growing your skills in a volunteer environment as well. Let your managers know your desire and inquire about the possibilities.
- Be an overall strong leader.
- Be diplomatic
- Make definitive decisions.
- Anticipate problems your program will face and know how to fix them.
Join a professional organization such as PMI.org and network with the members to engage mentors.
Project Management Institute - www.pmi.org
Program Management skills can be used in a variety of environments and industries such as: sports, entertainment, hospitality, technology, education etc.
“In the end, it’s all about making sure your program comes out on time and within budget.” Sharon Preston, Senior Program Manager, Junior Achievement of Northern California