Fundraising Essentials Certificate

Fundraising Essentials Certificate


The Fundraising Essentials Certificate is an overview of the basics of fundraising, designed for those who want to increase their skill set but don't have the time or resources to commit to a full Fundraising Academy. 

The non-credit certificate program provides students who are interested in beginning, or who are currently working in, development roles with the applied knowledge of nonprofit fundraising principles. The program is designed to enhance fundraising skills for individuals, groups, and organizations. Specifically, students will increase their capacity to strategically identify opportunities for funding, execute cause selling techniques, develop major gifts, and organize planned giving. This will be accomplished through exploring the advantages of technology, social media, innovative applications, and accurate financial management. This program offers a fresh perspective and new cutting-edge techniques to address the needs of fundraising in today's society. The Fundraising Essentials Certificate is ideal for those seeking dynamic approaches to fundraising, additional opportunities for networking, and to build their professional toolbox.

The Fundraising Essentials Certificate is currently priced at $450 per person with a "buy one get one free" option for those who would like to bring an additional member of their team. Fill out the form below for additional details!

For professionals seeking a more in-depth look at fundraising, please consider enrolling in our full Fundraising Academy.

2019 Schedule:

Session 1: The Basics of Fundraising October 3, 2019
Session 2: Cause Selling October 10, 2019
Session 3: Major Gifts October 17, 2019
Session 4: Planned Giving October 24, 2019

Key Topic Areas:


In Basics of Fundraising, students will explore the current state of the nonprofit sector and begin to identify their position with this dynamic economy. Students will address opportunities and gaps in the areas of development while considering ethical and organizational factors. This course will provide students with an insider's perspective to what it means to be a fundraiser while examining the necessary skills of development work in today's society.


This course is designed to increase students' knowledge and application of cause selling. Cause Selling will be explored through a demonstration of a mixed media approach with an emphasis on available technological advances. Specifically, students will learn about negotiation and sales techniques applicable to the nonprofit sector but not often utilized. Through analyzing the situational effectiveness of different styles of selling, students will gain hands on practice in “making the ask.” Students will be equipped with techniques to address donor rejection and understand the advantages of the cause selling approach to nonprofit fundraising.


The Major Gifts course provides fundraisers and development professionals with the understanding and skills to create a shared vision among stakeholders, attract and retain resources, and gain the ability to execute an integrated plan throughout one's organization and the community. Utilizing technology, networking, and social media, this course will enhance students' ability to lead development initiatives that maintain a focus on the organizational purpose. Accounting and legal subject matter expertise will be shared and delineate the responsibilities of a fundraiser in garnering major gifts.


In the final course of The Fundraising Academy, Planned Giving, students will increase their capacity for leadership of others, and foster the ongoing sustainability and success of their organizations through development. Practical tools aimed at cultivating the organization's continual development plan will contribute to their professional toolbox. Acquisition of skills focused on a cohesive vision design, strong community development and maintaining stakeholder and donor engagement will be explored. A comprehensive understanding of the broader aspects of leading the development of a nonprofit organization and fundraising initiatives will conclude this program.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Evaluate the state of the nonprofit field as it pertains to opportunities and gaps in the areas of development
  • Examine basic principles of fundraising while considering ethical and organizational factors
  • Analyze negotiating and cause-selling styles in order to evaluate their situational effectiveness
  • Articulate multiple approaches to development strategy in order to confront and address complex needs
  • Practice “making the ask” and cause selling techniques
  • Utilize emerging technology, presentation skills and communication in face-to-face, alternative, and virtual environments
  • Compare and contrast strategies of soliciting major gifts and planned giving
  • Identify the needs and resources associated with financial and legal requirements of fundraising
  • Develop professional skills that enhance opportunities and increase possible vehicles for fundraising

Fee $450
Location Conference Center at Rio
Course type In Person
Start dates ‌​Oct 03, 2019