Certificate in Fundraising

Learn the best practices used by the most successful nonprofit organizations and universities to raise money.

Elective Learning

Overview

Taught by Experienced Fundraisers

Self-Paced

100% Online

7 Hours to Complete

$

The Certificate in Fundraising was developed by five experienced fundraisers to teach the foundations of philanthropy in the United States and the fundamentals of professional fundraising. We will cover the proven best practices of fundraising, along with practical advice and strategy for Annual Giving, Major Gifts, Planned Giving, and Corporate and Foundation Relations.

These are universal practices that can be used by any organization, no matter the size, scope, or mission. This certificate is designed for current development staff, individuals looking to begin or transition into a fundraising career, nonprofit and higher education leadership, social entrepreneurs, and university faculty.

The Elective Learning, Certificate in Fundraising is CFRE accredited and approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit. Founded in 2001, CFRE International is an independent nonprofit organization whose sole mission is dedicated to setting standards in philanthropy through a valid and reliable certification process for fundraising professionals.

Instructors

Marian Stern

Fundraising Consultant

Course
Foundations of Philanthropy

Adrian Matthys

Director of Annual Giving

Course
Annual Giving

leighton-website

Leighton Wilson

Chief Development Officer

Course
Major Gifts

Davida Isaacson

Fundraising Consultant

Course
Planned Giving

Lily Cabrera

Entrepreneur and Consultant

Course
Corporate and Foundation Relations

Certificate Preview

Play Video

Clip of Adrian Matthys discussing multichannel annual giving strategy.

Play Video

Clip of Lily Cabrera discussing the triple aim for corporate philanthropy.

Courses

The Certificate in Fundraising is organized into courses, each containing sections that cover different aspects of professional fundraising.

Foundations of Philanthropy

History of U.S. Philanthropy

Origins of Philanthropy

Evolution of Philanthropy

Boards

Donor Motivation

Annual
Giving

Defining an Annual Gift

Who Should Make Annual Gifts

Filling the Leaky Bucket

Donor Segmentation

Tactics

Stewardship

Major
Gifts

Interpersonal Fundraising

Strategy

Communications

The Ask

Campaigns/Events

 

Planned Giving

Why Planned Giving

Audiences for Planned Giving

Marketing Techniques

Gift Plans

Stewardship

Corporate & Foundation Relations

Principals of Corporate Relations

Principals of Foundation Relations

Grant Writing

Certificate Reviews

Rachel Ciullo
Higher Education Development 

“This course is the most comprehensive fundraising course I’ve ever participated in. It provides all of the tools you need to be a successful fundraiser, in an easy-to-navigate format. The content I received informs my strategic vision as a professional fundraiser on a daily basis.”

Ashley Sanchez
Nonprofit Co-Founder 

“As a small nonprofit, we tend to focus more on daily operations rather than on fundraising.  However, we cannot function without funds, and this course gave us numerous practical, usable ideas on how we can more effectively generate the donations that help us accomplish our mission.”

Kyle Conover
Higher Education Development

“The Certificate in Fundraising provides an exceptional education in topics most important to nonprofit development. The lessons presented both a primer on the wide range of fundraising avenues as well as examples that fundraisers can use in their own work. I have applied the examples to my own work in university development and have found success.”

Contact Us

Questions and feedback.

Consulting, in-person training, and guest speaking available on a case-by-case basis.

Marian Stern

Course
Foundations of Philanthropy

Professional Background

Marian Stern has over 35 years of experience in philanthropy and fundraising.

As the principal of Projects in Philanthropy, she has worked with a wide variety of organizations, providing management and fundraising services, with particular emphasis on fundraising planning, board development and training, strategic planning, meeting facilitation, and professional coaching. She also works with funders to define and implement charitable giving policies.

Marian has also been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at New York University, a faculty member in the Fundraising Management program at Columbia University and an Adjunct Professor in American Studies at Rutgers University.

Marian has a Master’s in Public Administration from the Robert Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Rutgers University.

Adrian Matthys

Course
Annual Giving

Professional Background

Adrian Matthys is the Director of Annual Giving for the University of Texas at Austin and has been working in higher education development for 20 years.

In addition to his work at the University of Texas at Austin, Adrian has experience at both small private and large public institutions, as well as other nonprofit organizations outside of higher education.

Adrian’s skills include direct marketing, reunion giving, leadership annual giving, alumni relations, as well as many other best practices for building top-performing annual giving teams, tactics, and campaigns. Adrian has a passion for annual giving and a great appreciation for educating development teams about the importance of strong sustaining giving programs.

Leighton Wilson

Course
Major Gifts

Professional Background

Leighton Wilson has over ten years of professional fundraising experience, focusing on major gift development. He is the Chief Development Officer for the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He has worked for the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, LSU Health Shreveport Foundation and Centenary College of Louisiana.

Leighton has a Master of Science in Philanthropy and Fundraising from the George Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at New York University, a Master of Arts in Communication from Baylor University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.

Davida Isaacson

Course
Planned Giving

Professional Background

After a successful career in trust and estate banking, Davida became the Director of Planned Giving and Endowments for WNET, the New York public television station.

While at WNET, Davida produced training videos for distribution to the public broadcasting stations and began teaching planned giving at New York University (NYU).

Her teaching career spanned 20 years until retirement in 2018 and included joining the faculty at Columbia University in addition to her being assistant professor at NYU.

She has been a nationally recognized speaker on all aspects of planned giving. She served on the Board of the National Committee on Planned Giving and is now President Emeritus at the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York (PPGGNY) from which she received an award for achievement in the planned giving community.

In addition to continuing to present to development professionals, Davida is the Senior Philanthropic Advisor for The Seeing Eye, Inc. in Morristown, NJ.

Lily Cabrera, MBA

Course
Corporate and Foundation Relations

Professional Background

Lily is a professional coach and writer with two decades of nonprofit management experience (diversified experience in higher education, academic medicine, healthcare, and policy).

She is passionate about social justice and corporate social responsibility and how together our efforts through personal and professional development can transform our workplaces, our communities, and the world.

Lily is an experienced nonprofit professional with a track record of developing innovative strategies for donor engagement, including cultivating, closing, and stewarding gifts of $1 million+. She possesses a unique ability to realize synergies and create matches between organizations coupled with strong leadership skills in working with internal and external partners to develop and fund visionary proposals.

Lily possesses a strong background in all facets of development work including major gifts, campaign planning and execution, annual giving, planned giving, institutional giving, special events, prospect research and management, and operations.

She is a proud alumna of Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business. Lily completed professional coach training through Coaches Training Institute (CTI).