Humboldt State UniversityHumboldt State University

Courses & Schedule

All courses are held ONLINE. 

Fees:  $250 per course, plus $25 for optional .5 continuing education unit per course.

Register for the four-course series for $850 (25% discount).

Foundations for

Jan. 22-Feb. 16, 2019

Tools for
Annual Giving

Feb. 18-March 16, 2019
Tools for
Big Gifts

March 18-April 13, 2019
The People
Nov. 12-Dec. 8, 2018 or
April 15-May 11, 2019

Course Format (and Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Courses may be taken consecutively to earn a certificate, or individually for professional development in a specific subject area.
  • Each course is four weeks long and held online. Students can expect to spend 4-5 hours per week on coursework.
  • The classes are asychronous, which means that you can do them on your own time. Assignments are due weekly to help students stay on track.
  • There will be 2 required "live online chats" for each one-month course. Your instructor will schedule these in advance, based on student availability. If the planned times do not work for you, you may schedule a private live chat with your instructor. If you have extenuating circumstances that make it impossible for you to participate, please let your instructor know -- we will do all we can to accommodate you!
  • The courses consist of reading assignments, weekly forums and live chat sessions. There are fixed due dates for assignments each week.
  • Class assignments require the use of materials from nonprofit organizations. Students will need to be in contact with a nonprofit organization to complete course work.
  • Faculty provide students with one-on-one consultation via video chats, phone, and e-mail.
  • All course materials remain available online to students after the completion of each course.
  • Texts:
    • New Designs for Fundraising Workbooks: Hiegert
    • Achieving Excellence in Fundraising: Tempel, Seiler & Aldrich, Third Edition
    • Beyond Fundraising: Grace

Requirements for the Certificate

To earn a certificate of completion, participants must complete all four core courses within a period of two years. In order to satisfy the requirements for each course, students must complete at least 80% of the weekly course assignments. No grades are given.

To receive the certificate, please complete the certificate application form and submit to the College of Extended Education and Global Engagement.

Taking Courses for Credit

Students who choose to take the courses for credit (.5 units per course, or 2 units total, optional), will be expected to complete an additional assignment at the end of each one-month course. This assignment will usually consist of a writing assignment that demonstrates understanding and application of key concepts for the course. Estimated additional time commitment to earn credit: 2-3 hours per course.

Program Outcomes

New Designs for Fundraising students will:

  • Become responsible and ethical fund-raising program managers.
  • Possess the tools and techniques for carrying out cultivation and solicitation programs for every source of potential support.
  • Understand that fundraising is a multi-dimensional program.
  • Identify specific donor markets and develop appropriate, targeted cultivation and solicitation programs.
  • Understand how to make boards more effective in their role.
  • Know how to work with volunteers and staff to build a team.
  • Have the tools for strategic planning and understand its implementation.
  • Develop a passion for fundraising and the nonprofit sector.

The Four Courses

Foundations for Fundraising

Jan. 14-Feb. 8, 2019: Explore the multi-disciplinary process of fundraising. Topics include the history of fundraising, ethics, environmental trends, strategic planning methodologies and how to engage volunteers in fundraising plans.

Tools for Annual Giving

Feb. 11-March 8, 2019: Learn key methods and programs for developing prospects and donors to sustain the annual operations of the nonprofit organization. Participants will be equipped to apply the development process to their organization; evaluate, design and produce mail, telephone, internet and social media fundraising campaigns; focus their corporate and foundation fundraising efforts.

Tools for Big Gifts

March 11-April 5, 2019: Gain the "toolbox" which contains information and instruction on methods to develop prospects and donors for the large gifts -- those that can make a critical difference in the operations and programs of nonprofit organizations. Participants will understand the principles of capital campaigns and planned giving; practice asking techniques; and gain assessment strategies to be able to analyze their organization’s fundraising programs.

The People

April 8-May 3, 2019: Focus on supporting the people who sustain nonprofit organizations -- from volunteers and staff, to board members and other groups. Participants will learn key volunteer recruitment and team building strategies; develop tools to improve board development, performance, training and self-assessment.

Drop & Refund Policy

Cancelled Class: All fees returned.

Drop before the first class session: The entire course fee will be refunded less a $10 administrative fee or any non-returnable deposit. The drop will be effective on the time during normal business hours that written notification is received.

Drop at or after first class session: No refund after the course has begun. For complete details, see the Extended Education Drop and Refund Policy.

CFRE International: Certifying fundraising executives. Setting standards in philanthropy. The HSU New Designs for Fundraising Certificate program has been registered and approved by Certified Fund Raising Executives International (CFRE). Each course qualifies for 8 continuing education points (32 points for all four courses) that can be used towards initial certification and recertification for the CFRE credential, the global standard for the fundraising profession.
  • Testimonial: This course provides the opportunity to learn the unique challenges and resources that can best be used in small towns and rural areas, especially with small shops. (Allyne Brown, Director of Philanthropy, Ukiah Valley Medical Center)
  • Testimonial: I can't begin to fully explain just how much I've valued the learning that I'm getting out of the New Designs for Fundraising certificate program. I really do appreciate what Humboldt State University is providing through this important learning opportunity. I would encourage anyone currently employed in the fundraising realm or looking to gain experience and employment in the fundraising realm to consider enrolling in this program.(Jeffrey S. Boian, M.A., MCDP, Leadership Coach & Consultant)
  • Testimonial: I felt like I had a personal coach and professional consultant at my fingertips. I will keep and refer to the materials as I proceed with board recruitment. (Student Evaluation)
  • Testimonial: The instructor was outstanding! She was extremely helpful and tailored her recommendations and advice to the specific needs of each person's non-profit. The materials were quite relevant to sustaining and expanding rural non-profit organizations. I learned much during these 4 weeks and was able to immediately apply these learned skills to my organization. This was the best class I've ever taken on management and leadership. (Student Evaluation)
  • Testimonial: Tools for Annual Giving was a lifesaver for me as a new executive director of a rural arts center. It introduced very practical ideas and models, like the Donor Pyramid and Gift Range Charts, that immediately helped me focus on a fundraising strategy that works, makes sense and can be easily explained to my staff and board. The course completely shifted my understanding of how to engage creatively and deeply in the fundraising process. (Roy King, Westhaven Center for the Arts)
  • Testimonial: Tools for Annual Giving helped me identify new funding sources, increase donor giving, and better understand where to invest our limited resources for fundraising. (Cassie Pinnell, Executive Director of the Mattole Restoration Council)
  • Testimonial: Sarah, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your responses. You put a lot of time and thought into them and provide valuable information. I just completed an online grant writing course with a college here and the difference in instructor involvement is striking. (Student evaluation)