Humboldt State UniversityHumboldt State University

An online fundraising certificate program

  • Discover best practices in fundraising for small to mid-size nonprofits
  • Learn from seasoned fundraisers who understand your organization’s needs and know how to get results
  • Enhance your career with knowledge and skills that can be utilized on the job immediately
  • Network with a community of fundraising professionals from a variety of organizations

This affordable online program, while relevant to all, is uniquely designed to meet the needs of small to mid-size nonprofit organizations. It offers a practical education for nonprofit organizations, development departments and individuals interested in creating or strengthening fundraising efforts.

These online courses will help participants develop a more comprehensive view of nonprofit fundraising, explore principles of fundraising, case statements, fundraising strategies, donor development and engagement, annual campaigns, major gift campaigns and special events. 

A certificate will be awarded with completion of the four courses.

Program Outcomes

As a result of this program, the goal is that participants will:

  • Be 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.
  • Be able to identify specific donor markets and develop appropriate, targeted cultivation and solicitation programs.
  • Understand how to make boards more effective in their role and employ strategies to develop board competency.
  • 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.

Course Format

Courses may be taken consecutively to earn a certificate, or individually for professional development in a specific subject area. See "Requirements for the Certificate" below for more information.

Each course is four weeks long and held online, using the Moodle learning platform. Students can expect to spend 4-5 hours per week on coursework.

The courses consist of reading assignments, weekly forums and live chat sessions with faculty and other students. There are fixed due dates for assignments each week. While it is not required for students to have previous experience with nonprofit organizations, class assignments do require the use of materials from nonprofit organizations. Students who are not currently working in a staff or volunteer capacity will need to approach a nonprofit organization of their choice to ask if they can use that organization as their "example" for some of the course assignments.

There are also weekly live video chats that will be scheduled at the mutual convenience of faculty and students.

Faculty provide students with one-on-one consultation via video chats, phone, and email. Faculty remain available, as do course materials, to students after the completion of each course.

New Designs for Fundraising workbook coveCourses will use the following texts:

New Designs for Fundraising Workbooks: Hiegert
Achieving Excellence in Fundraising: Tempel, Seiler & Aldrich
Beyond Fundraising: Grace

Requirements for the Certificate

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

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


SEE THE COURSES...


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CFRE Approved Provider 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)