Certificate in Nonprofit Essentials - Session Descriptions

Updated Descriptions for Fall 2015 sequence

Inspiring Missions:  An Introduction to Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector
This introductory session is designed for individuals who want to learn about the significant role the nonprofit sector plays in the American economy and civic life. Key trends, challenges, criticisms, and innovations in philanthropy and nonprofit activity are introduced as a framework for understanding the sector. Debates over hot-button issues are highlighted in order to provide a platform for rich discussion. Students will leave with a broader understanding of the depth and diversity in the field and the many career paths available to them.

More Than Selling Cookies:  Fundraising Fundamentals
This session is designed for individuals who are interested in learning the fundamentals of both fundraising and development work in relation to the nonprofit industry. Specific attention will focus on Board of Directors involvement and logistics as well as short and long-term strategic planning. In addition, conversation will be held on specific statistics and fundamentals on charitable giving in the United States. Students will leave with a broader sense of a strategic development plan and of the business components of nonprofit organizations.

What Does Volunteering Mean in the Nonprofit Sector?
Arguably, a nonprofit organization's most important resource is its volunteers. The focus of this course will be on how identifying, training, working with and learning from volunteers is a critical component of nonprofit organizational culture, as well as a key strategy for community engagement and participation. Students will develop a basic understanding of useful community service strategies, tactics, and techniques including the “art” of volunteerism.

Nonprofit Financing: Doing More with Less
In order to run a successful business or program, a basic understanding of financial statements is essential. Nonprofit leaders must be prepared to manage and analyze the financial information important to programs and organizations. Funders and donors often judge an organization by its financials and its ability to communicate the meaning behind the numbers. This session will prepare you to read and understand financial statements and show you how to be in control of the financial information that tells the story of your program or organization. Students will learn the basics of good financial management and explore how revenue structures, cost structures, assets, liabilities, operating reserves, and endowments fit together in determining whether an organization is healthy, sustainable, or on the threshold of financial crisis.

Preparing to Make the Shift:  Transferring Your Skills to the Nonprofit Sector
The nonprofit sector is a critical economic force. In New Jersey alone there are more than 30,000 nonprofit organizations that are looking for talented individuals, introducing a wealth of opportunities that may not have been previously considered for a meaningful career path. Whether you are a recent graduate, a retiree exploring new purpose, or seeking employment for any reason, it may be time to consider working for a nonprofit organization. Skill sets are indeed transferable, and techniques can be learned to best leverage corporate skills and experience successfully in this sector. This course will address the needs of nonprofits and how you can adapt to this new culture while learning to best apply your talents. The session will contrast and compare nonprofits with their corporate cousins and explain how competencies may indeed lead to employment opportunities in an exciting and rewarding environment.

The Politics of Operating in the Public View
There is a growing disconnect between the public’s belief about how nonprofit organizations should operate and the reality of how they actually function. This introductory course will offer an up close and personal view of the five commonly underappreciated challenges of managing nonprofit organizations - the scope of CEO authority and control, stakeholder accountability, straightforward performance measurement, increased scrutiny by politicians and press, and the reality of "doing more with less."  Participants will take away an increased understanding of the leadership demands in a sector beset by increasing responsibilities, limited resources, and higher public expectations.

Classes start in October @ FDU's Metropolitan Campus.

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Executive Nonprofit Leadership Certificate

Executive Philanthropy & Resource Development Certificate

Certificate in Nonprofit Essentials


Dennis Miller- Former Executive Director, Center for Excellence

More Testimonials

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CFE Brochure 2017 [pdf]

For more information

Call: (201) 692-6500
Email: ceinfo@fdu.edu