Executive Philanthropy and Resource Development Certificate - Session Descriptions

Putting It All Together: The Ingredients for a Comprehensive Fundraising Plan

Do you have the ingredients necessary to make the pie? As fundraisers or nonprofit executives we tend to know the end result we seek – the pie – the money!  But, how you reach this goal and the elements that you utilize are the keys to success and sustainability for your organization. Engaging events, compelling direct mail pieces and loyal annual/major gift donors are some of the components that make a successful and sustainable development program. This course will cover the dos and don’ts of developing the best fundraising plan for your organization.

Celebrating Successes: Creating Realistic Goals for Your Organization

The fundraising success of a nonprofit organization is dependent on a team, both internal (staff) and external (board) that runs in sync to achieve established financial targets. But there is so much more that goes into the overall strategy beyond just the ask. This course will show you how to measure a thriving program beyond just the dollars by incorporating realistic goals and benchmarks that will help to deliver the outcomes your organization needs.

Prospect Research for Major Gifts

Preparing for a major gift ask (request) includes learning more about donor prospects and their philanthropic interests. This will enable you to hone in on matching donor interests with your organization’s mission. Learn how to go beyond Google in gathering information and utilize the tools available at your fingertips to help prepare for those all-important meetings. The session will introduce key websites every major gift officer needs bookmarked to research a current donor base and to proactively identify new donor prospects in the community.

Cultivating and Soliciting Major Gifts

If you want to raise the big bucks, you need to plan a gala for at least 350 replete with memorable entertainment, silent auction, and a video that tugs at guests’ heartstrings. WRONG!  While there’s value in such events – and in mailing appeal letters and grant requests to foundations – the activity that will yield the greatest results is simply sitting down with someone and asking for a gift. Cultivating and soliciting major gifts takes discipline and guts. This session will help you develop both. How to target prospects, track them, develop a strategy, shape the ask, and follow up with the donor will all be discussed. Most importantly, your questions and experiences will be shared with your classmates. Please come prepared with many.

Motivating and Engaging Your Board for Fundraising, Performance and Accountability

Board members need education if they are to understand the irrational business model that drives a charitable, nonprofit entity and necessitates philanthropic capacity to support the mission. They need to understand the basic principles of philanthropy, current trends, and appreciate the pivotal role of the board in stewardship if they are to be effective. In addition to Board education, executive staff must create and communicate a compelling and clear message that enables board members to engage the community and donors. These tools are imperative building blocks for the creation of a culture of philanthropy.

Fundraising in the Digital Age

Donor behavior has changed and so to must the tactics of development officers that are trying to engage with them. This session will include observations of the changed world of donor communications behavior, common denominators that apply to successful digital engagements today, variations in approach in a cross media world and how to apply changed tactics and innovative tactics. This session will also provide practical examples for nonprofits of all sizes.

Perspectives from a Private and Community Foundation

This is an opportunity to learn from three of our country's best private and community foundation executives. Attendees will learn the behind the scenes true stories on what makes an effective grant submission and how to improve your chance of being approved. This is a dynamic open discussion where students will interact with two of the best in the business. You will come away with tremendous knowledge and insights on how corporations and foundations make their decisions that impact your own organization.

Planned Giving

This course will explain the technical side of planned giving so that participants will learn to enjoy talking to prospects, donors, and colleagues about this black box branch of fundraising that can intimidate many professionals.   Planned giving will be clearly defined. The session will also explain why planned giving is a valuable asset for a nonprofit, who the best prospects are, what the different types of gifts are, and how to start a planned giving program.  Participants will leave with a wealth of resources to enhance the learning experience.

The Anatomy of a Capital Campaign: Why, When and How

The CEO and board of a nonprofit will look to the senior development executive not only for administrative skills, but also as the leader of the next capital campaign – the initiative that will give life to the organization's strategic plan. This session will provide the framework to empower executives to oversee the effort as well as understand the balance between best practices and organizational culture, identify catalysts, and avoid red herrings. The course will use case studies and lessons from active practitioners to focus on campaign readiness, gift table driven fundraising, volunteer recruitment, communications strategies, prospect research, moves management, constituency and regional initiatives, and other contemporary topics. Students will leave the course prepared to succeed in their organization's next campaign, with a comprehensive campaign resource library as well as a network of colleagues to connect with going forward.

Creating Long Term Fundraising Stability and Growth

It is common in nonprofit and fundraising circles to hear discussions about organizations' "culture of philanthropy." In fact, this idea of a culture of philanthropy is often held up as the gold standard for successful fundraising programs. With one, nonprofits become sustainable and can grow. Without one, plans for creating a reliable stream of private donations are likely to wither and die. Where does an organization begin to create its very own culture of philanthropy? This workshop will provide a road map for educating and engaging key influencers at your organization so that, over time, a culture of philanthropy can take root and grow.

Connecting Message to Money

Money makes the nonprofit world go round; a successful nonprofit leader must be cognizant that s/he is not only responsible for the overall management of an organization, but also the funding sources that keep the organization functioning. Success breeds success. It is crucial for funders to understand and be knowledgeable of the organization and its mission, if they are expected to be fully committed. Participants will identify the distinguishing factors between successful fundraising efforts and mediocre campaigns. Most importantly, participants will acquire the skills to self-promote in preparation for a successful development campaign.

Achieving Strategic Alignment: Operations/Mission, Philanthropy and the Board

Maintaining solid operations, delivering on mission, executing a fundraising strategy, and developing a dynamic governing board are critical components to the success of any nonprofit.  This session will explore the challenges associated with achieving strategic alignment amongst these components, as it requires the full effort of its management, employees and board members. Strategic alignment will allow the organization to achieve its vision beyond its expectations. Students will be introduced to a case study encompassing these concepts.

How to Avoid the Fundraising Bermuda Triangle

The fundraising Bermuda triangle is when all three parties: development officer, chief executive and board all point fingers and blame each other for their organization’s lack of success. This is based on a lack of solid knowledge and understanding that each role plays (the triangle) in moving the fundraising initiatives forward. Apparently it is easier to blame others than to own up to their own personal responsibility. It takes a team effort of all three parties; when everyone understands the basic principles of philanthropy and the role each is expected to perform the “Bermuda triangle” can be avoided. This session will address the key roles that must be played by all three parties to unlock your fundraising potential and increase donors and dollars.

An Inspirational Place, An Inspirational Leader: Make-A-Wish Foundation of NJ

Presenter: Tom Weatherall, President & CEO, Make-A-Wish Foundation of NJ

Since 1983, Make-A-Wish New Jersey has brought hope, strength and joy to more than 7,400 seriously-ill children throughout all 21 counties in every city, town, and municipality in the Garden State. The Samuel & Josephine Plumeri Wishing Place is the only one of its kind in America. Meet their visionary thinker, inspirational and highly passionate President & CEO Thomas Weatherall, and tour the new facility that provides an environment that is free of limitations, confinement and stress. This session will stimulate your imagination to achieve your own organization’s vision.

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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