Now Accepting Applications for the Class of 2020

9:00 am – 4:30 pm
$2500 ($1250 per semester)*  |  $2100 for AFP members ($1050 per semester)
* Eligible for AmeriCorps education award funds and Hazlewood Act tuition exemption program


The Certificate in Effective Fundraising (CEF) offers a comprehensive and systematic exploration of the key competencies required to be a self-aware, confident, reflective, ethical fundraising professional with a strong sense of professionalism, commitment and passion for the nonprofit sector.

CEF is a comprehensive and systematic learning opportunity for:

  • A professional or volunteer fundraiser seeking greater competence and career advancements;
  • Someone looking to make a career change and wants a comprehensive and systematic way to acquire the competencies needed to be an ethical and effective fundraiser;
  • A graduate of a nonprofit academic program and looking for a pragmatic, experience-based learning opportunity that will help advance in your career;
  • A fundraising professional seeking further education and credits toward your CFRE.

CEF builds on the success of Center for Nonprofits’ other Certificates in Nonprofit Leadership & Management, Grant Writing, Volunteer Management, and Marketing and Promotion for Nonprofits, with their combined alumni of 673 individuals.

Participants will receive 80 CFRE Continuing Education Points upon full completion of the program. Full participation in Certificate in Effective Fundraising is applicable for 80 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or re-certification.

Application Deadline: January 10, 2020

The Philanthropic Tradition and Basic Principles of Fundraising
  • CEF Orientation: Logistics and Expectations

  • The Philanthropic Tradition:

    Ashley Thompson, Managing Director, Blackbaud Institute for Philanthropic Impact  

    In order to move forward, it’s important to know where you are. In this session, Ashley Thompson will give you a broad overview of the state of philanthropy, fundraising, engagement, and more. You’ll learn about macro and micro trends shaping the social good sector, hear who your donors are and how they like to give, and get a bird’s eye view of what’s next.

  • Basic Principles of Fundraising:

    Pam Benson Owens, VP of Business Development, Fayruz Benyousef Consulting, will explore mission, vision and values centered fundraising; the diverse nature of what constitutes fundraising; the integration of fundraising within an organization and fundraising staffing, policies and procedures; ROPES, and a general introduction to the fundraising profession.

Legal, Regulatory and Ethical Considerations
  • MariBen Ramsey, Lawyer, Philanthropy Expert, Former Vice President and Legal Counsel, Austin Community Foundation, will explore the legal and ethical context of fundraising; Texas regulated fundraising issues (e.g., consumer fraud and gambling); Internal Revenue Service regulations (e.g., Section 501 (c)(3) considerations); the theoretical context of fundraising (e.g., Philanthropy theories, accountability and economy); and professional ethics and excellence (e.g., AFP professional code of ethics); different motivations and ways diverse groups relate to giving and fundraising; and ethical considerations.
Annual Giving and the Annual Development Process
  • Brett J Barnes, CFRE, CFRM, Senior Director of Development, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, will explore annual giving as a strategy/program, and the development of an annual giving plan; the different forms of annual giving (e.g., cash, appreciated securities); direct mail; special events; raffles’ principles of proportionate giving; and individual giving; marketing strategies and tools.
Researching Prospects and Funding Sources
Grants – Corporate and Foundation Perspectives
  • Nikki Graham, Austin Market President, Bank of America, will explore trends and practical considerations in soliciting and receiving grants and donations from corporations and foundations; how to build lasting mutually beneficial relationships; and evaluating effectiveness of seeking and receiving such funding.
  • A panel of the CEOs of leading area foundations will share insights and perspectives; and participate in cultivation and solicitation role playing.
Risk Management for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Melanie Herman, Executive Director of Nonprofit Risk Management Center in Washington, DC will explore Risk Management Basics, such as: What is Risk? What is Risk Management?; Risk Management Paths & Cycle; Taking Action throughout the 5 Phases of the RM Cycle; 4 Action Items: Building an Effective RM Program; 7 Top Risks and Troubling Traps; Harmonizing Risk & Reward in Volunteer Management.
Capital Campaigns
  • Kristi Katz, CFRE, Chief Development Officer, Trinity Episcopal School, will explore the development of a capital campaign; its management and leadership; underlying motivations of givers; conducting a feasibility study; developing the case for support; researching, cultivating, and soliciting prospects; donor recognition; establishing naming opportunities; and capital campaign management and leadership (e.g., volunteer leadership, steering committee).
Creating an Organizational Culture that Supports Fundraising – A Culture of Philanthropy
  • Cookie Gregory Ruiz, CFRE, Executive Director, Ballet Austin, will explore creating a climate of “giving” within your organization; its integration into every aspect of organizational goals, strategies and initiatives; the role of the Board in fundraising; effective use of volunteer leadership; identifying, recruiting and supporting fundraising volunteers; and creating fundraising advisory entities to support organizational initiatives.
Donor Publics and Donor Centric Communications & Use of Social Media and E-Giving
  • Christine Rogers, SparkFarm, Co-founder & PR Principal, will explore fundraising communications for individuals, corporations and foundations; the importance of identifying and cultivating the various publics appropriate to the fundraising initiative; and analyze participants’ communications strategies and tools. Will also explore giving and promotion via various online strategies and tools; day of giving; and programming like Ice Bucket Challenge.
Financial Management, Accounting and Financing
  • Dena Jansen, CPA, formerly of Maxwell Locke Ritter, will explore the financial management processes required to administer and insure compliance of fundraising operations; the relationship between the fundraiser and the organization’s financial managers; and the impact and implications of nonprofit financial audits for agency fundraising.
Diversity and Donor Motivations
  • Pam Owens, VP of Business Development, Fayruz Benyousef Consulting, will explore the diverse value systems of diverse populations a fundraiser may serve; how different cultures express communal responsibility (e.g., Christians engage in charity, Jews engage in tzedekah, Muslims engage in zakah, etc.), and engage in philanthropic activities; understanding the diverse value systems of diverse populations; the different motivations and ways diverse groups relate to giving and fundraising; and ethical considerations.
Major Gifts and Special Projects
  • Donna Budak, FAHP, CFRE, MA, FAHP, CFRE, Vice President Foundation Service Line and Strategy at AMITA Health Foundation, will explore the identification, cultivation and solicitation of major gifts; strategies for recognizing major donors; negotiating major gifts; and endowments.
Planned Giving
  • MariBen Ramsey, Lawyer, Philanthropy Expert, Former Vice President and Legal Counsel, Austin Community Foundation, will explore the various financial vehicles available to potential donors; the pros and cons of each vehicle for donors and the receiving agency; the research process involved prior to solicitation; and the process and practicalities of establishing a planned giving program.
Event Planning
  • Sandy Alcalá, Owner/Designer at EPIC Event Design, LLC, will focus on the use of special events to complement annual and capital campaigning initiatives; exploring the most effective use of events to achieve fundraising success.  Attention will be given to considering use of an silent and/ or live auction, initial planning and budgeting, organization and timing, location, venue requirements and negotiations, food and beverage and other considerations essential to ensuring attendees enjoy themselves and your cause benefits from their participation
Engaging Future Generations
  • Jessica Weaver, CPA, community philanthropist and nonprofit consultant will explore developing and delivering programs that promote philanthropic motivation among the young; giving circles; and other strategies and tools that ensure philanthropic continuity with Central Texas.
  • Panel of community leaders engaged in developing and delivering philanthropic programming for future leaders and givers.
  • Closing Thoughts & Class evaluation of Certificate experience.
CFRE Continuing Education Points
Participants will receive 80 CFRE Continuing Education Points upon full completion of the program. Full participation in Certificate in Effective Fundraising is applicable for 80 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or re-certification.

Participation in the Certificate in Effective Fundraising may assist you in learning or reviewing concepts covered on the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) examination as detailed on the Test Content Outline provided by CFRE International. CFREInternational does not sponsor or endorse any educational programs and the Certificate in Effective Fundraising was not developed in conjunction with CFRE International.

2020 Class Dates
Jan 31, Feb 21, Mar 13, Apr 3, Apr 24, May 15, Jun 5, Jun 26, Jul 31, Aug 21, Sep 11, Oct 2, Oct 23, Nov 13, Dec 4, 2020

Meet the CEF Alumni