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17 Online Nonprofit Fundraising Courses to Build your Expertise

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When I started here at Capterra, I thought I was a decent writer.

I was confident in my skills after working in political journalism, but my editor, Rachel, proved me wrong.

So wrong.

No matter how much I know about content writing, there always seems to be something new for me to learn. Each time I submit a blog post to my editor, I learn about a new practice to employ or a grammatical rule that I didn’t even know existed.

Submit, revise, learn, repeat. I’m a better writer for this process, painful as it may be.

Continuous development is something that nonprofits should care about too. For example, there are plenty of fundraising books to be read and new nonprofit software to try out.

And don’t stop learning more there! There are a ton of great nonprofit fundraising courses worth checking out too.

In fact, I went looking for the best.

Nonprofit fundraising courses

I have compiled a list of seventeen nonprofit fundraising courses for fundraisers of all skill levels, whether you are starting new in the field or you want to brush up on what is new in fundraising.

Course providers are arranged in alphabetical order and include course details as well as prices.

Association of Fundraising Professionals

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is a decades old organization dedicated to educating and supporting professionals in the nonprofit sector. They help raise money for various charitable causes around the world and provide courses in all various forms of philanthropic work.

1. AFP Fundraising Principles and Practice Education Course

If you are looking for official certification for everything there is to know about fundraising, then AFP’s fundraising principles course is exactly what you need. This class will help you earn 24 points towards your CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) education.

In this course, you learn theories and essential skills to boost your fundraising abilities, advance your career, and prepare you for leadership roles, all in fundraising for nonprofits.

This course is offers a mixture of online and in-person classroom time, held in Arlington, Virginia.

CFRE Points: 24

Price: AFP Members: $3,499/Non-members: $3,999

Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership

The Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership is a department of the Susanne M Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University. Their mission is to educate future nonprofit leaders and provide resources to current nonprofit organizations.

2. Donor Relations: Maintaining Strong Relationships with Your Donors

This online course dives into strategies for building and maintaining strong relationships with your donors.

CRFE Points: 8

Price: $234 for AFP members/ $275 for non-members

3. Essentials of Gift Administration

It’s important to know how, when, and where you grants are used. This course will teach you all of the ins-and-outs of managing and administering your grants to ensure efficiency and donor intent compliance.

CFRE Points: 8

Price: $234 for AFP members/$275 for non-members

4. Fundraising Analytics: Leveraging the Power of Data

There is a lot to gain from analyzing your constituent data and acting on that information to increase the efficiency of your fundraising. This course will introduce you to all of the latest tools and best practices for harnessing your data.

CRFE Points: 8

Price: $234 for AFP members/$275 for non-members

5. Fundraising Systems Management, Reporting, and Business Intelligence

Before you analyze your nonprofit data, it’s important to manage, organize, and report on said data. Here you will learn best practices for data collection, how to organize that data, and boil it down into effective reports.

CFRE Points: 8

Price: $234 for AFP members/$275 for non-members

6. Fundamentals of Constituent Relationship Management

Your constituents include all of your current donors as well as your follower base and prospective donors. It is important to do everything you can to develop that relationship and this course will teach you all of the activities and strategies you can employ to do just that. This includes relationship management, data analysis, reporting, and identifying what the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit leadership calls the “clogs” in the fundraising pipeline.

CFRE Points: 8

Price:$234 for AFP members/$275 for non-members

7. Prospect Research and Analysis

What makes for a quality lead for a prospective donor? This course answers that question with techniques for identifying quality prospective donors.

CFRE Points: 8

Price:$234 for AFP members/$275 for non-members

Grantspace

Grantspace is an educational wing of the Foundation Center, a massive informational resource for philanthropy, fundraising, and grant programs. Grantspace offers several nonprofit fundraising courses–some for free and others for a price–all listed here:

8. Getting Started with Government Grants

This two-part webinar course goes into depth on government grants. Part one explores the readiness of your nonprofit organization to start seeking out government grants, while the second covers all aspects of writing a government grant proposal.

CFRE Points: 1.5

Price: $45 for each individual session or $80 for both

9. How to Cultivate Meaningful Relationships with Funders

Learn to build quality relationships with major donors and grant providers with this hour-and-a-half course filled with tips, best practices, and plans for maintaining your connections.

CFRE Points: 1.25

Price: $25.00

10. Introduction to Corporate Giving

Kick off your exploration into corporate giving, including the types of corporate giving, motivations for corporate giving, and how to find corporate donors.

CFRE Points: 1.25

Price: Free

11. Introduction to Fundraising Planning

Similar to the corporate giving course, this webinar course sets your foundation for planning out your fundraising campaigns. Here you will learn how to present your fundraising case, how to diversify your donor base, and how to create an actionable plan.

CFRE Points: 1.25

Price: Free

12. Loving Your Mid-level Donors: Creating a Retention Program

Donor retention is a crucial task when fundraising and Grantspace will teach you how to identify your everyday donors and create a plan to make sure those who are giving, keep giving.

CFRE Points: 1.5

Price: $45.00

13. Your Board and Fundraising

While your board of directors are there to help make large scale decisions about your organization, they are also valuable assets for fundraising. This webinar course will educate you on the role of your board, how to encourage your board to fundraise, ways they can participate, and how to strengthen your board as a whole.

CFRE Points: None

Price: Free

The Nonprofit Center Fundraising Certificate

14. La Salle University’s School of Business offers over fifty classes regarding nonprofit fundraising and management including this comprehensive course on nonprofit fundraising through their Nonprofit Center. This paid online course covers all major aspects of philanthropic fundraising, including:

  • Individual and major gifts campaigns
  • Corporate sponsorship programs
  • Direct mail
  • Grant seeking and management
  • Development best practices
  • Fundraising events
  • Legacy giving programs
  • Fundraising tools
  • Fundraising fundamentals

CFRE Points: 54

Price: Member rate: $1,032/Non-member rate: $1,431

5. Nonprofit Ready

Nonprofit Ready is an educational organization “developed by nonprofits and experts in eLearning to help nonprofit and social sector professionals deliver on their missions.” Nonprofit Ready offers courses in all sectors of philanthropy, including the following nonprofit fundraising courses:

15. Grantsmanship Essentials Pack

This program goes over the basics of finding relevant grant programs, ideologically aligned funders, and preparing grant proposals. The course run time is an hour and fifty minutes.

CFRE Points: None

Price: Free

16. Introduction to Fundraising Planning

This fifteen minute video covers the basic steps necessary to build your fundraising plan

CFRE Points: None

Price: Free

17. Quick Guide to Online Fundraising

This quick five minute video will give you a basic overview of online fundraising tactics, how to segment your data, and how to test and optimize your online fundraising efforts.

CFRE Points: None

Price: Free

More resources for nonprofit professionals

These nonprofit fundraising courses will help you learn all that you need to know to either enter the nonprofit sector or build on your existing philanthropic career.

Are there any classes you have taken that you would recommend for this list or any classes your organization offers that you feel are relevant? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below.

The Capterra nonprofit blog is a useful resource for learning about the newest additions in nonprofit software as well as other technological and industry updates. There is plenty more for you to learn outside of fundraising:

Looking for Nonprofit software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Nonprofit software solutions.

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About the Author

Nick Morpus

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Nick Morpus is a Content Writer for Capterra, a free resource that matches buyers and sellers of business software. He has a background in politics, economics, and journalism, which he dedicates his off-time to contributing his thoughts to other political sites. In his free-time he enjoys reading, drawing, photography, playing guitar, writing, and cooking.

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