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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Nonprofit Fundraising Executive Certificate

Nonprofit Fundraising
Executive Certificate


Basic Principles and Methodologies of Fundraising

For-profit organizations rely on sales, and government agencies depend on appropriations—but nonprofits are sustained by donor contributions. Although many nonprofits earn income from revenue-generating activities, such as ticket and gift shop sales, program service fees, and special events, they still rely on contributions to support many of public and client-facing services.

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November 1-2, 2022
Hawks Hall, 730 N. 14th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588
Register Now
Register by Tuesday, October 25
Cost assistance opportunities are available. Email for more information.

Key Benefits

Like strategic planning, financial planning or human resource planning, a nonprofit’s fundraising program must be designed to fit the unique nature of that organization. This program will help you sharpen your fundraising skills as we explore proven principles and methodologies of fundraising.

Who Should Attend?

Nonprofit executives responsible for fundraising, marketing and communications, human resources and volunteer management, and operations.

Nonprofit leaders (executive directors), board members and community leaders.

Program Content and Objectives

The overall goal of this program is to gain a better understanding of the basic principles and methodologies of fundraising, and of how fundraising fits into nonprofit executives’ broader management responsibilities.

  1. Understand the context and philosophy of fundraising in nonprofit organizations. The following framework topics will be explored:
    • Annual fund campaigns
    • Case for support
    • Corporate and grant support
    • Fundraising events
    • Major giving
    • Prospect research
  2. Describe the key characteristics of American donors, as well as their major motives for giving.
  3. Explain the framework for a fundraising plan, and how that plan fits into the nonprofit’s overall strategy.
  4. Describe the role of stewardship and recognition in facilitating donor relations.
  5. Discuss the elements of a successful planned giving program.
Program Schedule
Day 1
8:30 - 9 a.m. Program and Participant Introduction
9 - 10:30 a.m. Fundraising Planning
The Individual Donor | Fundraising Objectives |Performance Measures
10:30 - 10:45 a.m. Break with Refreshments
10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. How to Ask for Money
12 - 1 p.m. Lunch
1 - 2:30 p.m. The Annual Fund Campaign
Direct Response Fundraising | Acquisition Planning |The Fundraising Message
2:30 - 2:45 p.m. Break with Refreshments
2:45 - 4:15 p.m. Prospect Research
How to Find Prospective Donors | Local and National Press | Special Databases
4:15 - 4:45 p.m. Applied Learning from the Day's Activities
4:45 - 5 p.m. Wrap-up
8:30 - 8:45 a.m. Program Introduction – Day 2
8:45 - 10:15 a.m. Working with Major Donors
Characteristics of Major Donors | Motives of Major Givers | Stewardship
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. Break with Refreshments
10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. Planned Giving
Donor Motivation | Planned Giving Vehicles | Stewardship
12 - 1 p.m. Lunch
1 - 2:30 p.m. Corporate Giving and Fundraising
Why Corporations Give | Sponsorships | Relationship Management
2:30 - 2:45 p.m. Break with Refreshments
2:45 - 4:15 p.m. Fundraising Events
Types and Purposes of Fundraising Events | Evaluating Fundraising Events
4:15 - 4:45 p.m. Applied Learning from the Day's Activities
4:45 - 5 p.m. Wrap-up
Jim Croft
Jim Croft, Ph.D.

Jim Croft is a principal with JW Croft Consulting Group (JWCCG) in Chicago. JWCCG brings leadership and financial management experience to the nonprofit community and is positioned to help organizations meet strategic objectives and achieve their mission.

In addition to his work at JWCCG, Croft is a member of the MBA faculty at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he teaches nonprofit management, nonprofit financial management and fundraising. He also teaches nonprofit financial management at the Kellogg School of Management Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University.

From 1984 to 2015, he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for the Field Museum in Chicago. In addition to leading the institution’s financial operations, he was responsible for facilities management and several other operating units. For several years he served concurrently as the museum’s chief development officer, managing the annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, and corporate and foundation giving programs. He was also responsible for a major capital campaign that successfully concluded in 2008.

Croft also held several positions in The Salvation Army where he served as a community center executive director, finance officer and chief business officer. He has also served on several nonprofit governing boards.

In 2016, he received a four-year appointment to the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) Nonprofit Advisory Committee (NAC). NAC members serve as advisors to FASB staff as they consider accounting standards that are used by U.S. nonprofit organizations.

He received a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where his doctoral work was in higher education leadership with research focused on nonprofit financial management. He also studied business administration and management at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Roosevelt University and National Louis University.

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Matthew W. Charlton
Matthew W. Charlton, Ph.D.

Matthew Charlton is an experienced nonprofit leader and fundraiser with an interest in creating and supporting vibrant organizations oriented around trust and excellence.

Charlton teaches at Belmont University in Nashville, and works as a regional philanthropy officer for the American Red Cross. Previously, he served as a major gift officer for a capital campaign, and has consulted with many organizations on administrative issues, strategy and priority setting, and organizational storytelling to reach donors and supporters.

He is an ordained clergyperson in the United Methodist Church, serving both in local churches and as an executive supporting higher education-related programs around the world. This work has resulted in leading the Oxford Institute Foundation, a new global fund supporting the work of emerging scholars.

Charlton holds a Ph.D. in theological studies from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ilinois, and master’s degrees in both divinity and arts in religion from Vanderbilt University. Currently completing a master’s degree in strategic communication and leadership at Belmont University, he is a research fellow at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and was previously appointed as a research associate at Wesley House in Cambridge.

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Katy Scrogin
Katy Scrogin, Ph.D.

Katy Scrogin is a nonprofit practitioner and educator dedicated to the importance of financial literacy. Having taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, she also conducts prospect research and works with development teams to craft fundraising appeals and communications.

Before moving into independent consulting, Dr. Scrogin served as the vice president for programming at the Chicago Sunday Evening Club (CSEC). In addition to producing and contributing to daily and weekly podcasts at CSEC, she planned, constructed and monitored the organization’s operating budget, and also prepared financial reports for management and the board of directors.

Dr. Scrogin holds a Ph.D. in religion from Claremont Graduate University, a master of theological studies from Vanderbilt University, and a BA in German and Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin. She also serves as a writer, editor and translator, and holds an editing certificate from the Graham School at the University of Chicago.

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Program Materials, Accommodations and Fees
  • Materials are included and will be provided at the beginning of the program
  • Registration includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and parking
  • Program fee is $650 per person subject to standard cancellation policy


Center for Executive and Professional Development
HLH 201