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Fundraising & Development Certificate

Are you frustrated or intimidated by fundraising? Looking for the confidence, knowledge, and skill necessary to strengthen your organization’s development program?

Join us to grow your fundraising superpowers and build your nonprofit’s impact!

Designed for small to mid-sized nonprofits, this six-month program will demystify fundraising and give you the knowledge and tools to needed to create a development plan and fundraise successfully for your organization. You will learn in a collaborative and hands-on environment consisting of interactive trainings, peer-learning circles, and individualized coaching.

As a participant in this program you will:

  • Learn specific development skills including how to:
    • Write stronger donor-centered and personalized fundraising appeals which speak directly to your donors.
    • Produce grant proposals that get funded.
    • Strengthen your stewardship program to retain your donors by building meaningful partnerships.
    • Manage your time and plan your calendar with more clarity and focus.
    • Connect with donors, listen carefully, and successfully make a face-to-face ask to support your worthy nonprofit!
  • Integrate new ideas and skills with the support of your peer learning circle and one-on-one individualized coaching.
  • Build your confidence as part of a collaborative learning community of nonprofit professionals.
  • Leave with your own personalized Development Plan, skills and tools to guide your work, and increased confidence to put your skills into action.

What to expect from this program

What: Six full days of in-person training, seven online facilitated peer-learning sessions, plus 2-4 hours of one-on-one coaching with our trainers.

When: Feb-June 2019: Each month you will participate in a full-day face-to-face workshop and a facilitated peer-learning call, for a total of five workshops and five peer-learning calls. In person workshops will be on the second Tuesday of each month: Feb 12, Mar 12, Apr 9, May 14, June 11.

July-August 2019: You will build your organizational Development Plan with the help of our coaches. There will be two peer-learning calls to support your work on your plan during these summer months.

September 10, 2019: Final session to share your Development Plans and celebrate your hard work and success.

Where: Monthly in-person trainings will take place in Barre, Vermont at the Downstreet Community Space.

Who: Our Development and Fundraising Certificate Program is designed for leaders, staff members, and volunteers at small and mid-sized nonprofits who are interested in making long-term improvements in their ability to raise funds and develop ongoing relationships with donors. There are great benefits to bringing a team; we welcome more than one participant from your organization and encourage your executive director to attend.

What will you be learning?

Proposed Training Topic Schedule:

Throughout the sessions we will focus on building a strong individual gift program through respectful relationship-based fundraising.

February: Development Overview and Planning—What makes your development and marketing plan successful? We will set the stage for goal setting and putting structures in place.

March: Donor Relations/Stewardship—How can you include our donors in the important work of your organization? We will work together to learn to communicate effectively to engage your donors and will explore multiple points of engagement including how to run productive events.

April: Fundraising Appeals—How can you develop donor-centered print and e-appeals? We will learn best practices for personalization of your appeals that speak directly to your donors.

May: Proposal Writing and Grant Writing—What make makes a good proposal? We will learn time tested tools of the trade to learn to write proposals that get funded. Also, Databases/Managing/Reporting—How can you manage your database so it is efficient and provides what you need? We will review best practices in managing your data and reporting to meet your organization and donor needs.

June: Solicitation/Asking—How to engage with your donors as partners in your organization’s work. What is the process involved in asking for face-to-face contribution and how do board members fit into this? Together we will go over the format of an asking conversation and practice an intentional gift conversation using the Connecting Conversations model. Your board members are invited to attend this session.

July and August: Work on Development Plans—Over the Summer, you will work on your development plans. You may choose to have one of the coaching sessions happen over the summer to support your work.

Early September: Kick-Off Fundraising Season Event—Join together with the cohort team and share your development plan and celebrate the start of the fundraising season.

Tuition and financial aid

Tuition for the Fundraising and Development Certificate is $2500 per participant. A $250 deposit will be due upon acceptance into the program.

Past participants in Center for New Leadership programs have received financial assistance through VSAC’s Non-Degree Grant and TD Bank’s Nonprofit Resources Grant. Former Americorps and VISTA volunteers may be able to use their Segal Education Award to offset tuition costs.

About the Lead Trainer

Jenn HayslettJenn Hayslett, principal at Jenn Hayslett Coaching and Consulting, brings 25 years of leadership experience as a successful fundraiser, manager, facilitator, and trainer to her work as a coach and non-profit consultant. Jenn has direct experience in all areas of fundraising and marketing for small to mid-sized nonprofits including design and management of annual operations fundraising, major gift solicitation and stewardship, capital campaign organization and management, grant writing, marketing, community organizing, and volunteer management. Her specialty is in supporting board members and staff in building and improving relationship-based fund development programs.


Here’s what training participants had to say about our lead trainer, Jenn Hayslett:

“This fundraising session was one of THE best trainings I have attended—ever.”

“Jenn is a highly skilled, experienced, and energetic presenter, with a wonderful way of encouraging participation and interaction….I heard nothing but rave reviews from our board members, who tell me they feel much more prepared to not only ‘make the ask’ but also to deepen relationships with our donors. I recommend her to other organizations without hesitation!”

“Loved all the positive, genuine vibes in the room. The presenter is amazing and is so moved and fulfilled by what she does. It was so beautiful to see.”

“This workshop helped give me deeper context into the relationships with donors, and strengthened my understanding of the critical need for donor stewardship throughout that relationship.”

“Jenn brought a contagious enthusiasm that resonated with me and other members of our group. She blended the delivery of content (while) providing a solid balance between conversation she led, peer-work, and general discussion.”


(a mostly random selection of Marlboro microdestinations)