The Association Fundraising Executive Certificate Program

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    • Animal Welfare Professional Member - $199
    • Student Member - $199
    • Industry Partner Member - $199
    • Learning Non-member - $325

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* Designed for individuals with more than 2 years of professional fundraising experience. These six self-paced courses provide an advanced level of fundraising knowledge to animal welfare leaders, especially Executive Directors and development team leaders.

Modules in the Fundraising Executive Program:

I. Program Evaluation
II. Planned Giving
III. Effective Boards
IV. Prospect Research
V. Major Donors & Campaigns
VI. Grant Writing 

Each module contains:

  • A training video which runs 40-65 minutes
  • 2-3 relevant articles to read in advance of watching each module’s video.  These articles will be referenced and discussed during each video. 
  • A few questions to answer in your course workbook *
  • 1-5 activities to complete ** 

** Optional but highly recommended!

Upon completion of the course, participants will be provided with two hours of virtual coaching with the course developer, Mike Buckley, to review an in-depth evaluation of their program, discuss the major takeaways, and answer any additional questions the participants may have.

Plan to spend at least 8 hours on this program. You may earn 8 hours of CAWA CE upon successful completion of the Fundraising Professional Certificate Program. This program has also been approved by CFRE for 8 CEs.


Less than two years of fundraising experience? See The Association Fundraising Professional Certificate Program


Modules in the Fundraising Executive Program:

I. Program Evaluation

There are multiple ways to evaluate the health of your fundraising program beyond your total dollars raised.  Often times, organizations are focused solely on achieving a dollar goal that they 
are not paying close enough attention to other important metrics within their program. Review the top ten indicators every organization should know; discuss strategies to have a positive impact on these metrics; and integrate metrics into staff evaluation 

II. Planned Giving

Planned Gifts are an uptapped opportunity for most animal welfare non-profits. Review simple will bequest language and effective marketing strategies; discuss creation of a Planned Giving Advisors committee and a Gift Acceptance Policy; and discuss donor advised funds and additional complex planned giving vehicles. 

III. Effective Boards

An effective board of directors for any non-profit organization must be willing to share their time, talent, and treasure. Boards of Directors have a fiduciary responsibly to the organization 
and play a critical role in advancing the mission of the organization. Review strategies for board member recruitment and retention plus how to handle departures; consider common expectations for board members; and discuss effective board governance. 

IV. Prospect Research 

Prospect research is an important tool that empowers staff to learn more about their current donors and communicate with them more effectively. Discover cost-effective tools for prospect research; develop individual donor profiles for prospects; and develop individual donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans 

V. Major Donors & Campaigns

Major Gift and\or Capital Campaigns are monumental opportunities for non-profit organizations. These efforts are significant undertakings and should be entered into only after careful planning and evaluation.  A successful campaign effort will raise funds, exposure, and capacity for the organization. Discover basic components of a campaign effort, including feasibility studies; discuss important fundamental steps to take leading up to campaign efforts; and discuss hiring outside counsel, attracting and retaining staff and board member involvement.  

VI. Grant Writing 

Grant writing is both an art and a science and requires planning, data collection, and data-based projected outcomes. Grants are also important opportunities to support current programs 
within your organization. Learn how to research grant opportunities; discuss data gathering; and understand project evaluation techniques.

Michael J. Buckley, CFRE

President, The Killoe Group

A career fundraiser, Michael J. Buckley, CFRE is a non-profit consultant, coach, and speaker whose work focuses on small and medium-sized non-profit organizations.  As President of The Killoe Group, Mike's extensive experience includes annual campaign audits and management, capital campaign leadership, feasibility studies, interim and ad-hoc program leadership, board governance and capacity building. 

Previous to his consulting career, Mike served as the Chief Philanthropy & External Affairs Officer at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society in Albany, NY. In this role, Mike had overall responsibility for unrestricted, capital and legacy giving as well as strategically increasing the exposure of the organization.  Mike lead the organization’s first capital campaign which resulted in a 24,000 square foot state-of-the-art Animal Care Center.

The Association asked Mike to develop these two certificate programs after his presentation at our Spring Conference in 2019.

Components visible upon registration.