Like many of you, we are pivoting in new ways during this season of COVID-19. Beginning in September we are piloting an online version of the Executive Certificate of Religious Fundraising. New dates for 2021 are forthcoming later this fall. For additional information, please contact us at email@example.com.
Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising
Meeting the growing needs of leaders in religious institutions
The Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising (ECRF) is a four-day intensive course with a practical application project. It provides the research, tools, and customized training to meet the growing needs of leaders in religious communities and fundraisers of faith-based organizations. The focus of the ECRF is on the cultural, organizational, and philanthropic practices unique to religious institutions. These practices in turn enable donors motivated by spiritual and religious values to experience the joy of generous giving.
The ECRF is made up of the following four (4) one-day seminars, selected readings, and a final project.
- Day One: Nurturing Generous Congregations & Organizations
This foundational seminar surveys the changing landscape of religious giving with a focus on the organizational readiness of an institution to engage in effective fundraising. The seminar gives particular attention to the social dynamics and practices nurturing generosity.
The learning objectives for day one are:
- Establish a learning community
- Orientation to the progression of the course
- Establish a framework for religious fundraising: theological, sociological, organizational
- Analyze the congregation or organization: identify challenges and opportunities
- Begin planning and integration of the ECRF project
- Day Two: Nurturing Generous Donors
An experiential seminar in which participants first explore their own giving story and philosophy. The seminar then focuses on the art of donor care through highlighting research on donor profiles and motivations for giving.
The learning objectives for day two are:
- Transition from thinking about organization to thinking about people -- fundraising is about relationships.
- Emphasize the need for leadership with integrity, in order to practice fundraising as ministry.
- Understand our own stories so that we are ready to nurture the generosity of others.
- Develop a sense of the fundraisier's role, the practice of discernment, and donor motivation.
- Day Three: The Practice of Religious Fundraising
The spirituality of fundraising lays the foundation for this practical seminar with an emphasis on fundraising principles, practices, tools, and techniques.
The learning objectives for day three are:
- Embrace the work of fundraising as an element of religious leadership.
- Equip ourselves for effective practice as religious fundraisers -- putting tools into our toolkits, telling effective stories, and inviting others to join in the mission of our work through their generous giving.
- Day Four: Integrating Religious Leadership and Fundraising
The capstone seminar will explore how the faith community talks about money, generosity, and the faithful use of possessions. In this seminar, participants are encouraged to develop a theology of money reflective of their faith tradition.
The learning objectives for day four are:
- Recognize and evaluate the theologies of money that are operating in the organization.
- Integrate the work of religious fundraising at the organizational, individual, and practical level with theological integrity.
- Practice asset-based thinking to strengthen religious imagination.
- Articulate the positive theology of money shaping your leadership as a religious fundraiser.
- Communicate theology with integrity.
215certificates awarded—and counting
92%of attendees said they would recommend this course to others
Who should attend?
The ECRF is designed for religious leaders in faith-based organizations and institutions who wish to learn more about the spirituality of fundraising and gain a core foundation in fundraising principles. The program is open and specifically tailored to all faith traditions.
Typical titles of attendees include:
- Lay leaders
- Judicatory executives
- Development leaders and professionals at faith-based organizations
More details about the ECRF
- Our partners
- Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
- 2017: February 6–9
- 2018: February 5-8
- Berkeley Divinity School at Yale
- 2018: June 4-7
- Christian Theological Seminary
- 2013: June 3–4
- 2014: January 13–14, July 21–22, October 20–21
- 2017: August 7–10
- Duke Divinity School
- 2014: November 10–13
- 2015: November 9–12
- 2016: November 7–10
- 2017: November 6–9
- 2018: November 5-8
- Fuller Theological Seminary
- 2014: August 4–8 in California
- 2015: June 22–26 in California, July 27–31 in Colorado
- 2016: June 20–24
- Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
- 2014: January 27–30
- 2015: January 26–29
- 2016: January 25–28
- Luther Seminary
- 2016: October 17–20
- 2017: May 1–4
- 2018: May 7-10
- Massachusetts Council of Churches
- 2018: October 15-18
- McCormick Theological Seminary
- 2014: June 2–5
- 2015: June 1–4
- 2016: July 25–28
- 2018: July 23-26
- Menucha Retreat and Conference Center
- 2015: October 26–29
- New England Synod
- 2016: May 2–5
- Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
- 2015: January 12–15
- 2016: April 18–21
- Princeton Theological Seminary
- 2015: September 28–October 1
- 2016: September 26–29
- 2017: September 25–28
- 2018: September 24-27
- Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology
- 2013: September 9–13
- 2014: September 8–11
- 2015: August 31–September 3
- 2016: August 8–11
- 2018: August 13-16
- San Francisco Theological Seminary
- 2016: June 6–9
- Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry
- 2017: July 24–27
- Shaw University
- 2014: June 23–26
- Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
- 2017: June 5–8
- Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Registration per participant ranges from $1,300 (early bird rate) to $1,550. Tuition covers the four one-day seminars, certificate curriculum, access to online community, breakfast, and refreshments each day of the course. Host sites that provide meals and lodging may determine a modest cost increase. Additional participant expenses include travel, lodging, other meals, and required readings.
- Required readings
Seminar one: Collins, J. (2005). Good to Great and the Social Sectors.
Seminar two: Robinson, K. (2014). Imagining Abundance.
Freeman, H. (2015). Unlacing the Heart: Connecting with what really matters.
Maimonides, M. “Laws Concerning Gifts to the Poor.” (PDF will be provided)
Seminar three: Nouwen, H. (2011). A Spirituality of Fundraising.
Seminar four: Brueggemann, W. (2016) "Money and Possesions." (PDF will be provided)
Johnson, L. (2006). The Life of Faith and The Faithful Use of Possessions.
Wesley, J. The Use of Money [Sermon 50].
*Additional readings/handouts may be shared upon registration or no later than 30 days prior to the program.
- Guidelines for the final project
Upon completion of the four seminars, participants will apply the concepts learned in the course through designing and implementing a project over the next year at their faith-based institution. Examples of past projects have included designing a year-round stewardship program, the annual giving/fundraising campaign, a special fundraising initiative, development of a planned giving program, an educational program to foster generosity, a leadership development program for staff and/or governing board, ad a pre-campaign planning program.Learn more
- CFRE credit
Complete participation in this course qualifies for 22 CFRE Continuing Education Points.
The ECRF is a program of Lake Institute on Faith & Giving hosted together with leading seminars and institutions across the country. Partners are responsible for administering registration and hosting the course.
Fundraising is precisely the opposite of begging. Rather, we are declaring, we have a vision that is amazing and exciting.Henri Nouwen