Professional Fundraising Certificate

Professional Fundraising Certificate of Completion (Live Online)

New! Begins Fall 2024

The Professional Fundraising Certificate program at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) is designed to teach the fundamental yet critical skills necessary to work as a professional fund raiser. The curriculum strengthens the skills of those already working in the industry and provides a strong foundation for those seeking a profession in fundraising. The program provides an overview of the industry and information regarding resources, professional organizations, and career possibilities. Each session will provide in-depth information in the critical aspects of fundraising, thereby providing students with a sound basis upon which to successfully raise funds, and to decide on their direction in the profession and successful fundraising.

The Professional Fundraising Certificate is designed to teach students the basic principles of fundraising as it relates to institutional funders. It covers the basic dynamics of corporate and foundation funding including statistical data. It also explores the fundamentals of grants and grant writing, and developing proposals for institutional funding consideration. Other funding sources that are studied include churches, civic groups, employee giving programs, corporate foundations, and family foundations. 

Instructor Expertise – Interactive – Presentations – Industry Speakers – Project-Based Learning

Certified Fund Raising ExecutiveFull participation in the Professional Fundraising Program at CSUDH is applicable for 36 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

In this interactive live online, instructor-led program, participants will be equipped with knowledge and tools such as templates, case studies, and check lists to apply to real-life fund raising experiences. Group activities, projects and simulations enable students to amass hands-on experience and project-based learning. Each session includes time to work on the project component associated with that session’s topics. 

The program will also give participants the opportunity to practice and demonstrate their comprehension of program materials and presentation skills. Using the fund raising tools taught, students will prepare and present various aspects of fundraising activities.

In addition to the professional expertise of the program instructor, guest speakers (industry experts) will be included in various sessions to provide additional perspective and knowledge.


What You Will Learn


Fundraising Statistics and Key Data Points
Ethics in Fundraising
Fundraising Departmental Structures

Donor Behavior, Donor Retention, Donor Stewardship 
Building and Maintaining an Individual Donor File
Building Donor Loyalty

Direct Marketing Concepts 
Appeals, Newsletters, Digital Fundraising
The Future of Direct Marketing in Fundraising: AI

Building a Multi-Channel Annual Development Plan
Basic Analytics and Key Performance Indicator 
Measuring the Success of the Program

Corporate & Foundation Giving 
Other Institutional Funders
Planned Giving Concepts and Programs

Engaging the Board in Fundraising
Event Fundraising


Professional Fundraising Program Objectives & Learning Outcomes

To provide a general fundraising education program that covers the basics of fund development for those working in a non-profit organization, or those desiring to enter the field of fundraising, as well as preparing students who want to pursue the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) certification.

  1. Understand the fundamental concepts of fundraising.
  2. Gain the ability to develop an annual fund raising plan for a non-profit organization.
  3. Know the key performance indicators of fundraising and what is important to measure.
  4. Develop skills in how to approach major funders and how to write good proposals.
  5. Understand the importance of a multi-channel fundraising program and multiple revenue sources.
  6. Develop the ability to write good marketing materials and what makes a good appeal.
  7. Develop skills in digital marketing and online fundraising programs and channels.
  8. Understand the importance of Moves Management as it applies to major donor fundraising.


Who Should Attend

The course is designed as an introductory course in fundraising. It includes practical application in addition to theory. The course should appeal to those looking to get into the industry, as well as those working in the non-profit sector including Executive Directors, fundraising staff and even board members who want to be better fundraisers.

Eligibility Requirements

This program is open to all individuals interested in learning about fundraising.

Careers in Professional Fundraising: Employment Outlook

Employment of fundraisers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations at the national level. In California, this rate is projected at 10 percent growth. 

About 9,900 openings for fundraisers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Job Titles Include:

Assistant Directors of Annual Giving, Development Associates & Officers, Directors of Fund Development, Directors of Individuals Giving, Foundation Officers, Fulfillment Managers, Grant Writers, Grants Administrators, Major Gifts Officers, Philanthropy Managers, Planned Giving Officers


Program Takeaways

  1. Template for an annual fundraising plan (also a portfolio piece)
  2. Templates for major donor letters
  3. Templates for monthly appeals and newsletters
  4. Templates for donor analytics and results measurement
  5. Template for digital fundraising program
  6. Resources for fundraising information: Books, Blogs, Podcasts, websites
  7. Foundational information for taking the CFRE examination
  8. Blueprint for building a good development department


Certificate Requirements

This program provides Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and is graded on a Credit (CR)/No Credit (NC) basis. Nationally recognized standards govern attendance requirements to earn CEU credit. Students must attend and complete all 12 sessions of the program and project to receive a Credit grade. Students will be evaluated based on their attendance, class participation, and the completion of assignments and projects.

A Digital Badge and Certificate of Completion will be awarded upon the completion of the program. The program certificate may be requested via CCPE Certificate Request online application. The certificate includes both a digital badge/certificate link and a printed physical certificate. A permanent record of attendance is established and students may obtain a copy of their transcript by visiting

Campus Location

Classes are held online via Zoom, and are convenient for people living and working in or near Los Angeles, Torrance, Long Beach, Carson, Compton, El Segundo, Lomita, Harbor City, Palos Verdes, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, San Pedro, Lawndale, Hawthorne, Gardena, Westchester, Ladera Heights, Lakewood, Paramount, Bellflower, Downey, Inglewood, Wilmington, and other parts of the South Bay and Southern California.


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Instructor Profiles

Christopher DoyleChristopher Doyle, CFRE

Christopher Doyle has spent more than 35 years in the non-profit world leading the resource development efforts of local, national and international charities. Through his efforts to build exceptional teams, focus efforts and effectively allocate resources, tens of millions of dollars have been channeled to worthy programs and needy people around the world.

Chris most recently served as the Director of Development for The Midnight Mission, located in the heart of the homelessness crisis on Los Angeles' Skid Row. Chris led a team of 10 development staff charged with raising an annual goal of $7 million to fund the mission’s budget to help the homeless and those in need.

Before joining The Midnight Mission team, Chris served as the VP of Development for the Los Angeles Mission, one of the oldest and largest gospel rescue missions in the United States. Together with his 15-member development team, he raised over $10 million in contributions to support the programs and services of the mission located in the heart of Skid Row.

Prior to serving at the LA Mission, Mr. Doyle served as the VP and Client Services Lead for Brewer Direct, Inc a direct marketing agency in Monrovia, CA. Chris was responsible for all aspects of client services for the agency whose client base includes over 30 rescue missions from across the United States.

Prior to working at Brewer, Chris was the Executive Director of Development for the Salvation Army, Southern California Division, which is the largest division in the Western Territory of The Army. Chris managed a department of 25 staff and was responsible for raising $20 million in current revenue along with $15 million in estate gifts.

Mr. Doyle served as the Executive Director of African Enterprise from 2010–2012. AE has field offices in ten African countries and has over 50 years of experience in reaching the urban areas of Africa through a stratified evangelism process. Chris led the fundraising efforts for the US office connecting with donors and churches across the country.

Mr. Doyle was President and Chief Executive Officer of American Leprosy Missions from 1995–2010, securing financial resources for the organization, managing the agency's development plan, and fulfilling ALM's mission and vision to eliminate leprosy and its consequences. ALM is the United States' oldest and largest non-profit organization dedicated to the care and treatment of people with Hansen's disease worldwide. In 2001, ALM received the Award for Excellence in Fundraising from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), the highest honor bestowed by the association.

From 1988–1994, Mr. Doyle was state director of Bethany Christian Services of South Carolina.  With five offices in the state and headquarters in Columbia, Bethany is the largest non-profit, private child-placing agency in South Carolina.

Mr. Doyle has served on numerous boards including the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) and is currently a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Los Angeles area Chapter. He received his CFRE certification in 2016.

Mr. Doyle served in the United States Marine Corps for ten years and received an honorable discharge.

Mr. Doyle graduated cum laude with a B.A. from Columbia International University and an Associate Degree in Business from Greenville Technical College. He has done graduate work at Clemson University and the University of South Carolina and holds a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from Clemson.

Financial Assistance

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Request for Certificate Award

Certificate Award

A certificate is awarded upon completion of all required (and when applicable, select elective) courses.

  Once you have completed all the courses in the certificate, you may apply to receive the certificate!
Professional Links

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 Information & Registration


New Students

  • If you are a new to CSUDH and have never taken a course through CSUDH Continuing Education, simply select the course you want to take, click on the Cart icon to register, input your personal information, and pay for your class(es).

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