2023 Fundraising & Development Certificate Program

Intensive Online Training

Are you looking to gain the confidence, knowledge, and skills necessary to strengthen your organization’s development program?

This eight-month online program will demystify fundraising and give you the knowledge and tools needed fundraise successfully for your organization.

During the program, you will:

✔ Create (or update) a strategic Fundraising and Development Plan for your organization.

✔ Receive hands-on training and activities to learn the nuts and bolts of raising funds for a small to mid-sized nonprofit.

✔ Get individualized coaching and feedback from our expert trainer and coach.

✔ Network with nonprofit professionals from around Vermont & New England.

Who Should Apply?

The Development and Fundraising Certificate Program is designed for nonprofit leaders, development staff members, and key volunteers representing small to mid-sized development teams in VT or New England. 

We are now accepting inquiries for the 2023 Cohort.

Questions? Email [email protected]
To be added to the waitlist, please inquire below:

2022 Program Details

You will learn in a collaborative and hands-on learning environment consisting of:

Interactive trainings,

cohort learning groups,

& individualized coaching.

This program includes...

6 live interactive online training days including hands-on activities and guest speakers. These happen 1 day a month from 9:00 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. EST. Interactive Training Sessions will take place on March 3rd, April 7th, April 21st, May 5th, June 2nd, September 8th.

6 peer-learning sessions occurring once per session for 1 hour and 15 minutes (as part of your training day).

Independent reading/videos and assignments occurring approximately 4-5 hours per month.

1 customized one-on-one coaching session with our lead trainer.

What will you learn?

The course will be conducted over five months of online instruction including peer learning groups and an individualized coaching session with the instructor. The training sessions (9:00 am to 3:15 pm, including one hour for peer learning) will cover the following topics:

March 3

Orientation, Overview and Planning

In this first session we will set the stage for goal setting and creation of your customized development plan. We will also look at how events fit into your planning and how the pandemic has changed fundraising. 

April 7

Fundraising Appeals & Communications

How can you use storytelling in your print and e-appeals? We will learn best practices for personalization of your appeals that speak directly to your donors.

April 21

Donor Relations/Stewardship & Giving Societies

How can you include your 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 the creation of leadership giving societies and planned giving

May 5

Proposal Writing and Grant Writing

What makes a good proposal? We will learn time tested tools of the trade to learn to write proposals that get funded.


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 2

Solicitation/Asking & Campaigns

How to engage with your donors as partners in your organization’s work. What is the process involved in asking face-to-face for contributions and how do board members fit into this practice? Together we will go over the format of an asking conversation and practice an intentional gift conversation using the Connecting Conversations model. We will also dive into what makes an effective campaign.

July and August

Work on your development plan and share with our expert trainer for her feedback.

September 8

Kick-Off Fundraising Season Event!

Join together with the cohort team to share your development plan and celebrate the start of the fundraising season.

What you leave with...

✔ Your own customized development plan

✔ A peer network of nonprofit professionals

✔ Templates, checklists, and samples to guide your continued work

✔ Your Strategic Development Planning Guidebook and Your Strategic Development Plan Template - to help streamline your work throughout the training and peer group sessions

✔ And the tools, skills and confidence to put your plan into action!

✔ Plus, 19 points towards Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) International certification and/or recertification.

About the Lead Trainer: Jenn Hayslett

Jenn Hayslett brings 25 years of leadership experience as a successful fundraiser, manager, facilitator and trainer to her work as a coach and nonprofit consultant. Her engaging presentation style makes her a highly-rated trainer and presenter.

Jenn has direct experience in all areas of fundraising and marketing for small to mid-sized nonprofits including annual funds, major gift solicitation and stewardship, capital campaigns, grant writing, community organizing, and volunteer management. She is a certified trainer and facilitator and received her coach training through Coaches Training Institute (CTI). Her specialty is in building and improving relationship-based fundraising programs.

You are welcome to visit Jenn Hayslett Coaching & Consulting for more information about Jenn and her work.

2022 Tuition & Funding Opportunities

The Certificate is designed to support the success and professional development of nonprofit leaders and their organizations. At $2500, it is a valuable investment in building your personal and organizational capacity in fundraising and development. Past participants have found funding opportunities to cover the program fee through:

Program Testimonials:

“This [certificate program] feels like an essential for anyone embarking on a career in non profit development work or even higher level non-profit management. I am better at my job because of this course!”

Connor Timmons
Executive Director
Common Ground Center

"This [certificate program] gave me the confidence to believe in my good ideas, treat my challenges as learning experiences, and to use my unique skills to enhance the work I do."

Lissa Harris
Director of Development
Food Connects

"The certificate has given me a foundation in development and fundraising, which has provided me with the confidence and knowledge for making decisions on strategy, activities, and offering recommendations."

Hali Issente
Director of Communications and Development
The Family Place

"At the beginning of the program, I had three goals: draft a strategic development plan, acquire more skills to welcome and nurture donors, and grow my professional network. After eight months, all three goals were not only accomplished, but slam-dunked. If you're thinking of making an investment in your organization's development efforts, look no further. In addition to fostering solid relationships with peers in neighboring organizations, this course provides the knowledge, skills, and confidence to deliver real results. This year, our donor engagement is strong, our Development Committee membership has doubled, and contributions are already up 50%."

Arianne Arnold
Development Director
Upper Valley Waldorf School

About Common Good Vermont

Common Good Vermont is the only statewide organization in Vermont dedicated to uniting and strengthening all mission-driven organizations that serve the Green Mountain State. Common Good Vermont serves as the “go to” resource for our peers to share resources, gain skills, and build partnerships.

Common Good Vermont is a recently merged program of United Way of Northwest VT and a nonprofit ally member of the National Council of Nonprofits.

Learn more at www.commongoodvt.org.

This program has been made possible by generous support from the Vermont Community FoundationHigh Meadows Fund, National Life Group Foundation, and Gade McArdle.