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Philanthropic Leadership (Certificate)

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The Philanthropic Leadership graduate certificate is offered online or on campus at the University of Denver in the evenings, or in a combination of both, to meet the needs of busy adults. Certificate students will develop strategies to strengthen and enhance an organization’s reputation and donor support while building vital communications through strong and lasting leadership.

From budget planning to legal issues, useful technology to ethics, the practical guidance provided will prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as professional development leaders in the philanthropic sector. Students will be prepared to lead dynamic organizations while learning best practices for fiscal responsibility, board and staff development, and transparency that lead to community support. Credits earned through this graduate certificate may apply toward a master's degree in Leadership and Organizations.

This certificate prepares students to:

  • Describe the processes and content of organizations that meet the description of philanthropic organizational excellence

  • Explain or develop the organization's policy as it relates to donor relationships and local, state, and federal requirements

  • Develop a greater level of personal and professional cultural competence

  • Identify donor support that aligns with the ethics, mission, vision, and values of the organization

  • Compare and contrast different fundraising strategies, including grants, major gifts, planned giving, and annual campaigns

  • Evaluate and select the most effective structure for an organization for fundraising

  • Develop and critique the current roles of staff, board, and volunteers and contrast it to 'best practice' analysis

Leadership and Organizations Outcomes

This program prepares students to:

  • Identify a clear mission and lead the dynamic process of translating a mission in to a series of goals and outcomes
  • Utilize the knowledge of an organization's most important resource, people, in the creation and transmission of knowledge and economic, cultural, and technological change
  • Align mission, vision, people, resources, and goals to maximize success and value over time for an organization
  • Design and implement processes and content in organizations to meet the description of organizational excellence, which includes strong leadership and relationships

Students in certificate programs may select from multiple specialized concentrations. Students' selection of concentration will determine required courses and could alter the job placement rate for the program. Read more information on jobs related to this program.

Required Courses

The graduate Certificate of Advanced Study in Philanthropic Leadership requires completion of 24 credit hours (6 courses).

Concentration Courses - 16 qtr. hrs (Choose 4)

Professional Concentration courses allow students to focus on a specific professional area within the larger industry sector in which they are working or wish to work, and master the skills needed to excel in that area.

Further Study - 8 qtr. hrs (Choose 2)

Further Studies Options allow students to customize their degrees to match their career needs by either choosing in-depth study in their concentration by selecting three of the following courses, or exploring other options by using our Degree Builder tool.

Additional Further Study courses available, please see Design your custom plan for complete option of Further Study courses

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Careers in Philanthropic Leadership Certificate

Director of Philanthropy, Development Director, Marketing Coordinator, Philanthropy Officer, Fundraising Coordinator, Donation Specialist, Grant Writer, Endowment Officer, Major Gifts Officer, Non-Profit Director, Executive Director, Member of Board of Directors, President.

Advocacy, development, collaboration, networking, research, writing, presenting, training, strategy, networking, budgeting, management, coordination, recruitment, event planning, education.

Nearly 50% of non-profits polled increased their staff in 2012, according to the Non-profit Employment Trends Survey. Careers in non-profits have been steadily growing for the past several years; from 2007 to 2009, non-profit employment has grown at a rate of 1.9% per year, while for-profit jobs declined 3.7% per year over the same period, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies.

Careers In Leadership and Organizations

Raising the bar.
Whether you're raising money or developing fundraisers for the arts, education, or another worthwhile cause, quality fundraisers are in short supply, according to A National Study of Challenges Facing Non-profit Fundraising has found a significant lack of qualified development directors, and several non-profits seek candidates to successfully fill these positions in addition to positions requirement basic fundraising skills. Take note of the rise in online fundraising success, particularly with social media revolutionizing the way we interact. Brush up on email outreach skills, social media savvy, and internet marketing knowledge.

Lean, green, and keen!
As companies look for improving efficiency and technology processes during hard economic times, directors, analysts, and managers are expected to think lean and be innovative in the workplace. There is a growing need for resourceful project managers in financial, technology, and legal sectors, as well as in energy and healthcare. Bonus! Project managers enjoyed earning more during the recession compared to the past two years, according to the PMI® Project Management Salary Survey. Independent consultants are also in high in demand, as companies try to save money by hiring one-off consultants for large-scale projects in need of management. Going green with virtual meetings and teams will easily play into this need for independent consultants.

Where are they now?
Graduates have job titles that include Chief Sales Officer, Advisory Project Manager, Branch Manager, Professional Sales Representative, Director of HR, Independent Consultant, Vice President, Director of Communications, Human Resources Associate, and Director of Development for companies or organizations such as Halliburton, Johnson & Johnson, Home State Bank, Info Solutions Company, PMSI, and independent small businesses.

Ready to Apply

It's time to gather your materials and apply to your program of choice. Remember to include:

How to Apply

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Interested in attending University College, but need additional information before you make a decision? No problem−we're here to help. You may request additional information about a specific program and specialty, review and ask questions in our Frequently Asked Questions section, or contact University College directly.

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Even if you missed the application deadline, you can start taking courses for one quarter before you have to submit a completed application. We know how important it is to get started when you're ready, so review the class schedule or start the registration process now.

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