web icon_ Fundraising Credential

Fund Development Credential

Online • Live • 56 PD Hrs

This online cause selling accelerate helps Head Start leadership and management integrate successful business practices and relationship-driven strategies to help programs build strong connections with donors, increase revenue, and empower their cause.


The Fund Development Credential prepares development directors, grant managers, philanthropy managers, and anyone who plays a role in selling their cause and meeting their Head Start and Early Head Start program fundraising activities. This includes everything from meeting non-federal funding match goals, to participating in annual fund efforts like Dollar per Child and building lasting relationships with donors.

Through the cohort-based training model, which includes self-paced coursework and weekly meetings, learners will connect and collaborate with their peers to: develop a plan to prioritize fundraising tasks; navigate ethical dilemmas as a fundraiser; develop an ask that demonstrates the value of their organization; and more. Each session will provide learners with tangible tools that can immediately apply to their roles.

This credential is developed and taught by Fundraising Academy, a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) accredited education provider. In addition to earning NHSA’s Fund Development Credential, learners will earn 49+ points (approximately 60%) of the required Education Credits to pursue CFRE certification.

Start Date: New cohorts annually. See upcoming dates here.

Course Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Requirements/Prerequisites: This course is designed for fundraisers in Head Start/Early Head Start programs with zero to five years of experience cultivating individual donors.

Target Audience: Leadership and Management, Parents and Families, Program Operations, Support Services

Course Meeting Times: Sessions are held weekly on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PT

Completion Timeline/Duration: Two months

Head Start Alignment: This course supports programs in meeting Part 1303.4: Federal financial assistance, non-federal match, and waiver requirements of the Head Start Program Performance Standards in which “a grantee must contribute 20 percent as non-federal match each budget period.” It can also help generate additional resources to support special projects the program would not otherwise be able to afford.

Course Outline


Shared by course participants outside of The Academy about the same content included in the Fund Development Credential.

  • “This program covers all the nuts and bolts about fundraising!”
  • “Prior to beginning our program, one participant was uncomfortable making a donor ask for her organization. Further, her organization had experienced significant leadership turnover and she had just become the sole fundraiser, with very little support and minimal resources from the organization. One month after graduating from our program, she reported her first successful major gift ask (her first ever ask of this donor!). She now oversees and drives her organization’s fundraising and stewardship efforts.”
  • “A participant graduated from our program one week before our country went into pandemic lockdown, and his organization was forced to quickly pivot their largest annual fundraising campaign into a virtual campaign. He led a fundraising team and was responsible for supervising 80+ individual staff in their campaign fundraising efforts. His personal fundraising success placed him first within his organization (including directors and executives) and in the top 5 of nearly 800 individual community fundraisers.“

Course Author

Fundraising Academy

Fundraising Academy offers educational and training programs that help nonprofits become more sustainable through better fundraising and capacity building. National in scope and regional in focus, the Institute seeks to strengthen the fundraising process with an innovative curriculum that blends business and sales strategies in a unique and powerful way.

Course Facilitator

Tim Hogan

Tim Hogan

Tim Hogan is vice president of strategic partnerships at Roadtrip Nation, a media and education company that helps people identify and pursue a fulfilling life and career aligned with their interests. Tim’s prior experience includes more than 10 years with the Boys & Girls Club of America network as well as time as the director of Development at Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast in Orange County, California. He holds a B.A. in English and Classics from Georgetown University, and an M.A. in English from Florida Gulf Coast University.

Featured Philanthropist

Dr. Marla Felcher

Dr. Marla Felcher

Dr. Felcher has worked as a marketing professor, investigative journalist, marketing consultant, and consumer advocate. She has taught at Northwestern University, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and UMass Boston’s McCormack School of Policy Studies. Dr. Felcher's experience will provide new ideas and concrete strategies for establishing philanthropic partnerships.

Registration Rates

Regular Rate: $2,995

NHSA Member Rate: $1,195

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