Fundamentals of Fundraising Begins April 8

Effective fundraising requires sophisticated methods of identifying, cultivating and soliciting potential donors, but it’s often a task that’s easier said than done.

Fundamentals of Fundraising, a non-credit certificate program offered this spring at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, can help nonprofit organizations’ staffs broaden their skills and enhance their fundraising plans. The eight-week program is designed for nonprofit administrators, fundraising professionals, fundraising volunteers, or anyone who wants to learn more about philanthropy.

“The Fundamentals of Fundraising program is a comprehensive introduction to the profession of nonprofit advancement,” said Kristina Huber, one of the instructors. “It’s designed to guide those new to the profession toward the resources necessary for a successful fundraising career.”

The program is co-sponsored by Penn State Behrend’s Office of Community and Workforce Programs and the Northwestern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The Tuesday-night sessions will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Penn State Behrend beginning April 8 and ending May 27. Fundamentals in Fundraising instructors come from several area organizations, including Gannon University, Mercyhurst Preparatory School, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Allegheny College, Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C., and the Barber National Institute.

The Fundamentals of Fundraising program provides 20 hours of educational instruction. Participants can apply the program to the eligibility requirements for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) professional designation and also earn two Penn State Continuing Education units.

Two free information sessions will be offered for persons interested in learning more about the program. The first session will include lunch and is scheduled for Thursday, March 6, at noon at Knowledge Park, 5451 Merwin Lane, Erie, PA 16510. The second session will be held Wednesday, March 12, at 4:30 p.m. at Panera Bread, 1935 Keystone Drive, Erie, PA 16509.

For more information on Fundamentals of Fundraising or to register for an information session, please contact Michelle Hartmann at 814-898-6103 or e-mail

The course schedule and instructors for Fundamentals of Fundraising are as follows:

Starting a Development Plan: An Overview of Fundraising

  • Kristina Huber, CFRE
  • Private Consultant

Marketing, Public Relations, and Special Events

  • Lisa Zompa Nietupski
  • Director of Institutional Advancement
  • Mercyhurst Preparatory School

Annual Appeals and Winning Proposals

  • Jan Stork
  • Senior Director
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater PA and WV

Prospect Research and Management

  • Anita L. Miller, CFRE
  • Director, Research & Foundation Relations
  • Gannon University

Capital Campaigns and Planned Giving

  • Marjorie Klein, Vice President of Development & Alumni Affairs at Allegheny College
  • Melissa Mencotti, Director for Planned Giving at Allegheny College
  • Bruce Whitehair, CFRE, Associate Vice President for Advancement at Allegheny College

Accountability, Ethics, and the Law

  • Tom Tupitza, Esq.
  • President
  • Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C.

Solicitation, Stewardship, and the Donor’s Perspective

  • Gary L. Bukowski, CFRE
  • Vice President for Advancement
  • Barber National Institute

Creating Success: Fearless Major Gifts Fundraising

  • Susan Black
  • Retired Vice President of Advancement
  • Gannon University