Continuing Education Opportunities for Nonprofit Professionals

Volunteer Management – Continuing Education Programs in Wisconsin

Working in the nonprofit sector can be as awarding as it is challenging especially with the ever changing policies, rules, funding, clients’ needs, and volunteer’s goals. Here is a list of universities and colleges that are offering nonprofit management trainings, workshops, and certificates.

CVA: Certified in Volunteer Administration

Professional certification signals a commitment to excellence. It confirms that individuals have the knowledge needed to competently attract, onboard and support volunteers. Certification promotes personal confidence, and helps employers hire, verify, and reward relevant expertise.

Why Certify?

Benefits for YOU, the individual practitioner:

  • Clarification of personal values and professional ethics
  • Identification of strengths and areas for growth
  • Enhanced self-esteem through peer recognition
  • Increased confidence in problem-solving skills
  • Increased personal and professional credibility
  • Transferable documentation of knowledge, skills, and abilities
  • Reinforced commitment to professional excellence
  • May contribute to hiring and job security
  • May lead to more recognition from top management

Benefits to your ORGANIZATION or EMPLOYER:

  • Demonstrates employer’s commitment to competence
  • Increased confidence in employee abilities
  • Quality professional development for employees
  • Useful in making hiring decisions
  • Relevant framework for performance appraisal
  • Identifies and documents leadership potential


Individuals wishing to pursue the CVA certification must meet these requirements in order to register as a candidate:

  1. Minimum of the equivalent of three years full-time experience related to volunteer resources management. This experience can be a combination of several part-time positions, and can include both salaried and non-salaried roles.
  2. Minimum of 30 percent of current position related to volunteer resources management.
  3. Provide documentation of education and related experience.

2018 Exam Dates and Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted on a continual basis; however there is a deadline for each exam window.

Spring Exam Window: April 2-13, 2018; application deadline: March 16, 2018
Fall Exam Window: October 1-12, 2018; application deadline: September 14, 2018

2018 Fees

Regular Application Fee  $350
Member Discount Application Fee    $315**
Exam Retest Fee   $95

** This special discounted rate applies to members of ALIVE, VMPC, Points of Light/HandsOn Network, VolunteerMatch, Volunteer Canada, Habitat for Humanity International, and NAVPLG. To redeem this discount you will need to request a voucher code.

For more information about the CVA, check out the Council for Certified in Volunteer Administration’s website by clicking here.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Continuing Education department offers a nonprofit management certificate, nonprofit workshops, professional grant writing certificate, Wegner CPA’s nonprofit roundtable series, and numerous other nonprofit management seminars and presentations.

Upcoming Seminars:

Grant Proposal Writing for Beginners

This full-day session will give you the insights you need to begin the grant writing process with confidence. The course will provide you with the basics of grant proposal writing, where to begin and offer tips and best practice insights that you can implement immediately. You’ll leave with the tools and knowledge to immediately begin the process of seeking grant funding.

You will learn…

  • Insider tips for identifying both public and private grant sponsors
  • How to understand what grant sponsors are looking for — and how to deliver it to them
  • A 4-step process for picking sponsors with the highest likelihood of funding your projects
  • The primary elements found in most grant proposals
  • How to recognize the critical details that grant sponsors expect you to address
  • How to avoid common grant writing mistakes

Advanced Grant Proposal Writing

Do you wish you knew exactly what grant reviewers were looking for? Although the grant application process varies, there are some important common elements which can give you an edge. This full-day, hands-on workshop will provide you with insights into persuasive and effective grant writing through a mock-interview process. This program is a great resource for all grant writers, whether you are writing your first grant or have years of experience.

You will learn:

  • A three-step RFP Analysis Process to identify sponsor hot buttons
  • How to integrate persuasive themes into every section of your response
  • How to create an opening summary that captures attention and sets you apart
  • The critical elements of the grant review process
  • How to interpret reviewers’ comments
  • How to anticipate and preempt reviewer objections as you write your proposal
  • Build the skills to successfully find and gain grant funding

For more information about University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Nonprofit Continuing Education program, click here.


 University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

 The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Department of Public and Environmental Affairs along with its Center  for Public Affairs offers a Nonprofit Management certificate program. The curriculum totals 24 credits.

Cost- $262.43 per credit-hour for Wisconsin residents, with no additional fees.

For more information about UW-Green Bay’s Nonprofit Management Certificate, click here.


University of Wisconsin-Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Continuing Studies offers a nationally accredited management development program, the Certified Public Manager (CPM) Program. The CPM Program will prepare managers for the challenges and unique demands of the public management profession.

There are three ways to learn: through a self-directed program, cohort group, and to take individual classes if your end goal is not certification.


Upcoming CPM classes:

Strategic Thinking, Planning, and Organizational Transformation

Strategic planning provides both a process and a set of outcomes that help you find the answers to core questions about organizational identity and direction. Discover how to construct your organization’s strategic plan, involve other stakeholders in its development, and ensure successful implementation.

When- Tuesday, March 20, 2018, from 8:30am-3:15pm
Where- Pyle Center

Honoring Our Common Differences: Leadership for Inclusivity

Inclusivity is the practice of radical hospitality–where people of diverse social and cultural groups experience uncompromising respect and dignity. Inclusive leaders value and actively encourage multiple perspectives, creating a positive, collaborative environment in which people feel safe to be themselves and engage in their best work. Gain insights into unconscious bias and inclusivity on individual and organization levels.

When- Tuesday, April 24, 2018, from 8:30am-4:30pm
Where- Pyle Center
Cost-$185 for government/nonprofit organizations; lunch included 

For more information about UW-Madison’s Certified Public Manager Program, click here.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Continuing Education offers two certificates and numerous nonprofit courses. The two certificates they offer are an Introductory Nonprofit Certificate and a Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Management.


Upcoming courses:  

Ethics and Values in the Nonprofit Sector

Explore key moral issues of, and managerial approaches to, promoting ethical conduct among nonprofit employees. Learn how to promote proper conduct, how to manage ethically and how to handle potential problems in enforcing philanthropy rules.

When – Wednesday, March 7, 2018 from 8:30 am to 3 pm
Where – UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
Cost – $180 if you register by Wednesday, February 21, 2018, and $195 if you register after Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Registration Deadline – Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Register here.

Fundraising and Revenue Development for Nonprofits

One of the major challenges facing nonprofit leaders today is ensuring that the organization has the financial resources it needs to meet its mission and serve its constituency. Learn the basic types of revenue available to nonprofits. Focus on principles of ethical fundraising, learn to manage the philanthropic process, and develop plans that will enhance the effectiveness of staff and volunteers.

Explore the structure of an effective professional development team, the role of institutional planning in setting fundraising goals, how to create the annual development plan, and how to implement capital campaigns and planned gift programs. The movement of nonprofit organizations toward earned income strategies is also discussed.

When – Wednesday, April 4, 2018, from 8:30 am to 3 pm
Where – UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
Cost – $180 if you register by Wednesday, March 21, 2018, and $195 if you register after Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Registration Deadline – Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Register here.

Nonprofit Boards and Governance

Explore reasons why boards exist, and examine the roles, responsibilities and relationship to staff. Gain tools for enhancing board effectiveness including recruitment and development, meeting management and self-assessment.
When – Wednesday, April 18, 2018, from 8:30 am to 3 pm
Where – UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
Cost – $180 if you register by Wednesday, April 4, 2018, and $195 if you register after Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Registration Deadline – Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Register here.

Legal Concepts Essential for Nonprofit Organizations

Understand the legal frameworks under which nonprofits operate and are regulated. Discuss administrative and tax requirements. Review legal rights and responsibilities involved in the daily activities of nonprofits, including boards, executive directors, fundraisers and employees.

When – Wednesday, May 2, 2018, from 8:30 am to 3 pm
Where – UW – Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
Cost – $180 if you register by Wednesday, April 18, 2018, and $195 if you register after Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Registration Deadline – Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Register here

Financial Management within the Nonprofit Sector, Parts 1 & 2

Part 1: Analyze the principles of financial management for nonprofits. Learn to apply the fundamentals of accounting, budgeting processes, cash flow analysis, expenditure control, long-range financial planning, audits, grants and contracts to nonprofits.

Part 2: Study budgeting and planning, tax issues, and internal/external reporting requirements for financial management.

When – Wednesday, May 16-Thursday, May 17, 2018 from 8:30 am to 3 pm
Where – UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
Cost – $360 if you register by Wednesday, May 2, 2018, and $390 if you register after Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Registration Deadline – Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Register here.

Valuable Volunteer Management Tools for Nonprofit Organizations

Volunteers are critical components to the operation of successful nonprofit organizations. Explore best practices for volunteer management including effective skill utilization, performance recognition, recruitment, training and liabilities.

When – Wednesday, July 25, 2018, from 8:30 am to 3 pm
Where – UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
Cost – $180 if you register by Wednesday, July 11, 2018, and $195 if you register after Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Registration Deadline – Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Register here.

Program, Performance, Measurement and Evaluation for Nonprofits  

Identify evaluation techniques that can help managers demonstrate whether programs are operating as designed and achieving desired results. This provides the basis for improvement and support.

When – Wednesday, August 8, 2018, from 8:30 am to 3 pm
Where – UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education
Cost – $180 if you register by Wednesday, July 25, 2018, and $195 if you register after Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Registration Deadline – Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Register here.

For more information about UW-Milwaukee’s School of Continuing Education Nonprofit Management program, click here.

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Department of Public Administration offers a Master of Public Administration (MPA) program as well as an undergraduate Public Administration minor. The MPA curriculum is composed of three parts for a total of 36 credits: Core Program, Professional Emphasis, and Capstone Experience.
Cost- $480.86 per credit-hour for Wisconsin residents, with no additional fees.

For more information about UW-Oshkosh’s Master of Public Administration, click here.

University of Wisconsin-Parkside

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is no longer offering registration for the full Nonprofit Professional Certificate, but you can still earn a certificate for each individual training topic. Each certificate has earning potential toward the full Nonprofit Professional Certificate as future classes are offered!

The workshops focus on different aspects of managing nonprofits, building revenue strategies, proposal writing, marketing, and much more. Find the nonprofit training that best fits your needs and the needs of your organization by clicking on the certificate options below:


Nonprofit Revenue Strategies

Proposal Writing Essentials

Nonprofit Strategic Marketing and Communication

Nonprofit Boards and Governance

Nonprofit Financial Management

Nonprofit Talent Management


Cost- $307.87 per credit-hour for Wisconsin residents, with no additional fees.

For more information about UW-Parkside’s certificate options, click here.

University of Wisconsin-Superior

University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Center for Continuing Education offers certificate programs and nonprofit and fund development workshops. The two certificate programs that UW-S offers are Fund Development Certificate program and Nonprofit Administration Certificate program.

The Fund Development Certificate program was designed to provide individuals with knowledge, understanding, and skills required to be an effective team or board member for a nonprofit organization.

The Nonprofit Administration Certificate program will provide a well-rounded foundation in administration that helps to develop skills in working with trustees, human resources, evaluation, funding, and marketing.


Upcoming Workshops:

Nonprofit Communications and Marketing

This seminar will consider how your organization is viewed by the public. It will look at crafting your mission message, maintain your organization’s brand, getting your message out, managing both positive and negative publicity, and developing an inclusive marketing/communication plan. Print advertising, social media as well as other communication strategies will be investigated as components of marketing and communications for your organization.

When – March 14, 2018; 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Where – Yellowjacket Union

Grant Writing and Solicitation 

“Getting grants” is not easy, especially in many rural areas. With steep competition for the grants that are available, making informed grant-seeking decisions is critical. From research to stewardship, this session will cover seeking corporate, foundation and government grants. Discussion will include researching opportunities, approaching funders, writing and submitting the proposal, reporting to your donor and follow-up with your funder – as well as what to do if you don’t get what you requested.
When – May 16, 2018; 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost – $119 Certificate Enrollee, $139 Individual Workshop

The Tactics and Management of Individual Fundraising

Developing support from individuals is critical to a nonprofit. This session will cover identifying prospective donors and using research data and databases. Fundraising tactics including mail, phone, web, social media, estate and legacy gifts, capital campaigns, endowments, and fundraising and/or friend-raising events will be discussed. Managing cost to raise a dollar and other fundraising management techniques will be covered as well as the importance of donor stewardship.

When – May 17, 2018; 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Cost – $119 Certificate Enrollee, $139 Individual Workshop

For more information about UW-Superior’s Nonprofit and Fund Development program, click here.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Department of Continuing Education offers Professional Development classes for Nonprofit Professionals. There are three classes available, which run from 8:30AM-3:30 PM. The three classes currently available are:


Thursday, April 19: Realizing the Mission: Having Impact

Wednesday, May 2: Multichannel Marketing and Communication

Wednesday, May 9: Nonprofit Talent Management

Cost- $150.00 per class. Save $10 when you register for more than one class at a time. Lunch is included in class cost.


For more information about the UW-Whitewater’s Nonprofit Management Certificate, click here.

To register for one or all of these classes, click here.

Know of any other accredited universities/colleges offering nonprofit certificates or continuing education programs not listed above?  Please let us know by emailing