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Strategic Communications for Nonprofits

CFRE logoTelling your story is vital to fundraising and building awareness of your organization’s mission. A compelling story told to the right audience is what you need to be effective. During the week-long Strategic Communication for Nonprofits Institute, you will learn to pull all of the pieces together to create a successful marketing plan for your organization whether the focus is to raise money or awareness of your mission.


During the Strategic Communications for Nonprofits Institute, IOP offers limited individual sessions for a la carte registration. Review the available sessions online.

Upcoming Institutes

Register and pay online or use our paper registration form

  • November 10-15, 2019: Early bird registration through October 5 — save $200!

We offer the opportunity to come for the entire week, or choose an individual session from the week-long program to address specialized professional development needs for staff in your nonprofit. Periodically, additional advanced level classes are offered to take a deeper dive into a topic covered during the Strategic Communications for Nonprofits Institute. Review all available programs.

The Strategic Communications for Nonprofits Institute is specially designed for both fundraising and marketing professionals, career switchers and program staff who want to learn more to enhance their careers. This is especially useful for fundraisers who work for a small nonprofit without a separate marketing role or department. Our classes are taught by marketing professionals who are experts in their fields and share the real-world knowledge as well as their love of fundraising.

Participants will earn a professional certificate from the University of Richmond upon completion of the week-long program.

Institute Details

About the Institute


Strong communication is vital to the success of nonprofit organizations. Having a thorough understanding of communications helps nonprofits make the most of limited resources. The Strategic Communications for Nonprofits program is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of marketing basics, effective communication and promotion.

The Strategic Communications for Nonprofits Institute is an intensive 44-hour, week-long certification program. During the week, you’ll create a comprehensive marketing plan for your organization. At the conclusion of the program, you’ll earn a professional certificate from the University of Richmond.

Outcomes & Requirements
Institute Outcomes
  • Build a comprehensive marketing plan for your organization, integrated with fundraising
  • Identify your audiences and reach them with the appropriate messages
  • Learn to develop stories to share your mission and impact
  • Learn how to effectively integrate social media tools into your marketing plan
  • Formulate a direct marketing plan to make the most of your direct mail versus “e” dollars
Institute Modules

The Strategic Communications for Nonprofits Institute requires 44 hours of instructional time. A certificate in Strategic Communications for Nonprofits from the University of Richmond Institute on Philanthropy will be awarded at the conclusion of the program.

The following modules are required in the certification institute.

  • Nonprofit Marketing 1
  • Telling Your Story – What’s Your Brand?
  • Integrated Marketing Promotion – Audiences
  • Integrated Marketing Promotion – Tactics
  • Persuasive Writing for Nonprofits
  • Developing a Media Relations/Digital Strategy
  • A New Social Media World for Nonprofits
  • Direct Marketing and Constituent Communication
  • Nonprofit Marketing 2
Two Ways to Earn a Certificate
  1. Work While You Learn: Complete the certificate during a one-week intensive program offered in the winter or summer each year. In this format, you will work on a development plan for your organization through hands-on interactive sessions focusing on your nonprofit.
  2. A la Carte: Complete the certificate you started but did not complete by taking individual classes. Contact the program manager for details.

IOP logo

Institute on Philanthropy
Professional & Continuing Studies
Special Programs Building
490 Westhampton Way
Univ. of Richmond, VA 23173

Kathy Laing, Manager
Phone: (804) 287-1290

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