Update due to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Duke Nonprofit Management Individual Classes normally held in-person will be held as live webinars until further notice.
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Nonprofit Certificate Individual Classes

The Duke University Nonprofit Management program curriculum offers a structured and rigorous grounding in the establishment, operation, and continuation of a successful nonprofit. Our curriculum reflects a comprehensive evaluation of the needs of the changing nonprofit sector. Managing a nonprofit has developed in new and exciting ways. The Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management provides recipients the skills to navigate this changing environment successfully.

Our nonprofit courses are designed for those working in and with the nonprofit sector -- whether they are staff, directors, program administrators, board members, philanthropists, members of faith-based communities, volunteers, or those interested in employment or volunteering.

Successful completion of the Certificate in Nonprofit Management requires that a student complete 72 hours of instruction, which will be divided among core areas and electives. Students interested in earning the Certificate will be required to take five Core Courses of 6 hours each for a total of 30 hours. An additional 30 hours of Key Electives within the core areas are required. Finally, students may take General Electives, Special Topics in Nonprofit Management, or additional Key Electives to complete their instruction. Online courses are available as General Electives; a maximum of 12 hours of online courses may be applied to the Certificate. Please visit the online course demo site. Individual courses may be taken on a non-certificate basis.

Please see Earning the Certificate for more details.

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There are five (5) Core Areas, Key Electives, General Electives, and Special Topics. Students complete five required Core Courses, one Key Elective from each of the five Core Areas, and General Electives, Special Topics or additional Key Electives to complete the 72 hour requirement.

Core Course: Nonprofit – Board Development/Governance (6 hours)
Key Electives (6 hours each)

  • Developing an Engaged Board of Directors
  • Fundraising: Coaching the Nonprofit Board to Make the Ask
  • Running Effective Meetings

Participant must complete 12 course hours in this category (including the core course). Courses address the board’s roles and responsibilities, nonprofit system of governance, board structure, recruiting board members, board operations, insight into how boards evolve, and trends in nonprofit governance.

Core Course: Nonprofit – Financial Management (6 hours)
Key Electives (6 hours each)

  • Basic Accounting for Nonprofits
  • Cost Allocation for Nonprofits
  • Financial Reporting for Nonprofits
  • Fresh Approaches to Securing Business Support

Participant must complete 12 course hours in this category (including the core course). Courses cover financial management and topics integral to nonprofit fiscal management. Gain an understanding of the broader finance realm of nonprofit organizations.

Core Course: Nonprofit – Fundraising (6 hours)
Key Electives (6 hours each)

  • Grant Writing 
  • Marketing for Nonprofits  
  • Telling Great Stories to Advance Your Cause

Participant must complete 12 course hours in this category (including the core course). Courses provide those involved in fundraising an array of skills taught by instructors who coordinate special events, write grants, make personal asks, manage campaigns, and work in developing planned giving initiatives.

Core Course Nonprofit – Human Resource Development (6 hours)
Key Electives (6 hours each)

  • Employment Law for Nonprofits
  • Volunteer Engagement
  • Creating High Performance Teams
  • Coaching for Top Performance

Participant must complete 12 course hours in this category (including the core course). Courses address ways to better lead nonprofit staff, how to deal with issues of attracting, recruiting, retaining, motivating, supervising employees, and project planning designed to ensure your nonprofit is compliant with state and federal law.

Core Course Nonprofit – Planning & Evaluation (6 hours)
Key Electives (6 hours each)

  • How to Start a Nonprofit
  • Performance Measurement for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Sustainable Strategic Planning for Nonprofits

Participant must complete 12 course hours in this category (including the core course). Courses address several aspects of planning and delivery in nonprofit organizations. The changing internal and external landscape requires ongoing re-evaluation of the organization’s structure, its scale, its personnel, its programs, etc.

In addition to successfully completing the core requirements, students will need to complete an additional 12 hours of study, which may be accomplished through General Electives, Special Topics in Nonprofit Management, or additional Key Electives.

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There are no courses open for enrollment at this time.

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Earning the Certificate

The Nonprofit Management Program is open to anyone employed by or volunteering with nonprofits, religious organizations, schools, service organizations, foundations, or government agencies. The program is also open to anyone interested in learning more about the nonprofit sector. Free Information Sessions are offered during the year at various sites across the state. Completion of an Information Session is not required to enroll in the Certificate Program; however, it is recommended.

The 72-hour program is designed to take a student two years to finish from the date of enrollment to completion. The newly revised curriculum consists of five (5) Core Areas and requires the successful completion of both the Core Course and a Key Elective in each Core Area, which equals 60 hours. Students may choose from General Electives, Special Topics, Online Courses or additional Key Electives to complete the remaining 12 hour requirement.

Core Areas
Nonprofit – Board Development / Governance
12 hours*
Nonprofit – Financial Management
12 hours*
Nonprofit – Fundraising
12 hours*
Nonprofit – Human Resource Development
12 hours*
Nonprofit – Planning & Evaluation
12 hours*
General Electives / Special Topics / Additional Key Electives
12 hours
72 hours

*Includes the 6-hour core course and one 6-hour key elective from each core area

Tracking Progress Toward Completion of the Certificate Program

Students enrolled in the 72 hour certificate program are responsible for monitoring their progress and for submitting a screenshot of their course history upon completion. The list of completed courses can be found by logging into the Duke Continuing Studies Student Portal.

Use the "My Certificates" link in the left menu to view and download details about your progress. You can also see your curricular history by clicking on “My Enrollment History” in the left menu.  Please check this information and prepare a screenshot before contacting our office regarding your certificate status.

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Schedule & Registration


  1. Register online using a credit card with our secure, real-time registration system. Please click on the green Register button for a list of courses and links to the registration system.
  2. Register by mail with a check and our printed registration form.  Record the Course ID number, title, and enrollment fee for all of the courses you would like to take.
  3. Register by phone at 919-684-6259 during our business hours (Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm EST).

Advance registration is required. Since many courses fill early, we recommend registering at least two weeks before the course begins.

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Information Sessions

The Duke Nonprofit Management Program holds Information Sessions throughout the state and via teleconference to help you learn about the Program. Join us at a free Information Session and hear from participants, instructors, and Program staff on how to get the most from your training. We will discuss registration, networking in courses, earning the Certificate, and more! Free Information Sessions are available; however, it is not required that you attend one before enrolling in the program.

Information Sessions are listed in location order below.

REGISTER ONLINE for a free session or contact the Site Coordinator, as specified in the listing.

Teleconference Information Session

June 18, 2020 12:00 - 1:00 pm (Course ID: 0199-154)
July 17, 2020 12:00 - 1:00 pm (Course ID: 0199- 155)
August 21, 2020 12:00 - 1:00 pm (Course ID: 0199- 156)


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Directions & Accommodations


Durham / Triangle


Smith Warehouse
114 S. Buchanan BLVD Durham, NC 27701
Bay 6, 1st Floor
Take I-40 to 147N ( Durham Freeway) via Exit 279B. Take 147 N and exit on Chapel Hill Street, Exit 13. Turn right onto Chapel Hill Street. Take the first right onto South Buchanan Boulevard. After going under the bridge, take the first left onto Maxwell Street. Use the Bay 6 entrance. Continuing Studies is located in Bay 6 on the first floor. See a map with parking information. To Obtain Parking Permit: Temporarily park in a visitor spot close to Bay 6. Enter Bay 6 and go to the classroom to pick up a parking permit. Room B173 and Room B172 are on the first floor past the reception area. Use the parking permit to enter the large gated parking lot directly opposite Bay 6 (off of Maxwell Ave) and hang up parking permit on rearview mirror. Permit can be used for one day only.


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Tuition & Funding Sources


Varies by course

Duke Employee Discounts

Duke Employee discount is 10% off course fee of $150 ($15.00 off)
Discount must be requested and applied during the registration process.

To register, call 919-684-6259.

Funding Sources

Our Nonprofit Management Programs (Intensive Track and Executive Certificate* in Nonprofit Leadership) are non-credit (not degree applicable); therefore, they are NOT eligible for federal loans. DO NOT SUBMIT FAFSA FORMS for these programs. Please see individual program web pages for those details. You may qualify for other loan options. Please see info below.

*Students must apply & be accepted into the Executive Certificate Program before registering.

No loans (Wells Fargo Graduate loan, Sallie Mae Smart Option Undergraduate loan, etc.) can be construed to imply any degree-seeking status for students of Duke Continuing Studies. Duke Continuing Studies courses are non-credit.

Loan Options

Your local bank may offer other options for loans or a "line of credit" service. Contact your bank for more information on financing choices.

Other Funding Sources

The funding options listed below may not be applicable to all programs at this time. Please contact the organization offering the funding to see if you qualify and if the funds can be used for the program in which you are interested.

Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan

To apply for this private student loan, visit Sallie Mae’s website, select the Undergraduate Student Loan and then click Apply Now. The following application should populate with the pertinent information for Duke Continuing Studies.

  • Scroll over Student Loans on the top of screen
  • Select Smart Option Student Loan under Undergraduate Student Loans
  • Click Get Started
  • Fill out Student General Information
  • Fill out Permanent Address
  • Fill out School Information
  • DUKE PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATES, DURHAM, NC, 00292099 should already have populated for the school
  • Select Certificate for Degree/Certificate of Study
  • Select your Specialty or select Other if it is not shown in the options
  • Select Half Time for Enrollment Status
  • Select Certificate/Continuing Ed for Grade Level
  • Enter your Academic Period of the Loan
  • Enter your Anticipated Graduation / Completion
  • Follow the remaining loan application prompts


Financial assistance is available in particular regions. We appreciate the continued support of local community foundations for making these scholarship opportunities available.

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Policies & Procedures

Refund Policy

Individual Classes

To receive a refund, minus a processing fee for each course cancelled, or to switch to a different course, we must receive your written cancellation / transfer request at least two weeks before the course begins for the daily classes.

Processing fees for transfer or cancellation are $20 for each individual course.

To submit a cancellation request:

FAX: 919-681-8235
EMAIL: learnmore@duke.edu
MAIL: Registration – Nonprofit Management, Duke Continuing Studies, Box 90700, Durham NC  27708-0700

Please include your name, address, phone number, and program title.  Refunds will be made in the manner you paid.  Failure to attend any class or classes does not entitle you to a refund or replacement class.

Bad Checks
If a check is returned for insufficient funds, we will charge a returned check fee of $35. Checks will not be resubmitted. The replacement payment must include the additional $35 and be in the form of cash, money order, or credit card.

Course is Filled / Waiting List
If a course is already filled, a waiting list is usually available instead. If you are interested in placing your name on the waiting list, follow the checkout instructions to do so. If a space becomes available, a registration staff member will call you and ask if you are still interested. If you are interested, registration staff can take your payment information over the phone and complete your registration at that time.

If We Cancel a Course
Sometimes we have to cancel a course that does not meet minimum enrollment, or due to unforeseen events. If that happens, you will receive a full refund. Duke Continuing Studies reserves the right to substitute instructors or change the day a course meets.

Tax Deductions
Course fees and expenses are sometimes tax deductible. Please consult an accountant concerning this matter. Non-credit programs at Duke Continuing Studies do not generate 1098-T forms, in accordance with the following IRS guideline: Instructions for Forms 1098-E and 1098-T published by the Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, states “You do not have to file Form 1098-T or furnish a statement for: Courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program…”

Student Age Requirement
The Nonprofit Management Program, a unit of the Duke Office of Continuing Studies, requires that students be at least 18 years of age to register for nonprofit classes.  However, if you are younger than 18 years old, a part of a nonprofit organization, and wish to attend classes, contact the Nonprofit Management Program Coordinator at 919-681-1025, or Director at 919-668-6743.  Students are not matriculated Duke University students and university student privileges do not apply to Continuing Studies students.

Online Classes

There are no refunds or cancellations for online courses.

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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

 1What is the Duke Nonprofit Management Program?
 2. What is the mission of the Duke Nonprofit Management Program?
 3. What are the benefits of the Duke Nonprofit Management Program?
 4. What is the content of the Duke Nonprofit Management Program?
 5. Who are the instructors?
 6. Who are the students?
 7. How much do courses cost?
 8. May I take Nonprofit Management courses if I don’t intend to earn a certificate?
 9. When are Information Sessions offered?
10. Where are courses offered?
11. When are courses held?
12. Are my costs tax deductible?
13. Do you have job placement services?

Registration Information

14. How do I get started in the Program?
15. How early do I need to register?

Course Information

16Is there a recommended order for taking courses?
17. How many online courses can be applied toward the certificate?
18. When I register for an online course, what happens next?
19. What is a networking lunch?
20. What is a working lunch?
21. Is there pre-assigned work or homework?

Earning the Certificate

22. How do I earn the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management?
23. What is the difference between the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management, the Duke Intensive Track and the Executive Certificate?  
24. How do I earn the Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership?
25. How do I obtain my certificate when I complete the curriculum requirements?

General Information

1. What is the Duke Nonprofit Management Program?

A unit of Duke University Continuing Studies and Summer Session, the program addresses the sustainability and impact of nonprofit organizations, workers, and volunteers. The program provides affordable, practical, and accessible training to those working in and with the nonprofit sector—whether they are paid staff, directors, board members, philanthropists, volunteers, or members of faith-based communities. The Nonprofit Management Program offers:

  • Certificate in Nonprofit Management - 12 classes of 6 hours for a total of 72 hours instruction
  • Nonprofit Management Intensive Track
  • Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership
  • Online Courses
  • Custom Training

2. What is the mission of the Duke Nonprofit Management Program?

To strengthen the capacities of people, organizations, and networks within the nonprofit sector.

3. What are the benefits of the Duke Nonprofit Management Program?

This program builds on the unique combination of the following:

  • great content, that is both current and relevant
  • broad-based curriculum covering  a wide spectrum of the nonprofit sector
  • excellent instructors with practical nonprofit experience and varied teaching experience
  • networking built on the in-class experience and co-learning with your fellow students
  • plus the Duke University commitment to excellence

4. What is the content of the Duke Nonprofit Management Program? 

Earning the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management requires that a student attend 72 hours of instruction, divided among core areas and electives.  This includes:

  • 5 Core Courses of 6 hours each, for a total of 30 hours
  • 5 Key Electives – 1 from each Core Area, for a total of 30 hours
  • 12 hours of general elective, online courses, special topics or additional Key Electives
  • See a list of courses

5. Who are the instructors?

The instructors are established practitioners and scholars from a variety of disciplines within the nonprofit sector. Several hold the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management or the Duke Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership.

6. Who are the students?

Students in the Duke Nonprofit Management program come from a wide range of backgrounds. There are persons currently employed in nonprofit positions, executives from outside the nonprofit sector who want to transition into nonprofits, persons starting a nonprofit, board members, donors, retirees from all work sectors and persons who volunteer for an organization. There are persons from social service nonprofits, membership associations, trade associations and churches.

Class sizes range from six to twenty students.

7. How much do courses cost?

Individual, one-day, 6-hour classes cost $150 including parking and a materials fee of $10 payable to the instructor day of class.

8. May I take Nonprofit Management courses if I don’t intend to earn a certificate?

Yes. Individual courses may be taken. All classes are open to the public at the standard course fee. Students can take one course that meets their needs and decide later to complete the certificate. All classes count toward the certificate as long as the curriculum is followed (5 core classes, 5 key electives, plus 12 hours).

9. When are Information Sessions offered?

Free Information Sessions are offered at Nonprofit Management sites. See the Information Sessions section on this page for a list of sites and schedules.

10. Where are courses held?

Classes are held in several sites across the state and region. Students may take classes at any location.  All classes from any location count toward the certificate.

  • The main site is the Duke campus at Smith Warehouse, 114 S. Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC 27708
  •  There are several other Nonprofit Management sites.
    • Western NC/ Asheville
    • Charlotte
    • Petersburg VA
    • Danville/ Martinsville VA

Customized training is available upon request.  We can provide individual courses or courses toward a certificate for your nonprofit, association, professional organization or other groups.  Please call 919-668-6743 and let us know if you are interested in a customized program.

11. When are courses held?

Typically, classes are 6 hours, with either a one hour lunch break or a “working lunch." Most courses on Duke’s campus in Durham take place from 9am - 4pm, but there are variations, so check the actual class for the most accurate schedule.

12. Are my costs tax deductible?

Costs may be tax deductible. See your accountant.

13. Do you have job placement services?

Duke Continuing Studies does not offer job placement, job search, or career service assistance.

Registration Information

14. How do I get started in the Program?

Enrollment is open to all; no application is required. Students are invited to attend an info session which provides an overview to the program.  While not required, the info session helps students develop a strategy to take advantage of the program.

Registration methods:

  • Register online
  • Register by phone: 919-684-6259

15. How early do I need to register for a course?

Courses fill quickly. You should register early to get into the course of your choice. Enrollment for individual classes closes three working days prior to the class.  Walk-ins are not allowed. 

Course Information

16. Is there a recommended order for taking courses?

Students can take courses in any order. All students need the 5 core courses, the 5 key electives plus 12 more hours.  Often students find it useful to take one or more of the Core courses first in order to establish a framework, and then select the Key Electives.

17. How many Online Courses may be applied toward the Certificate?

Students may apply a total of 12 hours toward the 72 hours required to earn the Certificate. See a list of online courses.

18. When I register for an Online Course, what happens next?

Within five business days after we receive your registration request for an online course, you will receive an e-mail with details, including your username and password.

19. What is a "networking" lunch?

Students receive a one-hour for lunch.  Often groups of students eat lunch together.

20. What is a "working" lunch?

The instructor will continue to teach during the lunch hour.   There is no break at lunch, so students are asked to bring a bag lunch.

21. Is there pre-assigned work or homework?

Occasionally, instructors will send an article or quick assessment to students to complete and bring with them to class.

Earning the Certificate

22. How do I earn the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management?

Students can earn the certificate in 2 different ways:

  1. Open enrollment classes - Students must complete 72 hours of course work divided among the following options in the curriculum: 5 Core Courses; 5 Key Electives; and 12 hours from above or from General Electives, Special Topics in Nonprofit  Management, and Online Courses.

  2. Intensive Track - Students must complete 8 full days of the classroom experience, plus 24 hours of pre-assigned work.  This pre-assigned work is sent to students approximately 30 days prior to the class.

23. What is the difference between the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management, the Intensive Track and the Executive Certificate? 

  1. Open enrollment courses can count towards the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management - Students need to take 72 hours of courses, with 5 core classes, 5 key electives plus 12 hours.  Courses are offered during the Fall, Spring and Summer terms. Students select their courses and dates according to the listed schedule. This program appeals to students who want to choose their electives, who want to space out the classes over a semester or several semesters, and who are in a transitional phase of their life and can take many courses in one month.

  2. Intensive Track - This program consists of 8 full days (Monday through Monday), with a class capacity of 34 students.  Students are sent pre-assigned work approximately 30 days in advance. This class offering appeals to students who can commit to 8 straight days of class.  In order to earn the certificate on the last day, students must have attended 100% of the classes, missing no time. The class contains students from local areas, other states and other countries.

  3. Executive Certificate - The Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership offers high-impact training for seasoned nonprofit professionals whose leadership transforms organizations, communities, and lives. Prospective students must apply and be accepted before registering for the Program. See the application. The Executive Certificate is open to those who hold the Certificate in Nonprofit. Management and have at least 3 years of senior management experience. It is also open to persons not holding the Certificate in Nonprofit Management but who have at least five years of senior management experience.

24. How do I earn the Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership?

Before registering for the Executive Certificate, prospective students must apply and be accepted.

  • The Executive Certificate is open to those who hold the Duke Certificate in Nonprofit Management and have at least three years of management experience.
  • It is also open to those not holding the Certificate but who have at least five years of management experience.
  • See the application.

25. How do I obtain my certificate after I complete the curriculum requirements?

  • Students registered since 2009 have an online profile in our registration database.  When you complete 72 hours towards the certificate, you can check your online profile to confirm your enrollments and course completions. Go to the Continuing Studies home page and then click on Student Log-in to access your account or call Registration at 919-684-6259.
  • When you have logged into the Student Portal, click on the “My Certificates” link in the left menu to view details about your progress.  You can also see your curricular history by clicking on “My Enrollment History” in the left menu. Please take a screenshot of your enrollment progress before requesting the certificate.
  • Request your Certificate by contacting us in any of the following ways:
    • By Email:  nonprofit@duke.edu
    • Enter in the subject line: Certificate Completion Request- LAST NAME
  • If you’ve taken classes under more than one name, please include all names that may be in our database.
  • Please include your email or phone number so that we can contact you if there are any questions.
  • Certificates are processed several times a year, specifically at the end of each term.  It could take 2-3 months from when your request is received for you to receive your certificate.
  • Your Certificate will be mailed to the address you provide or that is in your online student profile.
  • Additional transcripts: $10 each from the Registration Office at 919-684-6259.
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