Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership

This comprehensive hybrid certificate program introduces nonprofit leaders to key management issues for nonprofit organizations. The course consists of in-class sessions and online components with an assortment of interactive exercises, videos, selected readings, case studies, and self-assessments.

This program will engage and prepare participants for effective decision-making in a nonprofit setting through interactive and collaborative exercises with other nonprofit leaders. The in-class sessions interspersed between online modules will help participants learn from experts and tie the online lessons to real-life practices.


What You Will You Learn:
• Understanding the uses and functions of budgets and the relationship between strategic budgeting and tactical budgeting
• Identifying the types of financial statements that are used by nonprofit organizations, and how they differ from for-profit financial reporting
• Learning how nonprofits use marketing to publicize their mission and to gather contributions of time and money
• Learning to write grants and understand the relationship between grant writing and an organization's strategy for fundraising
• Understanding the nonprofit sector and the issues that leaders face in this exciting and growing field
• Using social media in communicating, marketing, public relations, and fundraising for nonprofits
• Developing the fundamentals of board and volunteer development as well as recruiting, effective communication, and retention
• Understanding leadership in the nonprofit sector, including the leadership shortage and possible solutions

This program is designed for current or future non-profit supervisors, managers, executives, and decision-makers seeking to develop an understanding of non-profit management and leadership.

Note: PEWD program participants should be 18 years or older.

No prerequisites required.

Sabrina Walker Hernandez

With over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, and leadership, Sabrina Walker Hernandez, President/CEO of Supporting World Hope (SWH), provides consulting services & project-based leadership in helping organizations in the areas of building and managing development programs, capital campaigns, major gift fundraising, board development, marketing, annual fundraising efforts, and public relations. Sabrina has a reputation for transformational leadership through staffing and mission alignment, fundraising, expanding programming and community partnerships.

Prior to starting SWH, Sabrina served as the Chief Executive Officer for Boys & Girl Clubs of Edinburg RGV. One of Sabrina’s greatest successes is that she increased operation revenue from $750,000 to 2.5 million over an 8 year period as well being responsible for the planning and operations of the largest campaign in the organization’s history, a $12 million comprehensive capital campaign. In addition to her CEO experience, Sabrina also held the positions of Vice President of Operations.

She also serves as a master national trainer for Boys & Girls Clubs of America which allows her to facilitate workshops and training at Clubs across the country. She has served on the Board of Directors for Edinburg Rotary and the Texas Partnership for Out of School Time. She recently earned her Certification of Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School. Sabrina earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas-Pan American and holds a master’s degree in Public Administration.

Terri Drefke

She is an accomplished executive with demonstrated ability to deliver mission-critical results, skilled in talent recruiting, asset protection, financial management, and customer relations. She led the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Inc. for 28 years from a small entity into one of the largest in the area and state. 2016-2017 fiscal year saw over $100 million of food distributed on an operating budget of $4.5 million with a fulltime staff of 60+. She annually prepared an Expense Budget and Income Projection, following current standards of financial accountability and implemented policies to ensure adequate internal financial controls. Terri created a new revenue stream in 2016 through the writing and negotiation of a major state contract for the storage and distribution of school commodities. She spearheaded the purchase and renovation of the Valley Fruit Company facility, resulting in a 100% increase in distribution. The $15 million projects included the negotiation and use of New Market and Historic Tax Credits, and the listing of the property on State and Federal Historic Sites.

Note: If you are applying for the Continuing Education Private Loan to cover the registration fee for a non-credit continuing education program, then please use the UTRGV Continuing Education School Code: 003599. The loan amount you note in the application cannot exceed the open enrollment fee noted on our website. Books will NOT be included in the loan amount. The minimum for the loans must be $500.00. Some service charges may apply.

*The only loan provider PEWD accepts is Sallie Mae*

Please email pewd@utrgv.edu once you have been approved so we may certify your loan.

Private Loans


Session Details:

In this introduction session, we will introduce you to the Nonprofit Certificate Online Course and review the main concepts. You will have the opportunity to network with other nonprofit leaders and broaden your expertise and access to information.

Budgeting, Capital Campaigns, and Fundraising
  • In this course, you will gain an understanding of budgeting, capital campaigns, and fundraising in a nonprofit organization. You will explore the relationship between strategic budgeting, tactical budgeting, capital budgets, cash flow budgets, and opportunity budgets. You will also learn how to successfully run a capital campaign and learn the phases - evaluation, feasibility study, organization, solicitation, and post-campaign activities, as well as how to avoid common pitfalls. Lastly, the modules offer an introduction to fundraising for nonprofit organizations, with an emphasis on the fundamental issues.
Reading Nonprofit Financial Statements, Introduction to Grant Writing
  • Understanding what the numbers say about the health of your nonprofit is critical to being able to manage the organization successfully. This module will develop your ability to appropriately interpret the major financial accounting statements that are used by nonprofit organizations. This module will also cover the basics and best practices of grant writing and explores the relationship between grant writing and an organization's strategy for fundraising.

Introduction to Nonprofit Management, Leadership, and Board and Volunteer Development
  • This module will expose you to the major areas of responsibility for nonprofit leaders, including strategy, managing employees and volunteers, fundraising, grant writing, board governance, marketing, innovation, and social media. Participants will also examine leadership theories as well as key qualities and ethics within leadership. This module covers the fundamentals of the board and volunteer development as well as recruiting, effective communication, and retention.
Principles of Marketing for Nonprofit Organization, Social Media for Nonprofits
  • Effective use of social media as a marketing tool is often essential for nonprofits to get attention in this digital world. This module introduces learners to the use of social media in communicating, marketing, public relations, and fundraising for nonprofits. It explores the major social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest) as vehicles for nonprofits to reach their members, volunteers, and donors. This module will also include a discussion and self-reflection portion focusing on organizational plans, challenges, improvements, and new knowledge acquired.

  • You will share valued knowledge and "Aha Moments" you have experienced during the online course so far.
  • You will engage in a self-reflection activity to identify the area of the nonprofit course you have enjoyed, mastered, and or felt challenged by.
  • You will discuss ways in which the Nonprofit Certificate Online Course has enabled you to make some improvements within your organization.
  • Groups will partner up based on their organization plan (Budgeting Plan, Fundraising Plan, Marketing Plan, or Strategic Plan) and focus on discussing progress, challenges, and prior and new knowledge acquired to improve their selected plan.
Strategy for Nonprofit Organizations
  • A nonprofit's strategy constitutes its decisions about what it will do and how it will do it. Managers are critical to successfully implementing strategy since they are responsible for carrying out the actions that will support it. By understanding a nonprofit's strategy and how it helps the organization fulfill its mission, a manager can do a better job implementing the strategy. This module will explain how budgets and capital budgets interrelate with nonprofit strategic planning.
Presentations & Discussion
  • This last module will serve as a wrap-up for the entire course and offer you the opportunity to present and highlight key elements of your improved organization plan. You will hear different presentations about budgeting plans, fundraising plans, marketing plans, or strategic plans and have the opportunity to collaborate with other field experts.

Edinburg Course Information

Registration Deadline:



Program Modality:
Hybrid (In-person and Online Self-Paced)

Lecture: Edinburg CESS Building

Sabrina Walker Hernandez & Terri Drefke

$ 899

Students requiring accommodation should contact our office pewd@utrgv.edu to learn about the process.