In 2009, Deborah Binder experienced a major transition in her role when she became development director for the National Shrine of St. Rita of Cascia, without any formal training in fundraising. Suddenly she was faced with responsibility for fundraising, including an ambitious $1.5 million capital campaign, and for marketing and communications for the South Philadelphia landmark, which is being transformed into a center for conflict resolution, healing, education and spiritual growth.
A former education administrator with an extensive education that includes doctoral studies, Deborah fully understood the value one gains from “field experts and those currently employed in their professions,” and decided to contact The Nonprofit Center during her first week on the job. She met with education staff at the Center and “immediately saw the benefits to the certificate programs” and enrolled in both the both the Fundraising and Marketing & Communications programs. If two simultaneous certificates were not enough, she soon added the Nonprofit Management Certificate, and within eight months had completed all three programs.
“My expectations were high from the start,” Deborah said of her desire to learn best practices in resource development, marketing, communications and all aspects of nonprofit management that were relevant in today’s world. “I wanted to hear about current research, examples of methods and activities that were successful and to have knowledgeable professors who could discuss their work in relation to others who they considered strong in their fields. I wanted days filled with well-planned lectures, stimulating discussion, varied group activities, suggestions for future learning opportunities, connections to current technology and networking opportunities.”
Her high expectations were met: “I was thrilled and never disappointed with the professionalism and knowledge base of the instructors, the amount of worthwhile information, the locations of the classes, the attention to purposeful evaluations and the information offered In those evaluations, and the incredible connections I was able to make with so many giving and experienced professionals who were my classmates,” she explains.
Deborah’s plans to continue to build on this solid knowledge base with additional classes as she continues with the capital campaign and other responsibilities, concluding: “I’m a better professional due to the exceptional instructors and administrators and the incredible people I met in my classes,” she says of her experience with The Nonprofit Center.