Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising

January 10 – March 13, 2024

Hosted by Lake Institute on Faith & Giving in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising (ECRF) is an eight-week online course with a practical application project.

It provides the research, tools, and customized training to meet the growing needs of leaders in religious communities and fundraisers of faith-based organizations. The focus of the ECRF is on the cultural, organizational, and philanthropic practices unique to religious institutions. These practices in turn enable donors motivated by spiritual and religious values to experience the joy of generous giving. Learn more.

Within my first year as bishop, I engaged in the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising course. I am so grateful I did. It formed my thoughts, actions, and confidence for engaging with others around religious fundraising. This is something that will have lasting impact.
– Bishop Tessa Moon, Eastern North Dakota Synod, ELCA

ECRF equipped me to understand our ministry’s mission in such a way that I can easily utilize it to tell anyone about why what we’re doing here matters.  Now I’m prepared at any moment for anything from a 30 second elevator pitch to a 30 minute presentation.
– Jesse Caniff-Kuhn, Campus Pastor, University of South Carolina

Who should attend:

The ELCA Stewardship and Generosity Team is sponsoring this private offering of the Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising at a significant cost savings to leaders responsible for resource development who are serving ELCA synods and congregations, Lutheran Campus Ministries, and Lutheran Outdoor Ministries. Participants will be those ready to learn more about the spirituality of fundraising and gain a core foundation in fundraising principles. A mix of leaders from these areas will be included in the thirty participants. To be considered to join the January 2024 cohort, please contact Rev. Larry Strenge (Larry.Strenge@elca.org), ELCA Congregational Stewardship Training Coordinator.

Date and structure of program:

  • The online learning platform opens Wednesday, January 10; the first plenary session is Wednesday, January 17.
  • The class will meet live online two (2) times each week, both via Zoom:
    – Wednesdays (January 17 – March 13): Interactive 90 minute plenary session at 2:00-3:30 pm Eastern Time.
    – Weekly facilitated one-hour peer group on Thursday, specific time chosen with registration.
    – Neither plenary or peer groups will meet the week of Ash Wednesday.
  • Asynchronous learning through the learning platform.
  • In total, you can expect about four hours each week for synchronous and asynchronous lessons.

What’s Included:

  • Certificate Curriculum
  • Online learning platform

What’s not included:


  • $850 (a $550 savings over the usual cost of $1350!)

Next Steps:

For further information contact Rev. Tim Brown, ELCA Director of Congregational Stewardship (Tim.Brown@elca.org, 773-458-6411) or Rev. Larry Strenge (Larry.Strenge@elca.org, 320-249-1135). Either can provide the registration link and $850 payment details to ELCA Churchwide.