Nov 20, 2017
In Cornell Institute for Public Affairs

CIPA has launched its first online certificate in Financial Success for Nonprofits to prepare professionals for guiding nonprofits to financial sustainability amidst rapid changes in technology, policy, and wealth distribution. The certificate is offered through eCornell, the University’s online education unit.

“This program provides a crucial orientation to today’s nonprofit world. We move beyond numbers to examine perceptions of impact, and what happens when things aren’t going well and leaders have to love an organization enough to make the hard decisions,” said Joseph Grasso, faculty author of the certificate and associate dean for Finance, Administration and Corporate Relations at Cornell’s ILR School.

Joe Grasso speaking at lecture podium

CIPA Core Faculty member Joe Grasso is the faculty author of the online certificate in Financial Success for Nonprofits.

"These eCornell certificate programs represent CIPA's initial foray into executive education,” says CIPA Executive Director Thomas O’Toole, who was the driving force behind this new initiative. “It is our goal to develop a strong suite of programs that will ultimately lead to a blended degree experience for mid- and advanced-career professionals. Professor Grasso's experience with ILR online education, which has been extraordinarily successful, makes him an ideal CIPA core faculty member to lead this certificate program."

Financial Success for Nonprofits consists of four courses that can be completed over two months, in just three to five hours per week. Whether new to finance, nonprofits, or board responsibilities, students will leave the program with a set of immediately applicable tools and be prepared to:

  • Use and interpret nonprofit financial statements and ratios;
  • Create a realistic budget using good judgement and strategic analysis of programmatic impact;
  • Assess opportunities for influence and develop a structured fundraising program; and
  • Establish healthy board governance through consensus decision-making, awareness, and fiduciary accountability.

Grasso is a 30-year veteran of finance and management in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors and a CIPA core faculty member. The certificate is ideal for CEOs, executive directors, new board members, administrators and program staff from all types of nonprofits, and for lawyers who serve the nonprofit sector. Students who complete the certificate earn a Financial Success for Nonprofits Certificate from Cornell’s College of Human Ecology, of which CIPA is a part.

About eCornell

As Cornell University’s online learning platform, eCornell delivers online professional certificate courses to individuals and organizations around the world. Courses are personally developed by Cornell faculty with expertise in a wide range of topics, including hospitality, management, marketing, human resources and leadership.  Students learn in an interactive, small cohort format to gain skills they can immediately apply in their organizations and earn a professional certificate from Cornell University. eCornell has offered online learning courses and certificate programs for 15 years to over 130,000 students at more than 2,000 companies.