UNCF’s Philanthropy Institute, Powered by the Teaching + Learning Center

Advancement professionals at HBCUs are at the forefront of reversing historic under-resourcing, overcoming persistent racial bias in funding and changing the narrative to promote the unique value and core values of HBCUs. They could use some help.

The UNCF Philanthropy Institute was established to propel the professional development and networking of those responsible for raising considerable funds and support for HBCUs, and other underserved organizations, so they can become the industry-leading experts we need them to be.

UNCF Vice President of Programs Dr. Shawna Acker-Ball being interviewed on Black Enterprise’s “Class is in Session” podcast hosted by Ashlei Stevens. Dr. Acker-Ball discusses current developments regarding UNCF’s Philanthropy Institute.

A first of its kind, the UNCF Philanthropy Institute provides training, resources and opportunities—all designed by and for advancement professionals at Black and other underserved organizations.

Meet Our Subject Matter Experts

UNCF Philanthropy Institute logoOur work is strategic, intentional and innovative, covering a range of catalytic learnings, such as: workshops on the psychographic profiles and giving behavior of Black donors, including HBCU alumni; making the case for HBCU institutional transformation; an analysis of the evolving adoption of an equity framework at major philanthropies; changing the public narrative and discourse on HBCUs; and affinity spaces for Black advancement professionals to support and learn from one another.

Our approach is purposefully collaborative. We have much to learn from one another about building upon the legacy of the outsized impact of HBCUs through generations of limited resources. We will elicit, package and share with our growing community of fundraising professionals, not only best practices and cultural insights, but also ways to lift our collective spirits to continually energize this vital enterprise.

All the while, we will not lose sight of why we do what we do: to ensure HBCUs and other underserved organizations can make an even bigger impact for their students, stakeholders and communities.

Powered by the UNCF Teaching + Learning Center, the Philanthropy Institute reimagines the practice of fundraising, leveraging culturally-informed expertise and a commitment to racial justice and social equity. The UNCF Philanthropy Institute is well positioned to become a leader in the fundraising space, not only in what we provide, but how we convey our training, resources and opportunities to Black advancement professionals and others representing marginalized communities.

Certified Fund Raising Executive, CFRE, logoUNCF is now a CFRE Participating Organization and champions the CFRE certification to support fundraising professionals in centering their practice on globally-accepted, ethical best practices. As a Participating Organization, UNCF’s Teaching and Learning Center is recognized as an Approved Provider for CFRE Continuing Education points. Fundraising staff at UNCF and UNCF-member HBCUs also receive a 20 percent discount on CFRE initial certification and recertification.

Engaging Alumni and Other Diverse Donors:
Culturally-Informed Marketing Strategies
For mid-career professionals (6.5 hours)

Learn best practices in donor and alumni engagement, including how to leverage research tools and assess online and social media communications. Craft your institution’s unique case, ensuring your messaging and materials are donor-centric.

Championing the Donor Journey:
Innovative Practices from Prospect Management through Donor Stewardship
For mid-career professionals (6.5 hours) 

Equip yourself with the insights and skills to manage and energize the entire donor journey, from prospecting to stewardship, with culturally-informed methodologies for approaching donors, conducting discovery, cultivating relationships, and making successful asks.

Maximizing Executive Impact:
Fundraising Excellence at HBCUs
For executives (6 hours)

Align institutional advancement and strategic plans to maximize fundraising potential. Further relationships with high-impact donors. Engage in a roundtable with peers for brief lectures, interactive discussions and a co-created case study based on course experiences.


Stay in touch and learn more about course launches, upcoming events and more by using the Contact Us link below.