Syllabus for Nonprofit Project Management Mentored Masterclass

Nonprofit Project Design, Funding & Project Management Week Detailed Syllabus

A Six Month, Mentored, Nonprofit Management Certificate Program


This mentored program on nonprofit programs is designed in a progression where each weekly module represents one sequential step for you to take in the process of nonprofit program design and development. Assignments have real tools for you to download, print out, edit, and use as templates over and over again in launching new initiatives. We will take approximately one month for each one of the following six, core steps:  


Your Community. Defining and Choosing a Community to Work With.
Month 1. Clearly, and in a simple fashion define the community you hope to work with, the type of challenge you plan on solving, and what nonprofit project you’re hoping to develop to solve it. You will set up a workshop with representatives of the community and conduct a participatory needs assessment with your community to identify challenges.  

What is a Community? A simple definition of a community could be a rural community of 150 people on a Native American reservation. One of your goals could be that in working with you, they will develop ownership of your nonprofit project outcomes—and will sustain them once your nonprofit has finished its grant cycle. Other examples of communities that you might work with:

  • For an environmental project you might work with a community of scientists or environmentalists—or farmers and ranchers benefiting from ecosystem services on a restoration project.
  • In a food bank you might work with people visiting the food bank to better understand their nutritional needs.
  • For a teen drop-in center you might conduct a needs assessment with the teens themselves—or with their parents—or both.
  • For a community development nonprofit project you might work with a community based organization of involved citizens who wish to revitalize a small, rural town.
  • In increasing agricultural access to urban farmers’ markets—you might work with a group of small farmers—and with City Hall in the town where you live.

Project Planning. Problem Identification.
Month 2. Use the results from the participatory needs assessment with your community to identify challenges—and develop a simple and straightforward nonprofit project outline complete with a clearly defined problem statement, underlying causes, solution oriented activities, and program goals. This process will embed positive impact and sustainability into your nonprofit project. You will research evidenced based solutions and activities for your challenge and prepare a detailed nonprofit project outline.  

Your Tools. Powerful Nonprofit Project Management and Project Planning Tools to Engage Donors and Run Programs Embed impact into your nonprofit project design with a powerful set of nonprofit management tools. Log frames, detailed budgets, timelines, a program description, compelling fact sheets, M&E plans, outcome and impact statements and a program fact sheet (Letter of Inquiry).  

What you will accomplish in the first two months of the program:
RESULTS: By the end of the first two months of the mentored program through project planning you will have designed and developed a real nonprofit program based upon real need determined with input from your constituents and colleagues. You will have incorporated initial feedback from both community members and a donor into your nonprofit program’s development. You will have developed nonprofit management documents for presentation to your donor base.  


Fully Customized Months 3 and 4. In the second two month period you will connect your project concept with donor interests.   Your Communication. Learn How To Attract Nonprofit Donors.

Month 3. Clearly define which donors are best for you. The donors may be individuals who are already making contributions to your organization inspired by your email newsletters and by the donor pages on your website (full of compelling stories!). They may also be private foundations. In either case, I will help you clearly define the donors and identify and write compelling stories for them.   The nonprofit management tools developed in month two will communicate to donors and stakeholders exactly what you are trying to accomplish and can be used for effective management of the nonprofit program once funded.  

Month 4.
For individual donors: We’ll tune up your blog postings and newsletter to capture donor imagination—and make sure your nonprofit donation page is effective and easy to use.   You will update your blog with new posts describing your nonprofit program’s design progress—and you will send out the first of several email newsletters with compelling stories about your community members. I’ll show you how to do all of this.  

For foundation donors: This is not a grant writing course—however, you will be able to use the materials from month three for grant development in order to meet donor requirements. If applicable, you will actually select a foundation and submit a Letter of Inquiry.  

RESULTS: In the Second Two Months of the Program You Will

  1. Clearly define which donors are best for you: individuals visiting your website or private foundations
  2. Develop skill sets in how to raise money for a nonprofit
  3. Tune up your blog post and newsletter to capture donor imagination
  4. Make sure your donation page is effective and simple to use
  5. If applicable, explore different ways to identify foundation donors and select one which is appropriate for your organization
  6. Using the information that you developed about your nonprofit program, edit a letter of inquiry targeted to a specific foundation


Your Team. Your team may include community members, clients, staff and volunteers.
Month 5. While waiting for the funding to roll in, you will select a series of no-cost/low-cost activities from your nonprofit program outline which will develop ownership within the community and officially launch the nonprofit program.   You will learn how to harness community and volunteer support through setting up a co-management committee for one of your nonprofit program’s activities.  

Your Launch.
Month 6. You will launch your first no cost/low cost nonprofit program activity within the community using templates of workshop plans that I provide—and learn:

  • How to best launch and manage nonprofit programs.
  • The importance of community engagement and program co-management.
  • How to teach skill sets to your community members to use in the activity.
  • About the learning tools of monitoring & evaluation.
  • About community empowerment through sustainability, follow-up & mentoring.
  • How to design and lead a capacity building workshop.

RESULTS: In Months 5 and 6 of the Program You Will

  1. While waiting for funding to roll in, set up a community co-management committee for your nonprofit program
  2. Identify no-cost/low-cost activities from your nonprofit project.
  3. Launch a nonprofit program activity called out in your program design with volunteers, and/or community members
  4. Build nonprofit project impact through community engagement.

10 People Only. This mentored training program is limited to 10 people. We will have weekly communication through my advice and comments on your weekly assignment modules. I will have a monthly private telephone consultation with you to keep us working closely together on your program. I will also respond to quick questions that you send me.  

If one of the tracks below fulfills organizational need, then this mentored training program is for you.

  1. New Nonprofit Project. Design a fundable, sustainable, impact oriented nonprofit project from scratch.
  2. Pre-launch. Fine-tune a nonprofit project you are about to launch to increase its manageability, its impact, and its sustainability.
  3. Nonprofit projects in process. Get a current project with challenges back on track and increase its impact.

Write Faster to Save Time I’ve created 20 sets of program templates (detailed step-by-step instructions and finished examples of each module for you to use) that you can download and customize to best fit your emerging nonprofit project. 20 logical steps: No more writing from scratch—just edit and modify my templates to best fit your project.

“Tim and his online team are only an email away and based on my own experiences never failed to respond to my challenges, concerns, successes and queries. I know that my community members and I have benefited tremendously from our interaction with Tim and participation in the program. I do wish you continued success with your commitment and drive in providing excellent service, and valuable and practical knowledge.” Gillian Primus  

“Thank you so much, Tim – till the next course. It will be a pleasure to go out and demonstrate the elegant simplicity and effectiveness of your system. It was also my great fortune to have been partnered with Sam, thanks to Tim. I thank you for a wonderful learning experience together. Looking forward to another time as classmates or colleagues.” Carol Wallace.  

“Hi Tim. Thank you so much for your support all through the mentored course. I learned valuable resources and directions The whole program is very well organized, the instructions were comprehensive and concrete so that I never had any query in any assignment. Assignments were corrected quickly with feedback and encouragement from the mentor. It is very worthwhile. Evana Rahman. Program Leader: Access Agriculture.

“Thank you for all your effort in putting together a great program and all of the program resources. Thank you for everything – for making this possible, for your guidance, and for your continuous optimism and encouragement. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you again in the next session.” Wye Yee Yong  

“This program was absolutely awesome! The course content, instruction, example projects, on-line resources and the most valuable – your timely guidance on the assignments were all perfectly done.” Burt Mento  

“As you know, as a real beginner in designing projects, without your project example templates I could never have written even a single word by myself.” Moise Tend

Learn more about our Nonprofit Management Program.