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NMI Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about the ASU Lodestar Center's Nonprofit Management Institute (NMI) and the certificates it offers? This FAQ provides answers to the most commonly asked questions. If you do not find the answer to your questions, you can contact us at 602.496.0500 or email nmi@asu.edu.

Cancellation and Refund Policy: 

The ASU Lodestar Center offers flexible and accommodating learning opportunities. The planning process for each course is complex and time-consuming; consequently, we have adopted the following policy regarding the cancellation of attendance at a course by participants.

Cancellation Date

Amount of Refund

20 business days from the course start date

Registration fee less $60 transaction fee

10-19 business days from the course start date

Refund of 50%

0-9 business days from the course start date

Not eligible for a refund. The course/certificate fee is forfeited.

Participants may cancel their registration up to two weeks (ten business days) prior to class start date.

No refunds after the course start date or when course material has been accessed by the participant.

To cancel a registration, contact ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation Nonprofit Management Institute staff at nmi@asu.edu. We will review your request and refund your purchase appropriately. Refunds will be made in the same payment format as the original submission. No refunds will be processed from two weeks (10 business days) prior to class start date.

NOTE:  there are no refunds for no-shows. For online courses, individuals who have not logged into Canvas or contacted ASU Lodestar Center personnel by the end of the first session will be considered a no-show.  

ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation reserves the right to cancel a scheduled course or program. All students will be notified and issued a full refund of the canceled course or transferred to the next available schedule.

You may submit a grievance or a cancel request to nmi@asu.edu.  This request will be subject to the same cancelation terms shown in the table above.

Transfer Policy for Full Certificate Participants:

We understand that life happens. We will make every reasonable effort to work with you in the event you must request a course transfer. We are bound by our contracts with our instructors and have set reasonable but firm policies regarding transferring of course schedule. We appreciate your understanding and adherence to these guidelines:

Transfers must be requested two weeks (ten business days) prior to class start date. No transfers will be initiated if course material has been accessed by the participant.

 --- Above cancellation policies apply to all full certificate purchases.---

How much do certificates from the ASU Lodestar Center's Nonprofit Management Institute (NMI) cost ?

  • The Nonprofit Management Certificate. Individual prices for courses in this certificate program are $349 with an administrative fee of $75 to graduate, valuing this certificate at $2867.

There are several cost-effective ways to purchase this certificate however:

    1. Option A: $2360 - Onetime Payment in Full: This option is the most cost effective with the price reduced to $295 per course and administrative fees are waived!

    2. Option B: $2520 – Staggered Payment Plan: This option secures our Early Bird discount on all required courses in this certificate program and staggers the costs of the program reasonably over four affordable payments of $630. The down payment allows you to begin your certificate program with subsequent payments made in advance of beginning the next courses in your succession schedule and administrative fees are waived.
    3. Option C: $2595 – Ala Carte Plan: Track your own course schedule and notify NMI staff that you intend to graduate from the certificate program. This plan is calculated at the presumed discount rate of $315 per course (costs may be higher if Early Bird deadlines are missed). This method requires an administrative graduation fee of $75 to verify course requirements have been met and issue the certificate upon completion.  Individual prices per course are $349 for this certificate program. Early Bird pricing of $315 per course applies if registration is completed 10 business days before each course start date.
  • The Grant Development – State and Foundation Proposal Certificate costs $1050. You can enroll early for a total cost of $999.  Advanced Grant Development – Federal Proposal Certificate costs $1175.  You can enroll early for a total cost of $1050.
  • Social Impact Measurement Certificate costs $749 with Early Bird pricing of $699.
  • The Nonprofit Executive Leadership Certificate  is a total of $3,279 for the entire certificate. BeachFleischman Scholarships may be available up to $1200. These individual courses may not be purchased individually.
  • The following Micro-Certificates may be purchased as full certificates, guaranteeing Early Bird Discount pricing for each course:  
    • Nonprofit Marketing & Strategic Communications Certificate - $828
    • Fundraising and Sustainable Financial Management - $1260
    • Optimizing Human Resource Strategies in Nonprofits - $828
    • Nonprofit Operations and Program Impact - $1044

Are these courses academic units at ASU?

  • No. All courses offered by the Nonprofit Management Institute are considered to be professional development credits that help students expand and flourish in their current roles in the nonprofit industry.

Are there prerequisite requirements to register in NMI courses and certificates?  Do I need a college degree to take NMI courses?   

  • There are no prerequisites for NMI courses, however, some certificates require advanced skillsets & or some community connections in the nonprofit sector before taking.  All other NMI courses are available to all skill sets, including those who are unemployed, employed in the nonprofit sector, not employed in the nonprofit sector, those wanting to make a career change. 

The following certificates require prerequisite requirements: 

  • Grant Development - State and Foundation Proposals Certificate:  Participants must pre-identify a nonprofit organization for which they will be writing a proposal.
  • Advanced Grant Development – Federal Proposal Certificate:  Participants must pre-identify a nonprofit organization for which they will be writing a proposal. Participants signing up for this certificate must have advanced writing skills and previous experience in writing both state and foundation grant proposals. See Details HERE 
  • The Executive Leadership Certificate is specifically designed for the unique needs of senior-level nonprofit leaders and emerging executives of nonprofits and public organizations.  This certificate teaches the tools, perspectives, and frameworks necessary to achieve your institutional missions and create a greater impact on your organization. At a minimum, it is helpful if participants have professional or management experience within the nonprofit sector.

Are scholarships, financial aid, or tuition deferment (ASU staff or employees) offered?

  • Scholarships, financial aid, and tuition deferment are not offered for our programs as these are considered to be professional development courses.

Do I receive grades for the work that I complete?

  • NO.  Students do not receive grades for the work that they complete.  We do not issue transcripts for courses. The courses are competency based and all of the materials within the course have a point value which is scored for "Pass" or Fail".  Students must pass the course with a minimum of a comparable "C-" within the course to pass the course and receive a certificate of completion, however, we do not issue grades for our courses.

What is Academic Integrity at Arizona State University (ASU)?

  • The Nonprofit Management Institute is fully committed to upholding Arizona State University's culture of academic integrity.  Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in any NMI course or certificate.  For a full description, Academic Integrity at Arizona State University CLICK HERE.   

How long can I take to complete my full certificate?

  • Students have a total of three years from initial registration in the program to meet all of their certificate requirements.  (Applies to all certificate programs EXCEPT the Executive Leadership Certificate program which is cohort-style over 8 consecutive months. )

Registration deadline for online courses.

  • It is recommended that you register for a course as soon as possible, to avoid the course being closed or cancelled for low attendance. Many courses offer a discount if registered more than two weeks prior.
  • All participants must register 3 business days prior to a course start date.  Most courses begin on a Monday, with the last day to register being the Friday prior.  All online Canvas courses require an ASURITE ID (username for Canvas) to participate in the course. Registration links collect information to either create an ASURITE ID or search for an already existing ID.  There are no late enrollments for users without a working ASURITE ID and password.      

How do I register for a course?

  • To register for a course, visit our online registration page, and use the filters at the top of the page to determine the course you would like to take.You can then pay by credit card via the site.  Personal checks are no longer accepted. Business checks must be accompanied with a valid purchase order number from a registered business or governmental agency. Registrations falling outside these requirements will be cancelled. 

What are the technical requirements for taking a course online?

  • In your online course, you will need a standard laptop or desktop computer to access your classes. A mobile device, tablet or netbook will not provide the access and functionality necessary for ASU Online courses. A webcam and headset (with microphone) may be helpful for the Zoom portions of your courses but they are not required.
  • High-speed internet is needed as most ASU Online courses use multimedia tools that are best viewed with high-speed internet, so having the proper connection is essential.
  • additional resource tips can be found here: ASU ONLINE LEARNING TIPS

All certificates and courses are delivered Online only at this time. 

  • Online courses last for two weeks, starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday. Participants should plan to spend about 15-20 hours per week in a two-week course. Online courses can be accessed any time of day through the online platform ASU Canvas. 

My online course is both Asynchronous and Synchronous. What does that mean?

  • Asynchronous learning is self-paced study, in a course which is led by a Knowledge Specialist. You may complete your time-sensitive assignments when it best fits your personal schedule. 
  • Synchronous learning is conducted with the Knowledge Specialist and students at a specific time and location.

How long will it take me to earn my full certificate?

  • The Nonprofit Management Certificate (8 courses) can take anywhere from six to twelve months depending on which delivery schedule(s) you select.
    The Nonprofit Operations and Program Impact Certificate (4 courses) can take from three to six months depending on delivery. 
    The Fundraising and Sustainable Financial Management Certificate (4 courses) can take from three to six months depending on delivery. 
  • The Nonprofit Marketing and Strategic Communications Certificate (4 courses) can take from three to six months depending on delivery. 
  • The Grant Development and Proposal Writing Certificates will take you 7 weeks to complete the Grant Development: State and Foundation Proposals certificate and 7 weeks to complete the Advanced Grant Development: Federal Proposals certificate.
  • The Social Impact Measurement Certificate is 8 weeks long.
  • The Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership (7 courses) takes up to 8 months to complete, depending on course scheduling.

Do I have to take the courses in a specific order?

  • The Executive Leadership, Grant Development and Proposal Writing and Best Skills Best Churches Certificates must be done in the order delivered. 
  • The Nonprofit Management Certificate, Nonprofit Operations & Program Impact, Fundraising & Sustainable Financial Management, and the Nonprofit Marketing and Strategic Communications Certificate, allow you to take required courses in any order that is convenient for you. 

Do I need to take all of the courses in a certificate program?

  • Yes, to earn a full certificate, you must complete all of the courses in any given certificate program.

I am only interested in taking a few classes - can I enroll for less than a full certificate program? 

  • If you only want to take courses that interest you, you may still do so. The only exception is the Nonprofit Executive Leadership Program. You must register for all 7 courses as it is a cohort format.

How do online courses work?

  • All NMI courses are conducted online with the ASU Course Management System: Canvas. These asynchronous courses (self-paced study where you may complete time-sensitive assignments when it best fits your personal schedule) are led by a Nonprofit Knowledge Specialist over the course of fourteen days, and require a total of approximately 15-20 hours of study/participation per week. Each course is divided into four or five sections with their own activities, readings assignments, and discussion question (DQ) boards. There is no set time to log in, however, activities and DQ's will have due dates which must be adhered to.
  • All NMI courses now also contain synchronous (date and time specific) Zoom class instructional opportunities held one to two times per course for up to two hours per class.
  • Participants need to log into ASU Canvas within the first 24 hours of a course to prevent being listed as a NO-Show. Students are expected to complete assignments and stay on track. 
  • In order to participate in your online course, you will need an active ASURITE ID and working password. This will be your username/login for ASU Canvas. When you register for an online course you will be prompted to fill out the appropriate information so Lodestar Center staff can either find your ASURITE ID (ASU alumni, for example) or create a new one.

If I have a complaint - what do I do?   

Students with a grade grievance and/or any other issue pertaining to their course, are expected to communicate their grievance first to the Knowledge Specialist of the course; and if the issue remains unresolved, the student should next address their concern with the department director (or their designee).

Dr. Cynthia Thiede, cynthia.thiede@asu.edu or 602-496-1061