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Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance Launches the Philanthropy Institute

New intensive education, mentee opportunities, and fundraising certification points for nonprofit professionals

Livermore, CA – WEBWIRE

This is a great opportunity for nonprofit leaders to learn best practices in development and fundraising.

The Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance (TVNPA) today announced the launch of the Philanthropy Institute, a new opportunity for all nonprofit professionals, board members, and volunteers to take their skills to the next level through intensive, multi-session cohort courses. With an interactive approach to learning and sessions led by accomplished instructors and guest speakers, the Philanthropy Institute’s courses are designed to empower today’s philanthropy leaders to immediately apply knowledge within their nonprofits. In addition, the Philanthropy Institute will provide cohort participants with one-on-one connections to mentors in the field for six months of advice and feedback.

Boasting a team that reads like a Who’s Who of philanthropy, communications, and nonprofit management, the list of those teaching at the Philanthropy Institute is led by local nonprofit leader Susan Houghton, MS, CFRE, Principal, The Houghton-Covey Group, and a founding board member of TVNPA. Other instructors and guest speakers include:

  • Jack Alotto, California Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Ambassador, Instructor at JFK University
  • Catharine Baker, Special Counsel, Hoge Fenton Jones & Appel
  • Benisa Berry, Principal Consultant, Berry Consulting Services, Berry Mediation and Law
  • Chris Carter, Executive Director, Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center
  • Stephanie Casenza, Director of Development, Lutheran Social Services and Instructor, Nonprofit Management, California State University, East Bay
  • Lori Guidry, Network Engagement Manager, Western Region, CANDID
  • Maria Hjelm, Assistant Dean of Development, University of California, Berkeley
  • Christine Lim, Senior Development Officer, East Bay Community Foundation
  • Steve McCoy-Thompson, Executive Director, Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation
  • David Russo, Sr. Director, Planned Giving & Corporate Relations, Catholic Charities
  • Melanie Sadek, Executive Director, Valley Humane Society
  • Vicki Shipman, CTE Project Manager, Las Positas College
  • Patricia Stirling, Founder, Stirling Associates

“This is a great opportunity for nonprofit leaders to learn best practices in development and fundraising,” said Houghton. “We have a strong and committed group of instructors, guest speakers, and mentors who are excited to be a part of this special TVNPA educational series.”

Nonprofit professionals can learn more about the Philanthropy Institute on the TVNPA website. The fall cohort classes will focus on development and the ‘art of making the ask.’ Sessions will take place every Friday morning from October 2 to November 6, 2020. The cost for all six sessions is $500 for TVNPA members and $600 for non-members, with a 50 percent discount for additional registrations from the same nonprofit organization. All sessions, which will be conducted online via Zoom, qualify for Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) points.

TVNPA recently became a CFRE International Participating Organization, - allowing members to receive a 20 percent discount on the cost of CFRE initial certification and recertification. Full participation in all six sessions of the Philanthropy Institute’s fall cohort is applicable for 15 points in Category 1.B – Education.  Further information on the advantages of becoming a Certified Fund Raising Executive will be discussed during the Institute. 

“The timing of the new TVNPA and CFRE International partnership and the launch of the Philanthropy Institute couldn’t be more opportune for our members and students,” said Kathy Young, CEO and President of the TVNPA. “As a CFRE Participating Organization, we are pleased to empower members with discounted access to certification. I am also excited that students of the Philanthropy Institute will earn certification points. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

For more information and to register for the Philanthropy Institute fall cohort, visit the TVNPA website or contact Susan Houghton at

About the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance (TVNPA)
Established in 2014 in Livermore, California, the Tri-Valley Nonprofit Alliance serves organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with an opportunity to meet and collaborate with peers both virtual and in-person. TVNPA provides nonprofit organizations with industry-relevant seminars, best practices in philanthropy, collaborative discussions, and alliance networking at monthly meetings and organized events.

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