Make the Case for Your Certification

Nonprofit technology training

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Thank you for seeing the value of NTEN’s Professional Certificates. We know that you will finish the certificate program with the skills and resources you need to increase your nonprofit’s capacity, but we also know that sometimes, it’s not up to you to decide if you can participate. Aside from financial considerations, if you’re a lean team, juggling your training with the rest of your work can seem difficult.

That said, we believe we can fulfill our missions better if we make time for growth and new ideas.

We hope these tips and a sample letter for your boss will help you justify your participation in the Nonprofit Technology Professional Certificate. If you need specific info about the core program or what kind of electives you can take, please reach out. We’re here to help you.

We look forward to seeing you in the program!
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  1. Emphasize the specific skills you’d like to strengthen or develop in the program. Connect the projects you’re working on and areas you’re trying to develop with specific core subjects and electives.
  2. Offer to take detailed notes and prepare and deliver a short presentation, or ongoing training, for your colleagues. That way others in your organization will get the benefits of your participation as well.
  3. Prepare a plan that shows how you plan to take care of the course load (of 3-4 hours a week during the core period) and manage your other priorities.
  4. Show that you’re conscious of the costs by finding ways to reduce the expenses, such as taking advantage of the member rate and emphasizing the online nature of the training, which cuts down on travel costs associated with other training opportunities, like conferences. Registering at the prepaid rate is the most affordable way to get your certificate.
  5. You’ll be able to access the training and resources even after completing the course – so you’ll be able to refer back to it later, for example when a colleague asks you about something.
  6. Professional credentials can be helpful to share when applying for grants because it shows your organization has good stewardship of grant funds.

Sample letter for your manager


This year we’ve got a ton of projects planned and I am excited to dig into them all. To help me strengthen the skills I’ll need to knock these out of the park and generate new ideas to share with the rest of the team, I’d love to take part in the [SPECIFIC CERTIFICATE] Professional Certificate.

This certification program is run by NTEN, a respected organization that builds capacity at nonprofits through training. It includes eight core competencies in nonprofit technology and allows me to take five electives that are relevant to my work.

Here is a quote from a previous participant:

“It was a profoundly positive experience that has truly changed my professional life and I would highly recommend it to anyone serious about thriving in the nonprofit sector.”

—  Aaron Tebrinke, Communications Manager at Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois (2018 graduate)

I think the certificate is a great opportunity for me to learn the best and most efficient practices, that I can implement at our organization. I’m particularly excited about [SPECIFIC COURSE] which I think will help us [APPLY TO YOUR WORK].

My participation will cost [AMOUNT], and it’s all online so there’s no cost for travel or hotel. It takes 10-15 weeks to complete, and the bulk of the work will happen in the [SPRING/FALL]. I will ensure my duties are covered while I’m working towards my certificate, and will take detailed notes for our team.

Thanks in advance for considering my request. I’d love to chat more about this opportunity and answer any questions you might have!