Fraud in Nonprofit Organizations

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Course Level
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4 Credits


Nonprofit organizations not only provide essential services to the public, they also form a sizable portion of the global economy. Whether a nonprofit’s mission involves supporting community and business development, health care services, religious activities, research and educational opportunities, or a host of other services, the work often requires substantial funding and a team of directors, employees and volunteers. While the mission-above-profit aspect of these organizations might lull one into thinking that fraud is less of a problem than it is in the for-profit sector, nonprofits face many unique fraud risks. 

To help reduce the risk of fraud-related losses at nonprofits, fraud examiners need to understand the most common types of schemes perpetrated at nonprofits. This course covers schemes committed against the nonprofit by employees or insiders, those committed by external parties, as well as fraud that can be attributed to the nonprofit itself. Additionally, you will learn to identify the most effective fraud detection and prevention methods based on an organization’s particular risks.

Key Takeaways: 

  •  The steps for investigating a nonprofit organization 
  • The most common types of nonprofit schemes 
  • How nonprofits are regulated differently than other organizations 
  • What actions can cause a nonprofit to be liable for fraud 


Knowledge of basic fraud examination techniques

You Will Learn How To:

Ascertain what internal and public information is available for fraud examinations regarding nonprofits

Differentiate the ways nonprofits are regulated compared to other organizations

Identify fraud schemes commonly committed against nonprofits

Recall the steps necessary for due diligence during an investigation of a nonprofit

Recognize behavior by agents that could cause a nonprofit organization to be liable for fraud

Select the fraud prevention controls that are most effective in the context of nonprofits

Table of Contents

Part I Introduction to Fraud in Nonprofits
Lesson 1 The Harms and Perception of Fraud in Nonprofits
Lesson 2 Regulatory Frameworks of Nonprofits
Part II Common Fraud Schemes Against Nonprofits
Lesson 3 Embezzlement and Misappropriation Schemes
Lesson 4 Procurement and Billing Schemes
Lesson 5 Corruption Schemes
Lesson 6 Beneficiary Schemes
Part III Fraud Schemes Committed by Nonprofits
Lesson 7 Theft and Misuse of Assets
Lesson 8 Marketing and Fundraising Schemes
Lesson 9 Financial Statement and Accounting Schemes
Part IV Investigating Nonprofit Fraud
Lesson 10 Sources of Information
Lesson 11 Analyzing Financial and Internal Records
Lesson 12 Due Diligence Inquiries
Lesson 13 Governance
Lesson 14 Fraud Risk Assessment
Lesson 15 Effective Internal Controls for Nonprofits

CPE Information

CPE Credit: 4
NASBA Information: Auditing
Advanced Preparation: None
Last Updated: November 2022
Delivery Method: QAS Self-Study


CPE Credit

Please note: To be eligible for CPE credit, you must complete the final exam within one year of purchase date. You may only claim CPE credit for a course once.

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System Requirements:

  • Internet access: High-speed connection recommended
  • Speakers required for video sound

The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:


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