24 classes to expand your fundraising potential
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Join our 24 class program
or pick and choose courses as you go
Foundations of Fundraising I
Participants obtain a core understanding of key concepts, terms, historical approaches, and industry structures in fundraising. This overview session describes the role of the donor, the fundraiser, the beneficiary, and the nonprofit organization. Participants will be able to describe how and why people give, understand integrated development, and a culture of philanthropy.
Foundations of Fundraising II
Building on the first session, the second session will address ethics and accountability of nonprofit organizations and fundraisers as well as include a brief overview of case statements, development planning, donor relations and marketing, and a how-to approach for securing gifts. Participants will feel more comfortable structuring a fundraising plan in the proper order and executing on that plan at the conclusion of these two sessions.
Annual Giving I
Participants will gain an understanding of the components of acquisition and renewal of individual donors. A major focus of this session will be on strategic prioritization within the annual fund and metrics that matter. In addition to setting SMART goals, participants will understand best practices in direct mail, telemarketing, digital, and special events.
Annual Giving II
Building on the first session, participants will dive deeper into advanced strategies for annual fund campaigns including the best practices for giving clubs, matching gifts, and retention strategies customized to the participants' experience. Participants will look at different print and electronic campaigns and provide peer-to-peer feedback based on principles from earlier coursework as well as have the opportunity to establish reporting and evaluation tools for annual giving campaigns.
Major Gifts I
Participants will understand the planning, timeline, and resources need to build a major gifts program. The course will address prospect research and analysis, identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. This session will be focused on the planning process for major gifts so participants will be able to concentrate on strategies in the second session.
Major Gifts II
Session two is more tactical in nature focusing on the cultivation and solicitation steps of major gifts as well as in reporting and evaluation. Participants will role play scenarios, learn to address objections, build a set of participant-specific questions that would be used in face-to-face meeting, and learn how to build a proposal for a major gift.
In this session, participants will gain a better understanding of the ethical theories, dilemmas, and resolution strategies for ethical challenges in the fundraising industry. Rather than providing the "right" answer, participants will develop a way of thinking that allows them to resolve the ethical issues that they confront on a day-to-day basis with thoughtful analysis and reasoning.
Management and Accountability
This session focuses on budgeting and policies such as gift acceptance and donor privacy, that help structure a fundraising office. In addition, participants will gain a better understanding of the legal and regulatory environment in Iowa and in the US that will impact fundraising strategy and practice.
This session dives deeper into operations by looking at donor records, gift processing, as well as procedures and process documentation for each aspect of the fundraising office. Participants will use provided templates to help create one process document during the session.
Participants will design and review a volunteer management plan that includes job descriptions, monitoring and evaluation, and recruitment. In the session, participants will discuss budgeting and return on volunteer investment as well as key components of building a culture of volunteerism in your organizations.
Fundamentals of Fundraising
The Association of Fundraising Professionals presents the Fundamentals of Fundraising Course, newly updated to current fundraising methods and technology, offering a complete overview of the development function, and featuring the most current information and techniques to provide an overview of skills, techniques and program components for individuals with up to four years of fundraising experience.
Planned and Estate Gifts I
Participants will begin with a basic introduction of planned/legacy gift terms, potential uses and benefits, and a flowchart of how to connect planned giving with donor interests. This session will be focused on structuring a planned giving program with timelines, budgets, and resources.
Planned and Estate Gifts II
The second session will focus on the tactical implementation of planned giving marketing, living donor testimonials, advanced gift vehicles, prospecting tools, and proposal building. Participants will work through templates for bequests and CGAs in this session.
Capital Campaigns I
Participants will develop a framework for building a successful campaign that includes planning, timelines, and resources. This session will explore feasibility studies, hiring outside counsel, and creating a case statement for the campaign.
Capital Campaigns II
The second session is focused on the implementation of the plan including the private and public phases of the campaign, unrestricted and restricted giving (purpose and time), pledge payments, and complex gift vehicles including blended gifts.
Board and Governance I
This session is designed for fundraisers who are working with either governance boards or operating boards; it is not designed for board members. While the session will address board responsibilities, this will be framed in terms of board orientation, job descriptions, expectations, ongoing training, and evaluation. Participants will review best practices and discuss documents related to board roles.
Board and Governance II
This session focuses on board recruitment, retention, and engagement. Participants will build a board matrix for use in their own organizations that help align diversity and inclusion goals with nominating strategies.
In this session, participants will understand the key elements of prospect research for new or existing donors. In addition to evaluating capacity, linkage, and affinity, we'll explore tools that are most effective for making actionable decisions as well as how to secure data properly in a CRM. A focus on this session will be on data privacy and best practices.
Donor Communications I
Participants in session one will review different types of donor communications as well as different media used to distribute those communications. The primary focus of this session to understand principles and practices that reflect academic, scientific study in the philanthropic sector.
Donor Communications II
In the second session, we'll deep dive into the participant's specific donor communication challenges and opportunities. Through peer review and building on best practices from earlier coursework, participants will have a new communications materials and strategies for the future.
The unique nature of corporate fundraising will be addressed in this session with a focus on sponsorships, cause marketing, and in-kind gifts. Participants will look at corporate donor lifecycles and look at various corporate engagement strategies.
Participants will understand foundation giving rules and processes including grant cycles, reporting, and stewardship. This session will help identify new grants for organizations as well as build out letters of intent and boilerplate for grant applications.
End of Year 1 & 2: CFRE Refresher
The Association of Fundraising Professionals presents the CFRE Refresher, offering development professionals an opportunity to freshen up skills and knowledge required in a complete fundraising program. The course is organized around the domains of the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) exam, rather than on specific fundraising strategies and helps participants identify gaps in their knowledge