Development Resources


Intro to Nonprofit Fundraising: Building a Donor Base

Eighty-five percent of funding for nonprofit organizations, overall, comes from individual donor support. Students will learn to build a strong base of donors that can support a nonprofit organization or a political campaign. We will engage with the full range of strategies, including annual funds and direct mail, events-based fundraising, telemarketing, internet and web-based strategies, and major donor campaigns. Prior fundraising experience is not required. Limited to twenty participants.


Introduction to Grant Writing

This course will teach the basics of nonprofit grant writing. Participants will learn how to define the need for funding within an organization, to research grant-making agencies, to draft letters of inquiry, to understand and craft the parts of a typical grant application, and to engage in pre- and post-grant foundation relations. The class will examine a model grant step by step, and students will have the opportunity for in-class and out-of-class practice. We will discuss both project funding and "bricks and mortar" operating funding, and students will learn to craft language that is reusable in subsequent grant applications. No prior experience with grants or grant writing is required. Limited to twenty participants.


Major Donor Fundraising

The largest revenue category in most nonprofit budgets comes from those most dedicated and prized stakeholders – major donors. These donors make large individual contributions, in the hundreds, thousands, and even millions of dollars to support the work of groups about which they are passionate. We will learn how to find these crucial supporters, develop your group’s relationship with them, and to work with them to expand the reach of your work and your budget. Limited to twenty participants.


How to Start a Nonprofit Organization

Many of us have a passion for the arts, activism, community service, education, and other dreams which we would like to bring forth into the world as a nonprofit organization. This course will help you to explore your dream and learn how you could bring it to reality! Students will learn about different types of nonprofits, the roles which make them up, how to start the process, recruit a board of directors, create a start-up plan, etc. No prior experience is required. Limited to twenty participants.


Forging the Board of Your Dreams

An effective board of directors is essential to a healthy organization. Executive Directors and Boards must work together, share a clear vision, and understand the keys to achieving shared success. This course will teach participants:


  • The roles and responsibilities of the board

  • The role of board committees

  • Roles and expectations for individual board members

  • The role of the board versus that of paid staff

  • Efficient board structure and management

  • How to develop leaders and an ongoing leadership succession

We will also cover the do's and don'ts of effective board operations. This course will provide board members and executive staff with the tools and knowledge necessary to build the effective board that you all desire. Limited to twenty participants.


Introduction to Planned Giving

Many nonprofit fundraisers have heard of planned giving, but few understand it or how to incorporate it into their development program. Planned giving is exactly what it sounds like – a donor includes your organization in her or his financial planning. This can mean that your organization is included in the donor’s will and/or that your group becomes the beneficiary of various types of financial investment instruments which the donor creates.

This course will demystify planned giving and allow fundraisers from organizations of any size to learn straightforward, easy-to-implement ways of incorporating this powerful development tool into your work. No prior experience with planned giving is required, though familiarity with the basics of fundraising is recommended. Limited to twenty participants.


Drafting a Strategic Fundraising Plan

Every nonprofit must have a carefully considered fundraising plan. This course will teach participants how and when to use the various development tools available to us: special events, email, direct mail, websites, telephone solicitation, social media, and canvassing. Participants will learn to balance available personnel, funds, and time in creating their plan. An understanding of basic fundraising principles and methods is helpful but not required. Limited to twenty participants.