individual fundraising

This certificate program is solely dedicated to helping nonprofit leaders build their skills in individual fundraising. Attendees will walk away with all the skills they need to master the art of individual fundraising--from "making the ask" in one-on-one presentations to engaging a board of directors. Experts in the field will guide attendees through a variety of improvisational and storytelling techniques to help them make an effective fundraising case to their prospects. They'll learn how to adapt and apply those techniques to nearly every type of fundraising event and method, including annual appeals and planned giving. All programs can be tailored to meet the needs of organizations in every nonprofit sector.


Ten days (Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.)
September 9 to November 11, 2014

Registration is closed.

Program Overview

Session One (Tuesday, September 9): Trends in Fundraising and Individual Giving
Faculty: Marti Fischer, Principal, Marti Fischer Group
This session will outline of the individual modules and expectations of this certificate program. We will begin the conversation about individual fundraising with an exploration of the emerging trends in the fund-raising sector and an overview of individual giving.

Session Two (Tuesday, September 16):  Developing a fundraising plan
Faculty: Cynthia Russell, Principal, CrossSector Partners
This session provides students with an overview of fund development planning and the steps nonprofits take to develop a fundraising strategy that is appropriate for their organization. The class will review funding models within nonprofit organizations and how funding goals and organizational assets are determined. Students will learn how to develop a plan, how to execute a strategy, and how to create a culture of philanthropy within an organization.

Session Three (Tuesday, September 23): Prospecting
Faculty: Michael Seltzer, Distinguished Lecturer, School of Public Affairs, Baruch College
This session will explore how non-profit professionals research, develop, and maintain secure information on current and potential donors via the internet and strategic research tools. Students will learn how to successfully enlist donor support and build long-term relationships while also protecting the donors’ right to privacy. The objective of this class of this unit is to familiarize practitioners with the strategies, policies, and resources that they can use to identify their most logical supporters.

Session Four (Tuesday, September 30):  Individual Donor Cultivation
Faculty: Judi Margolin, Independent Consultant
The objective of this session is to familiarize students with the specifics of creation, enhancement and improvement of the relationship between nonprofit organizations and their donors.  Aspects of the donor/donee relationship will be examined as they relate to different categories of individual donors: prospects, casual donors, major supporters, board members, and lapsed donors.  The full range of donor relations with an emphasis on donor-centric communication will be explored, with interactive exercises incorporated to reinforce what is learned. 

Session Five (Tuesday, October 7): Improvisation Training for Fundraisers
Faculty: Rick Andrews, Teacher and Performer “The Magnet Theater”
The tools of improvisation can do more than simply help us create a scene without a script. Having a "Yes, And" mindset promotes active listening, engenders genuine confidence, and keeps you lithe and loose on your feet. All of these skills are necessary for quality communication and collaboration, and in this class we'll borrow the games and exercises of Improvisation and apply them to the skills and challenges surrounding The Ask."

Session Six (Tuesday, October 14): Storytelling for Nonprofit Fundraisers
Faculty: David Crabb, Co-Creator and producer of live storytelling series, "Ask Me”
In this class we'll discuss the significance of stories when asking for a gift in a nonprofit environment. How can details and specifics play a role in our narrativesto donors, elevating them past generic shoptalk and into something more personal, authentic and connective? You'll learn to mine for personal narratives that matter, and make ones that might seem insignificant more meaningful, not just for your organization, but also for yourselves.

Session Seven (Tuesday, October 21): The individual, in person ‘Ask’
Faculty: Laura Fredricks, Founder & CEO of THE ASK©

Over 80% of the money we raise each year comes from Individuals. Knowing how to ASK the right person, at the right time, for the right amount, with the right ASKer, for the right purpose is the ultimate edge to raising money you need NOW. In this session Laura will share her proven techniques on THE ASK and all participants will play a role in her “practice studio.”

Session Eight (Tuesday, October 28): Annual Giving
Faculty: Mark Kalish, Founder and President of Kalish & Associates, Inc.
This class is designed to provide an overview of the annual fundraising campaign - the cornerstone of all institutional advancement.  We will focus on the strategies, structures, processes, and methodologies of organizing, planning, conducting, and evaluating a comprehensive annual giving program.  We will delve into the various tools used in annual giving—direct mail, tele-fundraising, and special events.

Session Nine (Tuesday, November 4): Planned Giving
Faculty: Lorri Greif, President of Breakthrough Philanthropy, Inc.

Planned gifts are sometimes the largest gift a nonprofit will ever receive, and only individuals can make them. In this class you will learn: overview of how planned gifts work; how to find your best prospects; how to confidently start the “planned giving conversation”; how to close the gift that works for both your donor and your nonprofit; how to maintain planned giving activity as an ongoing resource for major gifts.

Session Ten (Tuesday, November 11): Engaging Your Board in Fundraising
Faculty: Andrea Kihlstedt, Partner inCapital Campaign Magic
Enough HOW -- Let's talk WHO!
All the knowledge of how to be successful at fundraising is great, but if you don't assemble the right team and get them all marching in the same (productive) direction, you won't raise much money. In this session, we'll discuss: how to get your board on board--and how to fire them if they're not; figuring out how much should your board give--and how to ask them for it; how to engage other effective people in your fundraising process.