Syllabus for FDR-440

FUNDRAISING FOR NONPROFITS


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Fundraising for Nonprofits actively engages students in mastering the concepts and tools needed to help nonprofit organizations achieve their mission and objectives through well-established fundraising techniques. Students will learn how to assess an organization’s fundraising capabilities, conduct prospect research, conduct an annual fund drive, solicit grants from corporations and foundations, cultivate and secure major gifts, design planned giving instruments to meet the needs of donors, carry out a capital campaign, and set up information technologies to track fundraising efforts and assist with the stewardship of gifts. The course emphasizes applications, and students will complete a fundraising plan during the semester for a specific organization of their choosing.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

On successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with the principles and techniques of fundraising as well as the current fundraising climate.
  2. Compose a written case statement and use it to build other documents such as a letter of inquiry, a direct mail letter, and a grant proposal.
  3. Assess the gift capability, interests, and networks of prospective donors through research.
  4. Explain the various fundraising vehicles and evaluate when to use each.
  5. Distinguish the roles played by board members, volunteers, and staff in fundraising.
  6. Identify the necessary steps to prepare for a capital campaign.
  7. Explain the impact of ethics on resource development.
  8. Analyze the most effective methods for managing resources and information.
  9. Apply fundraising planning and strategy tools to a particular nonprofit organization.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.


Required Textbook

  1. The Complete Guide to Fundraising Management, 3d ed., by Stanley Weinstein (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2009).

ISBN-13: 978-0-470-37506-8

Note: Access to Microsoft PowerPoint is needed to produce the final project.

COURSE STRUCTURE

Fundraising for Nonprofits is a three-credit online course, consisting of four (4) modules and a final project. Modules include an overview, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Fundraising and Organizational Analysis

  1. Module 2: Prospect Identification, Research, and Segmentation

  1. Module 3: Special Events, Planned Giving, and Capital Campaigns

  1. Module 4: Managing Information and Resources

  1. Final Project

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates

Discussion Forums

Fundraising for Nonprofits requires you to participate in four (4) graded discussion forums.

Communication and collaboration among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings, concepts, and practices as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums). Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Meaningful participation in online discussions is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the online discussion forum rubric used to aid in the grading of all online discussions.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete fourteen (14) organization assignments and three (3) written assignments on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

In the Organization Assignments, you will be analyzing the nonprofit organization that you selected for study in the first module of the course. You will also be applying course concepts to your chosen organization. Written Assignments are additional assessments of your learning that are not specifically linked to the chosen nonprofit.

Prepare your assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

When satisfied that your assignment represents your best work, submit it to your mentor.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site are the rubrics used in the grading of organization assignments and written assignments.

Final Project

Your final project is a fundraising plan (10-12 pages in length, approximately 2500-3000 words) that will allow you to demonstrate your synthesis of fundraising tactics, strategies, and processes. See the Final Project area of the course Web site for further details.

Your fundraising project may either provide fundraising strategies (options, tools) for your organization or it may present the actual development plan for your organization. If you choose the first option, you should explain why certain elements of a fundraising plan are not required or appropriate at this time. It will have two parts:

  1. A presentation consisting of up to 14 PowerPoint slides (not including the title slide) designed to persuade an audience of your organization’s board of directors as to the wisdom of your plan. You will post this on the class discussion board before the last week of class so that your classmates can review and comment on it.
  2. A written presentation containing the full content of your plan.

The final project draws on concepts and knowledge gained from the entire course. To allow yourself sufficient time to complete an exemplary report, consider beginning the project soon after you start Module 3.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the final project rubric used to aid in the grading of the final project.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (4)—10 percent
  2. Organization assignments (14)—45 percent
  3. Written assignments (3)—10 percent
  4. Final Project—30 percent
  1. Evaluations of Classmates' Final Projects—5 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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