Course Description

Explore Strategies for Attracting and Engaging Donors

Nonprofit organizations largely rely on fundraising dollars — anywhere between 15-20% of their revenue should come from donations, at a minimum. To secure that level of funding, nonprofits work with a variety of different sources – individuals, corporations, foundations and government, and through a variety of different means. Understanding the funding landscape, and its agility from organization to organization, is key to developing a successful fundraising strategy. 

In this course, Introduction to Fundraising, we will provide learners with a comprehensive overview of the nonprofit fundraising landscape. This program will equip students with an understanding of the basic components required for making a compelling fundraising case, while also fostering an understanding that every nonprofit’s approach its own strategy. Upon completion, students will have a robust portfolio of strategies and ideas they can take into their work in the nonprofit fundraising sector.

Who is the Nonprofit Fundraising Course For?

This course is designed for nonprofit sector employees, professionals transitioning to the nonprofit sector, current or prospective board members, or potential or veteran volunteers will benefit from this research-based program. 

Learner Outcomes

After completing our Introduction to Nonprofit Fundraising course, learners will be able to:

  • Explain the culture of philanthropy and the role philanthropy plays in nonprofit organizations.
  • Develop a basic nonprofit fundraising strategy.
  • Describe the relationship between marketing and fundraising.
  • Describe strategies for stewardship that will keep donors giving to nonprofit groups.

Course Details

Number of Units: 1.0 graduate level extension credit(s) in semester hours

Course Materials: Text, The Nonprofit Development Companion: A Workbook for Fundraising Success by Brydon M. DeWitt, available at Amazon.com or your local bookstore.

Technical Requirements

Nonprofit Sector Job and Career Outlook

The nonprofit sector is notoriously understaffed, which creates a promising job outlook for those passionate about a career in this field. And while nonprofits exist in a wide variety of industries or disciplines, the qualifications to work for or lead one of these organizations are fairly universal.

Most nonprofit managers have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field of study at a minimum, with many jobs preferring some sort of advanced degree or certificate. Some of the most commonly required skills include analytical and critical thinking, communication, multitasking, fundraising and of course knowledge of nonprofit laws and regulations, just to name a few.

Because nonprofits rely largely on fundraising, managers with skills or experience in this discipline are highly coveted. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Fundraisers can anticipate 14% job growth by 2029, which is much faster than the average occupation. Comparatively, the BLS reports that employment opportunities for nonprofit managers are expected to increase by 17% nationwide from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the national average. The BLS also reports that nonprofit managers have an average salary of $69,600, while fundraisers can anticipate an average salary around $60,000.

Nonprofit Fundraising Strategies Covered in this Course

This course will cover a number of leading nonprofit fundraising strategies, most notably: 

  • How to recruit, engage, and maintain active board members
  • How to develop a fundraising team
  • How to craft a meaningful case for support that will influence donors to give
  • How to develop an evaluation process for a development program

Nonprofit Fundraising Course Instructors

Jeremy Bloom: A political organizer and nonprofit fundraiser for over eleven years. In addition, from 2015- 2019 Jeremy was a Major Gift Officer at the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties and from 2020 to 2021 he was the Community Resource Development Manager at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. And starting in October 2021 Jeremy will be the Development Director at Circulate San Diego.

Nonprofit Fundraising Strategy Course Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a nonprofit?

A: A nonprofit organization is “one that qualifies for tax-exempt status by the IRS because its mission and purpose are to further a social cause and provide a public benefit. Nonprofit organizations include hospitals, universities, national charities and foundations.”

Q: What is nonprofit management?

A: Nonprofit management and being a nonprofit manager entail overseeing all facets of a nonprofit organization's operations, from day-to-day fulfillment of the mission to behind-the-scenes executive level work. In terms of necessary skills, nonprofit managers should be adept at developing resources, setting and aligning the mission, improving communication, leading the organizations and making executive decisions in the best interest of everyone.

Q: What are some popular nonprofit fundraising strategies?

A: There is no one-size-fits-all fundraising strategy for organizations in the nonprofit sector. However, many nonprofits have found success with the following tactics: crowdfunding campaigns, community events, selling branded merchandise, corporate matching fit programs, donor solicitation and fundraising events.

Q: Is online learning right for me?

A: Our online courses offer the same high-quality content and expert instruction as the courses held on-campus at the University of San Diego. Instructors facilitate courses through engaging multimedia presentations and provide prompt feedback to questions within a 24–48-hour timeframe. This online format allows students to interact with classmates worldwide and replicate in-classroom interactions through weekly discussion forums, chats and email communication. See more information about online learning through the University of San Diego.


The University of San Diego’s Division of Professional and Continuing Education is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).




"Supportive learning environment/format (including teacher responsiveness), excellent reading materials, assignments were appropriately challenging and relevant." - Vicky Heithaus

Applies Towards the Following Certificate(s), Professional Programs and Series

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Online Fixed-Date
Mar 01, 2022 to Mar 28, 2022
Course Format
Course Fee(s)
BUS PD - $299 credit (1 units) $299.00
Available for Extension Credit
1 units
  • Jeremy Bloom
Section Notes

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