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PhilanthropyU Fundraising: Connecting with Donors

Course Schedule

Course Details

  1. Length

  2. Effort

    1-2 hours per week
  3. Certificate

  4. Language



Dr. Thomas Wolf's career in philanthropy spans over four decades. He has been both a fundraiser, a donor and a grantmaker, giving him unique perspectives on multiple elements of philanthropic relationships. He is currently a principal of WolfBrown, an international consulting firm that he helped establish. Wolf holds a doctorate from Harvard University where he taught for many years, including a popular course on fundraising. He is the author of How to Connect with Donors and Double the Money You Raise, Managing a Nonprofit Organization in the 21st Century, Effective Leadership for Nonprofit Organizations, and other books.

About This Course

Far too often organizations see donors through the distorted lens of retention rates and giving capacity. When it comes to fundraising, organizations must remember that donor relationships are a two-way street. The best fundraisers engage their donors in a multitude of ways: they build relationships, identify common interests, listen, and show gratitude.

Through this course, students will learn the ins and outs of connecting with donors from a seasoned fundraiser. The course will show successes and reveal failures that will expose the nuances of effective fundraising practices. Learners will apply the knowledge and stories learned from the course to the practices of their own organizations' development teams.

Course Topics:

  • Module 1: Getting to Know Your Donors
    Identify and practice communication skills that help you connect with potential donors
  • Module 2: Making the Ask; Thanking the Donor; Reducing Anxiety
    Overcome common anxiety moments in the asking process
  • Module 3: Incorporating Donor Families; Dealing with Disappointment
    Deal constructively with fundraising disappointments and rejections

Who Should Take This Course?

In order to ensure your success in this course, you should have a basic background in fundraising or should have already completed the University’s Introduction to Fundraising course.

You will need a device that allows you to listen to audio, access course materials, and upload your assignments.


The University is a non-degree, diploma or credit granting initiative. Philanthropy U, Inc. is the concept developer and sponsor of the initiative. Learners are not entitled to earn college or other academic credit.

Learners are eligible to receive a Certificate of Achievement for this course through the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley Haas). Berkeley Haas is known for its role in defining a new generation of business leaders with a focus on social impact. Ranked #2 among all business school nonprofit programs in the United States (US News & World Report, 2017), Berkeley Haas inspires and empowers innovative solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges through the work of the Institute for Business and Social Impact (IBSI) and the Center for Social Sector Leadership (CSSL).

To earn a Certificate of Achievement for this course, you need to earn more than 50% of possible points on quizzes and assignments to obtain a passing grade. Quizzes are worth 15% of your total score, while assignments are worth 85%.


© 2018 Philanthropy U, Inc. All use, reproduction and distribution of content in this course is subject to a CC-BY-NC license.