According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are 1.5 million non-profit organizations registered in the U.S., and each of those organizations needs to actively fundraise in order to sustain their operations. Each year, hundreds of billions of dollars are contributed to charities from donors across the U.S. What is it that makes people want to give? What do donors consider when choosing what organizations to support? What type of an impact do individuals want to make through their philanthropy? This class will examine these questions and more through case studies, conversations with non-profit leaders and board members, and philanthropists. Students will gain a basic understanding of a non-profit financial model and how non-profits can demonstrate impact to existing and potential donors, as well as the different ways in which fundraising can actually be fun and can inform a potential career in the non-profit sector. Much of the course reading will involve actual fundraising materials and collateral, including appeals, brochures, grant applications, and stewardship reports. Final projects will give students the opportunity to try their own hand at creation of stewardship or solicitation pieces, potentially in partnership with/for the benefit of a local non-profit. In addition to regular course meetings, occasional meetings with non-profit leaders or donors may be required; whenever possible (based on the schedule of the guest speaker), these will be scheduled during the day, and any evening events would be optional. Laura Day ’04 is director of annual giving in the Williams Development Office. She holds an MBA in management with degree designation in global sustainability from Fordham University. Prior to working for Williams, Laura worked for eight years in the non-profit performing arts in New York City. Laura also serves as board chair for Berkshire Nursing Families. Mark Robertson ’02 is director of milestone reunion programs in the Williams Development Office. He holds an Ed.M. in higher education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he previously worked for seven years. Mark also serves as board president for Williamstown Community Preschool.
The Class: Format: lecture
Grading: pass/fail only
Grading: pass/fail only
Requirements/Evaluation: final project or presentation
Enrollment Preferences: seniors receive priority; then by personal statement of interest
Materials/Lab Fee: none