OEL 554: Nonprofit Resource Development & Fundraising (Grad Level)

Course Description

This course focuses on the history, theories, skills, and practices of fundraising, including how fundraising emanates from the organizations’ strategic plan; how marketing has an impact on fundraising; the components of a successful fundraising campaign; fundraising ethics and legal issues; and the basic techniques of fundraising such as annual giving, grant writing, special events, and capital campaigns. (3 credits)


  • OEL 501: Learning Community

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Explain the history of philanthropy and the philosophy of giving.
  2. Analyze the nature and dynamics of financial resource development for nonprofit organizations.
  3. Identify key ethical policies, procedures and best practices and their impact on financial resource development situations and decision-making in the nonprofit sector.
  4. Identify and articulate diversified financial resource development planning strategies, tactics and politics into operational decision-making for nonprofit organizations.
  5. Describe what current issues exist that push the financial management boundaries in nonprofit organizations' missions.
  6. Analyze and evaluate organizational values and vision/mission statements of nonprofit organizations.
  7. Explain the impact of the changing demographics on giving and philanthropy.
  8. Use fundraising, development, marketing and public relations, executive leadership, governance and public policy best practices and strategies to formulate, organize and design a strategic resource development plan for a nonprofit organization, including utilization of social media and professional networking sites.
  9. Formulate communication strategies to build community and online presence for marketing and fundraising purposes.
  10. Evaluate reports on the strategic and marketing plans of nonprofit organizations.

Applicable Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

  • PLO 3. Develop professional communication skills.
  • PLO 9. Develop strategies that support the advancement of organization's vision and mission.
  • PLO 10. Apply various nonprofit fundraising principles and practices to accomplish the organization's financial goals.
  • PLO 13. Conduct research utilizing online sources and databases and write research papers that analyze and synthesize information and data gathered.

Course Activities and Grading


Discussion Questions (Non-Gradable): 1 Discussion Question @ 0 points each


Discussion Questions: 10 Discussion Questions @20 points each


Short Research Papers: 4 @ 100 points each


Application Papers: 2 @ 200 points each


Total Points


Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak State College's online bookstore

  • Shang, J and Adrian Sargeant (2017). Fundraising Principles and Practice. 2nd ed. Wiley Publishing. ISBN-13: 9781119196495

Course Schedule

WeekPLOsSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignments




Introduction to Philanthrophy

  • Required Readings:
    • Fundraising Principles and Practice (Part One, Chapters 1-2; 4-5) by Shang, Jen Sargeant, Adrian
  • Additional Readings:
    • Cultures, organizations and philanthropy. Genest, Christina M. Corporate Communications (Pages 315-327)
    • Chapter 5 - The Social History of the Moral Imagination, Understanding Philanthropy Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies : Understanding Philanthropy : Its Meaning and Mission Payton, Robert L.; Moody, Michael P. (Pages 131-154)
    • Website: Foundation Demographics: Is Philanthropy Keeping Up With Our Society?
    • Website: Report Examines Philanthropy's Response to Changing Demographics in America
  • Discussion Question 1 (Non-gradable)
  • Gradable Assignment # 1: Discussion Question 2 (Gradable)
  • Gradable Assignment #2: Short Research Paper #1
  • Review Course Policies
  • Review Lecture material




Ethics in Nonprofits

  • Required Readings:
    • Fundraising Principles and Practice (Chapter 3) by Shang, Jen Sargeant, Adrian
  • Additional Readings:
    • An Analysis of Codes of Ethics of Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt Membership Associations. By: Grobman, Gary M. Public Integrity. (Pages 245-263)
    • Inspiring and Equipping Students to Be Ethical Leaders. By: Schwartz, Arthur J. New Directions for Student Leadership. (Pages 5-16)
    • For All Good Reasons: Role of Values in Organizational Sustainability by Florea, Liviu (Pages 393-408)
    • Website: Nonprofit Accountability and Ethics: Rotting from the Head Down. By Woods Bowman
    • Website: Code of Ethics for Nonprofits
    • Part 2: Ethics as a Guiding Force. Ethical Fundraising by Pettey, Janice Gow (Chapters 13-16) (Pages 221-272)
  • Gradable Assignment # 3: Discussion Question 3
  • Gradable Assignment # 4: Short Research Paper # 2
  • Review Lecture material




The Importance of the Mission Statement

  • Required Readings:
    • Fundraising Principles and Practice (Chapter 8) by Shang, Jen Sargeant, Adrian
  • Additional Readings:
    • Demystifying the mission statement. By Vogt, Jean. (4 pages)
    • Mission statements and performance in non-profit organisations. By Patel, Bhavesh S.; Booker, Lorne D.; Ramos, Hazel (Pages 759-774)
    • Diversity For Nonprofits: Mission Drift Or Mission Fulfillment? By Hawkins, Paul Henry (11 pages)
    • Chapter 4 Execution: Translating Mission and Strategy into Action - Integrating Mission and Strategy for Nonprofit Organizations by Phills, James A. Jr. (Pages 99-117)
    • Nonprofit Organizations and Public Policy. By: Lowry, Robert C. (Pages 107-116)
  • Gradable Assignment # 5: Discussion Question 4
  • Gradable Assignment # 6: Discussion Question 5
  • Review the lecture material
  • Begin work on Application Paper # 1 due in Week 4




Nonprofit Management and Leadership

  • Required Readings:
    • Fundraising Principles and Practice (Chapters 20 & 21) by Shang, Jen Sargeant, Adrian
  • Additional Readings:
    • Exploring power assumptions in the leadership and management debate. By Edwards, Gareth; Schedlitzki, Doris; Turnbull, Sharon (Pages 328-343)
    • Website: The Leadership vs. Management Debate: What's the difference?
    • Strategic Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector: Opportunities for Research. By: Phipps, Kelly A.; Burbach, Mark E. (Pages 137-154)
    • Part Four Fundraising and Civil Society - Essential Texts for Nonprofit and Public Leadership and Management : Fundraising Principles and Practice. By Sargeant, Adrian; Shang, Jen; Jossey-Bass (Pages 489-518)
    • TedTalk Video: Everyday Leadership
    • TedTalk Video: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe
    • TedTalk Video: How to Manage for Collective Creativity
  • Gradable Assignment # 7: Discussion Question 6
  • Gradable Assignment # 8: Application Paper # 1
  • Review the Lecture material




Theories of Communication

  • Required Readings:
    • Fundraising Principles and Practice (Chapters 6, 7 & 9) by Shang, Jen Sargeant, Adrian
  • Additional Readings:
    • Chapter 1 Communication by Design: How Models Contribute to our Understanding of Interpersonal Communication - Key Themes in Interpersonal Communication by Joyce, Mark D. Hill, Anne Rivers, Danny (Pages 6-47)
    • YouTube Video: Build don't break relationships with communication - connect the dots
    • Enhancing Interpersonal Communication: Positive Mood Effects. By: Nelson, Donna Webster. (Pages 1535-1539)
    • Toward a better understanding of nonprofit communication management by Brooke Fisher Liu (Pages 388-404)
  • Gradable Assignment # 9: Discussion Question 7
  • Gradable Assignment # 10: Short Research Paper # 3
  • Review the Lecture material




Nonprofit Finances

  • Required Readings:
    • Fundraising Principles and Practice (Chapter 22) by Shang, Jen Sargeant, Adrian
  • Additional Readings:
    • Do Nonprofit Organisations Manage Earnings? An Empirical Study. By: Jegers, Marc. (Pages 953-968)
    • Chapter 2 Accounting: Measuring Past Performance: Finance Fundamentals for Nonprofits, with Website by Bowman, Woods (Pages 15-32)
    • Chapter 8. Financial Management - Financial Sustainability for Nonprofit Organizations by Francois, Emmanuel Jean, PhD; Francois, Emmanuel Jean (Pages 118-130)
    • YouTube Video: 5 Step Guide to Budget Development - Resources for Nonprofit Financial Management
    • Website: Financial Management Guide for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Gradable Assignment # 11: Discussion Question 8
  • Gradable Assignment # 12: Short Research Paper # 4
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Begin work on Application Paper # 2 due in Week 8




Nonprofit Resources

  • Required Readings:
    • Fundraising Principles and Practice (Chapters 10-18) by Shang, Jen Sargeant, Adrian
  • Additional Readings:
    • Why do People Give?: New Evidence and Strategies for Nonprofit Managers by Van Slyke, David MAuthor Information (Pages 199-222)
    • The Habit Of Giving. By: Meer, Jonathan (16 pages)
    • Academic library fund-raising: Organization, process, and politics by Martin, Susan K (Pages 560-578)
    • Website:10 Fundraising Problems Hope Won’t Cure
    • YouTube Video: The way we think about charity is dead wrong
  • Gradable Assignment # 13: Discussion Question 9
  • Gradable Assignment # 14: Discussion Question 10
  • Continue work on Application Paper # 2 due in Week 8
  • Review the Lecture material




Fundraising & Course Wrap-up

  • Required Readings:
    • Fundraising Principles and Practice (entire book), by Shang, Jen Sargeant, Adrian
  • Additional Readings:
    • Fundly Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Fundraising Events Platform: World's Largest Crowdfunding-for-Good Platform Makes Fundraising Events More Successful by Integrating Fundraising, Social Media, and Mobile Applications with Unprecedented Ease
    • A Markov analysis of fund-raising alternatives by Soukup, David J (6 pages)
    • Website: How To Launch A Successful Fundraising Campaign
    • The five fundamental fund-raising strategies by Warwick, Mal. (7 pages)
    • TedTalk Video: The why and how of effective altruism
    • TedTalk Video: The extraordinary power of ordinary people
  • Gradable Assignment # 15: Discussion Question 11
  • Gradable Assignment # 16: Application Paper # 2
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Complete Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.