Syllabus and Course Outline
rev 1/20


20 - 30 Hours
This course will define nonprofit organizations and illustrate how they are structured. The role of the development department and volunteers within the framework of a nonprofit will be explored. The course will focus on planning successful special events for non-profit organizations.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
  • Define nonprofit organizations
  • Identify how a nonprofit organization is structured
  • Recognize the development team and the role of the event planner on this team
  • Assemble volunteer fundraising committees
  • Define the goals and objectives of an event
  • Determine if having a fundraising event is optimal
  • Consider the audience during the event selection and planning process
  • Identify different models of fundraising events
  • Find the right event
  • Create a fundraising event timeline
  • Begin the budget process
  • Evaluate event expenses and find money saving tips:
    • Venues
    • Catering and alcohol (corkage)
    • Printing for invitations and marketing materials (postage)
    • Decorations
    • Audio/visual
    • Entertainment
    • Everything else
  • Make an initial expense budget
  • Create revenue opportunities and estimate revenue in the following areas:
    • Ticket sales
    • Corporate Sponsors
    • Auctions
    • Opportunity drawings
    • Straight donations
  • Finalize an event budget by putting together the expenses and revenue budgets
  • Identify prospective donors
  • Become more familiar with current donors
  • Find new donors
  • Determine the best way to approach each prospective donor
  • Make a cold call to ask for a donation
  • Ask for donations via email or letter
  • Respond appropriately to a donation rejection
  • Maintain good relationships with donors
  • Select appropriate marketing materials for their event
  • Work with the media to promote a fundraising event
  • Utilize online marketing and social media to spread the word about upcoming functions
  • Arrive at an event prepared and ready to go
  • Effectively utilize event volunteers
  • Be prepared for guests to arrive
  • Trouble shoot for unexpected event surprises, breakdowns or meltdowns
  • Appropriately thank donors
  • Wrap up an event
Successful completion of all assignments, reviews and exams. You will receive a welcome letter from your instructor which will include greater detail regarding grading criteria.
Some lessons include an assignment. These assignments will ask you to complete independent research and application, consider various ideas, or discuss and share insights with friends or family. There is a final comprehensive exam.

Lesson   1 -  Nonprofit Overview (11 pages)
Lesson   2 -  Event Selection and Timeline (20 pages)
Lesson   3 -  Budgeting for Fundraising Events (16 pages)
Lesson   4 -  Revenue (16 pages)
Lesson   5 -  Solicitations (15 pages)
Lesson   6 -  Marketing for Nonprofit Events (13 pages)
Lesson   7 -  Event Day and After (12 pages)

The maximum time to complete this course, if not included in your welcome letter, will be sent to you by your instructor. To be completed in that time: 4 assignments, 8 Reviews and 1 final exam. The final exam is 60 questions long and can be completed within 2 hours. All assignments are submitted electronically to your instructor with results returned via email.