Fundamentals of Fundraising

Apr 8 2014 (All day) to May 27 2014 (All day)
Knowledge Park, 5451 Merwin Lane


“The Fundamentals of Fundraising,”  a certificate program designed for nonprofit administrators, fundraising professionals, volunteers with fundraising responsibility or anyone who wants to learn more about philanthropy, will be offered this Spring at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, in collaboration with the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Who should take this course?

  • Fundraising professionals who may be new to development and want to broaden their skills and knowledge
  • Executive directors of nonprofit organizations
  • Volunteers engaged in fundraising activities


What will I learn?

  • How to identify, cultivate, and solicit prospective donors from among individuals, foundations, and corporations
  • How to apply the latest technology to a fundraising program
  • How to plan, implement, and manage an annual giving program
  • How ethical and legal issues affect the fundraising profession


Course Overview

Effective fundraising requires sophisticated methods of identifying, cultivating, and soliciting potential donors. This course provides an overview of the techniques needed to succeed. Course topics are presented by some of the area’s most experienced development professionals. The knowledge and insights they have to share will help you develop an inventory of skills to meet the challenges of the fundraising profession.


Fundamentals of Fundraising Schedule and Cost

The 8-week certificate program will be held April 8 – May 27 and meets each Tuesday from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Knowledge Park, 5451 Merwin Lane.

Cost is $650 for non-AFP members and $550 for AFP members.

  • April 8: Starting a Development Plan: An overview of Fundraising
  • April 15: Marketing, Public Relations and Special Events
  • April 22: Annual Appeals and Winning Proposals
  • April 29: Prospect Research and Management
  • May 6: Capital Campaigns and Planned Giving
  • May 13: Accountability, Ethics and the Law
  • May 20: Solicitation, Stewardship and the Donor’s perspective
  • May 27: Creating Success: Fearless Major Gifts Fundraising


Instructor and Course Information:

Starting a Development Plan: An overview of Fundraising

April 8

Kristina Huber, CFRE

Private Consultant

This session will demonstrate best practices for setting up a fundraising office/team. Attendees will learn how to establish guidelines and policies for gift requests, acceptance and acknowledgments as well as touch on aspects of types of gifts, ways to raise money, strategies for establishing and enhancing relationships and why relationships are the focal point of the development profession. Discussions will center on the ethical and professional responsibilities of gift requests, acceptance and acknowledgment.  The content of this session will briefly describe subsequent sessions to give an overview of what can be expected. Samples and a resource list will be provided as they relate to the internal and external aspects of the development office.


Marketing, Public Relations and Special Events

April 15

Lisa Zompa Nietupski

Director of Institutional Advancement

Mercyhurst Preparatory School

Attendees will learn practical and effective marketing and communications strategies that can be scaled to various size organizations to build public awareness and the case for support.  Learn how to integrate special events into an overall development program.  Attendees will be able to implement strategic marketing initiatives, take advantage of public relations opportunities and plan successful special events that advance the mission of the organization while securing significant philanthropic support.


Annual Appeals and Winning Proposals

April  22

Jan Stork

Senior Director

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater PA and WV

How to make your case for support appealing with regards to all aspects of giving.  Attendees will review examples of appeals presented in different formats and to different audiences.  The discussion will include constituent identification, initial contact, cultivation, solicitation and building trust with the very people that make your organization successful in mission. From annual appeals and reports to grant writing and social media – learn what attracts and keeps the volunteer, the benefactor, the employee.


Prospect Research and Management

April 29

Anita L. Miller, CFRE

Director, Research & Foundation Relations

Gannon University

Learn what prospect research is and why it is critical fundraising success.  Although identification of prospects is the first step in the fundraising process, it is often overlooked and misunderstood. Learn why you need to do prospect research on individuals, corporations, and foundations – going beyond Google.  The discussion will include the ethical responsibilities of prospecting and prospect management.


Capital Campaigns and Planned Giving

May 6

Marjorie Klein, Vice President of Development & Alumni Affairs

Melissa Mencotti, Director for Planned Giving at Allegheny College

Bruce Whitehair, CFRE,  Associate Vice President for Advancement Allegheny College

This session is an overview of the advanced aspect of the development profession- capital campaigns and planned giving.  The objective is to demystify the planned giving opportunities from the organization and donor perspective.  Attendees will receive the tools to enter into the conversations with the long-term relationships that benefit both through planned giving.  Additionally, attendees will walk through the steps that lead an organization into and through a successful capital campaign.  From SWOT analysis and feasibility to finding the sweet spot of capital and annual giving to the establishment of lasting, fulfilling relationships that lead to the gift of a lifetime.


Accountability, Ethics and the Law

May 13

Tom Tupitza, Esq.


Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C.

This session will provide an overview of the Pennsylvania Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act and other legal requirements governing fundraising in Pennsylvania; review various legal and industry standards pertaining to nonprofit governance generally and fundraising in particular, including those developed by the IRS, AFP, the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, PANO, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and others; and afford participants an opportunity to identify and address ethical issues commonly arising in the fundraising field, and to develop a framework for ethical decision-making.


Solicitation, Stewardship and the Donor’s perspective

May 20

Gary L. Bukowski, CFRE

Vice President for Advancement

Barber National Institute

Focus will be placed on the donor experience,from preparing for the Ask,through laying the foundation for a strong donor relations program and it's importance in donor renewal in this challenging philanthropic environment.
Special focus will be placed on looking through the "eyes of the donor" from post solicitation through life long donor engagement.
Students will have the opportunity to interact with a panel of donors who represent the corporate,foundation and individual faces of Philanthropy.
A plethora of references and examples will be provided to students for future reading.


Creating Success: Fearless Major Gifts Fundraising

May 27

Susan Black

Retired Vice President of Advancement

Gannon University

Reaching Major Gift goals involves five fundamental activities and five personal qualities. Activities: prospect research, qualification visits, strategic cultivation and solicitation and timely stewardship.  Qualities: Planning, implementing, monitoring and measuring these activities will be the primary focus of this session.


Fundamentals of Fundraising Testimonials:

"What better way to learn about fundraising than from people who do it everyday? That is the type of program Penn State Erie, The Behrend College and the Association of Fundraising Professionals put together. Top-notch speakers from Erie’s development community shared their practical knowledge and experience and left us with the confidence to say, 'We can do this.' If you want to learn the Fundamentals of Fundraising, this course is the way to go."

-- Gary Loncki, Director of Communications
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
New York, Pennsylvania, Pacific West Community

"I want to thank AFP/PSU for the Fundamentals of Fundraising course. As someone very new to this field it was extremely helpful to me and consequently our organization to acquire a diverse overview of all the various areas to consider when setting up a fundraising program. As a result of this course we have launched our first annual campaign and are already receiving donations. We have also plotted out an entire year's schedule of events for fundraising to include letters,newsletters, special events, and talking to potential large donors. I would never have gotten around to this level of organization had it not been for this course. I appreciated meeting the movers and shakers for fundraising within northwest PA. As a follow up to this course, I have had further conversations and received many great tips from several of the speakers."

-- Denise Olczak, Director
Mystic Mountain Training Center


Please contact the Office of Community and Workforce Programs for additional information at 814-898-6103.

Event Contact Name: 
Carleen Orlando
Event Contact Email: 
(814) 898-6466