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The Business of Philanthropyin the Non-Profit Sector

  • Designed for non-profit staff
  • Delivered over five months
  • Five full-day modules
  • One applied project of a fundraising plan for your organization

This leading edge customized program has been designed specifically to enhance the talent, drive, and creativity of those involved in not-for-profit agencies. Delivered by a panel of non-profit sector and fundraising professionals, the training will give participants a range of philanthropic practices, tools, and theories.

Consult with our Contract Training Managers

Contact us to find the best fit for your organization, get more information or to arrange for training.

Continuing Education & Corporate Training Office
705-749-5530 ext. 1502

Participant Registration Form

This training is delivered over a five-month period, with one full-day interactive learning module every month. After each module, participants will draw upon what they have learned to develop project components for a final comprehensive strategic fundraising plan for their host organization. A presentation of the final project will take place shortly after the last module. Upon successful completion of the classroom training and applied project, participants will receive a Certification of Recognition.

Full participation in The Business of Philanthropy Program is applicable for 35.0 points in Category 1.B - Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.


Module 1: An Introduction to Working in the Sector

Participants will gain a fundamental understanding of the sector and its stakeholders, including how to recognize and engage stakeholders. General trends as well as trends in fundraising and grants, and pressures facing the sector will be discussed.

This module will also delve into working with boards including an overview of governance theory and board structures, roles and responsibilities, legislative trends and pressures, liability and building a good working relationship with board and senior staff. Participants will learn best practices for effective board leadership and techniques to apply these practices. Participants will also learn to apply ethical decision-making.

Module 2: The Business of Philanthropy

Participants will learn to apply core business practices to their work. These will include applying the principles of project management to develop a project plan, understanding the elements of risk management and developing policies. This module will also identify how to build a culture of evaluation in an organization and how to use research in building a line of sight between the donor and the impact of their gift.

Module 3: The Philanthropic Relationship 1

This module will focus on building, maintaining and managing relationships. Participants will gain an understanding of essential fundraising methods and formulate a fundraising plan for campaigns related to annual giving, special events and online giving. We will also delve into best practices in donor and organization engagement, including designing a comprehensive donor relationship strategy.

Module 4: The Philanthropic Relationship 2

This module builds on the previous material to focus on more complex aspects of the philanthropic relationship. Fundraising methods for legacy and planned giving, major gift fundraising, corporate sponsorships and capital campaigns will be highlighted.

We will delve into a deeper exploration of relationship management and donor loyalty from retention to reengagement and define the elements and best practices of donor-intensive fundraising methods. Participants will consolidate their knowledge of fundraising and relationship management to develop a multifaceted fundraising program.

Module 5: Philanthropic Communication

Participants will gain the skills to build a corporate communication plan that considers all the elements covered throughout the course.

The module will include a focus on using social media as a communication tool, moving the communication strategy from "commercial marketing" to marketing for the social good, creating donor-focused communication strategies, and choosing the preferred communication methods based on the target audience.

Culminating Project Presentation

This class will take place after Module 5, but within the same month. Participants will combine the work of their monthly projects completed throughout the course into a single organizational strategic and/or fundraising plan. This plan will be presented to the instructor team as well as to board members from each of the sponsoring organizations, who will be invited to attend the presentation. Input on the presentation of the plan and the written report will be provided by the instructors.

Faculty Profiles

Dianne Lister

Dianne has held CEO philanthropic leadership roles in education, health care and cultural organizations over the past 25 years. Through her consulting company DLG, Dianne provides expert advisory services on issues such as leadership, governance and strategies to senior leaders in the non-profit sector.

Shirlanne Pawley-Boyd, CFRE

Shirlanne is the Chief Advancement Officer for the Canadian Canoe Museum. She has worked within the not-for-profit sector for over 25 years securing funds for education, health care and social service organizations. Shirlanne is an active volunteer in the community with many not-for-profit groups.

Lisa Smith

Lisa is the Director of Community Impact with United Way of Peterborough & District. She has over 16 years of experience in community development and organizational effectiveness. She has developed and facilitated numerous training programs, including a national award-winning program on Outcome Measurement.

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