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Track 2: Higher Education Fundraising

The Higher Education Fundraising Concentration is part of the MS in Strategic Fundraising & Philanthropy graduate program. The 36 credit program is made up of 12 courses,  see required courses below.

• REQUIRED CORE COURSES (18 credits): mhe500, mhe626, nmp521, nmp622, nmp650, and nmp675
• pick one course (3 credits): nmp655 or nmp656
• pick one course (3 credits): mhe505, mhe620, mhe630, or mhe640
• pick two courses (6 credits): nmp531, nmp623, nmp641, nmp651, or nmp661
• pick two elective courses (6 credits)

Curriculum & Schedules

Code Course Name Credit Hours
MHE500 Introduction to Higher Education Administration 3

This course provides a basic introduction to the administration of colleges and universities in modern-day America, including the role and purpose of various functions and departments and major organizational participants (e.g., faculty, students, administration/staff, board). Current topics affecting University and university operation are reviewed and the impact of state and federal policy on institutions is explored.

MHE505 Organization and Governance of Higher Education 3

This course provides an overview of the organizational characteristics and processes of colleges and universities with an emphasis upon the governance structure, i.e., the process for making major policy decisions. Additionally, students will be introduced to the sources of power and influence typically found in academic organizations, along with the primary issues related to organization and governance of higher education.

MHE620 The Contemporary College Student 3

This course provides an overview of the diverse groups (traditional and otherwise) who currently comprise the student population of colleges and universities, campus environments and their varied impact on student learning and identity formation, and the various cultural contexts which shape and influence student life and identity. Specific attention will be given to the implications for various areas of administrative practice within colleges and universities, (e.g. student affairs, development and alumni relations, enrollment management, academic affairs, and marketing).

MHE626 Introduction to Institutional Advancement 3

This course provides an overview of the functional areas within higher education institutional advancement, including development and fundraising, marketing and communications, alumni relations, and government and community relations. Particular attention will be given to how each of these functions operates, how they are integrated, and how they are managed and led.

MHE630 Law and Ethics in Higher Education 3

This course is designed to assist students in becoming knowledgeable about the fundamentals of American law that directly and indirectly impinge on the teaching, learning, and administrative environments of higher education institutions in the both the public as well as the private sectors. There are diverse sources of law that impact American higher education in numerous ways and this course is designed to enhance student understanding and appreciation for this complexity as well as for the ethical issues which surround the application of law in the university or University setting.

MHE640 History and Economics of Higher Education 3

This course is designed to provide a conceptual overview of the history of higher education and the forces which shaped it. Specific attention will be given to the broader political, social, cultural, and economic context within which higher education was established and continues to develop today.

NMP521 Foundations of Philanthropy 3

This course provides an overview of America’s tradition of philanthropy and its relevance for today’s fundraisers. Attention is given to changing expectations for ethical behavior and accountability along with changes in donor markets which impact the practice of philanthropy in the 21st century. This course also examines the theoretical basis and goals of fundraising activities, how to apply the theory to develop a comprehensive development program and a personal fundraising philosophy and framework.

NMP531 Grant Writing for Corporations and Foundations 3

This course will focus on methods of identifying corporate and private foundation funding prospects and applying for grants from these funders. Students will conduct research on foundations and corporations using the Internet and printed materials. They will polish their written communication skills while crafting letters of inquiry, grant proposals, cover letters, and stewardship letters. Students will develop a basic knowledge of the theory, motivations, and methods of corporate and foundation giving programs. Students who register for this class are required to have access to a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization (as an employee or volunteer) that they can use as a topic of class discussions and written assignments.

NMP622 Donor Motivation and Behavior 3

This course exposes students to the theoretical framework for giving. Students will learn how to assess the various motivational factors which influence giving to a particular cause. In addition, this course provides students with the opportunity to explore and understand the principles and mechanics of the wide variety of giving options available to donors. Students will learn to facilitate a process that defines donor needs, assesses appropriate giving methods, develops sound proposals, and closes gifts.

NMP623 Resource Development Management 3

As the field of development becomes more complex and demanding, the role of resource management (time, people, and money) takes on increasing importance for the development professional. This course will explore and integrate these issues, and provide resources and tools to build management effectiveness within development. Specifically, students will learn how to apply best practices and sound management principles to the process of securing resources within the nonprofit context.

NMP641 Capital Campaigns and Planned Giving 3

This course covers the key issues which must be addressed prior to launching a successful capital program and also how to use planned giving as a non-traditional but entirely appropriate type of gift to support capital campaigns. Topics covered that relate to planning a capital campaign include setting goals, the use of feasibility studies to assess institutional readiness, writing a case for support, developing fundraising leadership, board development, donor identification and segmentation, sources and numbers of gifts required to achieve the goal, options on how to incorporate endowment gifts in the solicitation mix, gift-acceptance policies, proven principles of capital campaigns, reporting mechanisms, and donor recognition. Additional topics covered concentrate on how to develop and implement a planned giving program and how to cultivate and solicit individuals for a planned gift. These topics include promoting planned giving programs; identifying and soliciting individual prospects; the role of the board, staff and volunteers; ethical issues; trends in planned giving; and integrating planned giving into an overall fund development program.

NMP650 Leading Change Through Research in Nonprofits 3

This course is designed to give students the opportunity to apply management theory to authentic problem-solving situations. Students will review and be introduced to contemporary methods of leading change in organizations by providing students with opportunities to apply management theory on both a micro and macro level. On the macro level this course is designed to integrate the concepts studied throughout the masters’ program and those learned in this class, to engage students in informed discussion and assignments of how these concepts are applied to various management and leadership scenarios. At a micro level, students will use this course to plan out specific methodology and frameworks for analysis to use in preparation of the research required for their individual capstone project. The overarching goals of this course are two-fold: (1) ensure that students are prepared with instruments of practical problem solving and knowledge to apply what they have learned in their program to real-life situations in management and (2) allow students to hone and refresh research strategies and skills to prepare them to carry out a masters’ level management-issue research problem in the Capstone course.

NMP651 Annual Giving and Donor Relations 3

By the completion of this course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of the programs and processes which comprise the annual fundraising program. In particular, students will increase their understanding of: the role of fund development generally and annual giving fundraising specifically, how to define and articulate the case for raising annual support, how to develop an annual giving plan and goals, an annual calendar of activities, and other important foundational considerations, the purpose and elements of an annual giving plan including the methods and programs used for raising annual support, and how to effectively manage a comprehensive annual giving program. Additionally, students will learn about the role of donor relations in a comprehensive development program and will be exposed to cutting edge strategies for building and maintaining an effective donor relations effort.

NMP655 Leadership & Personal Effectiveness 3

The focus of this course is learning the components & styles of dynamic leadership and how they can be adapted in your personal effectiveness as a nonprofit leader. Students will examine several leadership models through assigned texts, contemporary case models, reading and internet research. In addition to readings and associated papers, students will be required to interview a non-profit leader in the local environment and prepare an oral presentation of their interview findings and associated research.

NMP656 Relationships, Communication and Philanthropy 3

Building long-term relationships with others is one of the most important and powerful concepts behind philanthropy and fund development. Effective organizations depend upon healthy relationships, and so do effective communities. Genuine relationships do not trespass on personal and professional relationships, creating a bank of favors bartered away through self-interested transactions. This course focuses on relationships at both the individual and group level, within and outside of the nonprofit. The course will review theories about human and group interaction, and strategies to build long term, mutually beneficial relationships. Students will learn key communications concepts to support relationship building.

NMP661 Major Gifts 3

For fundraisers, learning how to consistently cultivate and accept large dollar donations is an invaluable professional skill that has many personal and professional rewards including advancement into higher paying positions. This course is designed to provide you with the theoretical and practical knowledge to be that valued and sought after “rainmaker” of large donations. It does this by providing students a clear understanding of how to building donor-centered relationships with high net-worth donors. In this way it demystifies the “major gifts” fundraising process and provides the student with a systematic method for successfully cultivating and receiving major gifts for your nonprofit organization.

NMP675 Capstone: Advanced Fundraising Capstone 3

A highlight of the Master of Science in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy is the Advanced Fundraising Seminar, which gives students the opportunity to work on an industry-related project of substantive quality. Students exercise, enhance, and refine the fundraising skills they have gained during the program within a nonprofit organization that is in need of fundraising assistance, such as designing a capital campaign or analyzing the effectiveness of its fundraising programs. This seminar also provides students a format in which to analyze and examine the larger theoretical issues and industry trends that affect fundraisers and their efforts. While specific topics and emphases vary from term to term, the seminar seeks to impart the analytical, interpretative, and planning skills required of Senior managers. Students will present the results of their fundraising project and will also complete the portfolio which is a final requirement for the MS in Strategic Fundraising and Philanthropy degree.