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Program Code: GVOL0763U

Course Information

Next start date

2 November 2020

Enrollment closes

28 October 2020

Course frequency

Every 8 weeks


2 weeks

Time Commitment

15 Hours



Optional Extra

GVI Program Abroad



Flexible Payment

Options Available


How can you turn a strategy for making an impact into real, positive change? You need to be able to create a great story, get the message out, raise the funds and manage the project well.

Our Fundraising and Communication online course, which is offered in partnership with the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte, will show you how to do just that. You’ll learn how to fund an impact project, how to market it, explore the different types of fundraising activities and how to overcome common challenges experienced when managing it.

If you’d like to gain insight into how to develop a strategy for creating an impact and prove that an initiative actually is creating an impact, we recommend that you join our Impact Measurement online course.

Skills you’ll acquire

After completing this course you’ll be able to:

  • explain how to communicate with various groups of stakeholders
  • tell the story of your work
  • explain the process of fundraising and solicitation management
  • describe how to meet the needs of donors
  • design a basic fundraising development plan to support your fundraising program.

Is this course for you?

This online course, and our Impact Measurement online course, is designed for anyone looking to get into the nitty-gritty of contributing to real-world impact projects. This specific fundraising course is for those who would like to know how to fund, market and manage an impact project. This includes everyone from high school, college or graduate students who’d like to learn how to actively promote or fundraise for a cause they care about to corporate professionals who’ve been tasked with managing a project aligned to environmental or social objectives. Retired seniors who’d like to know how to advocate and raise funds for an initiative they are passionate about are also welcome to join.

Course Curriculum

Start the course by learning how to effectively market an impact initiative, project or organisation. Find out how to identify a target audience. Learn what motivates and moves your target audience and how to adapt your message to a specific audience to get the result you are after.

Find out how to make your messages compelling. Master the principles of persuasion and the basics of storytelling including the elements that make a strong narrative: characters, conflict and resolution. Explore which channels, traditional ones such as newspapers, radio, and television, or digital ones such as social media and messenger applications, would be the best place to share your message so that your key audience can receive it.

Learn when advocacy and the use of communication to create behavioral change is appropriate. Investigate the women’s rights movement, civil rights movement and environmental movement.. Design an advocacy strategy including short- and long-term objectives, a map of stakeholders’ positions and types of power, and clear messages designed to engage the government, the public, the private sector and the media.

Next, you’ll find out how to identify funding options and write a fundraising proposal. Deep dive into five different financial mechanisms: grants, microfinance, impact investing, challenge prizes and crowdfunding. Learn more about the three main sources of funding: government, private business, foundations. Discover the seven most common elements in a funding proposal read through successful and unsuccessful examples from other projects to learn how to put together a winning proposal.

Finally learn about the common challenges experienced when implementing impact: the level of uncertainty involved, distribution of capacity and knowledge, and uncertainty around project goals and how best to achieve them. Discuss the four major stages necessary in order to effectively manage one of these projects: analysis and initiation, design and planning, implementation and monitoring, closing and evaluation. Hear about projects that succeeded and failed, discussing common things that can go wrong and how to avoid them.

You’ll wrap up the learning of the above concepts by discussing all these theories in the context of real-life case studies, helping you to ground your understanding in the practical realities of fieldwork.
Orientation to our online learning platform
Module 1: Introduction to Fundraising
Module 2: Storytelling to Raise Money
Module 3: Engaging Your Donors
Module 4: Meeting the Needs of Donors
Module 5: The Art of Solicitation

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

This course includes material related to these Goals

Earn a certificate

Want to show colleges, universities and employers that you’ve got the knowledge and skills covered in this course? Once you’ve successfully completed any of our courses, we’ll send you a digital certificate of completion at no additional cost. The certificate will feature the official name of the course, your name, the date and a signature from your course instructor. Add the certificate to your college application, your graduate school application, your job application or your LinkedIn page.

Your course instructor

Debbie DiVirgilio

Nonprofit Consultant
Debbie DiVirgilio has 25 years of experience in leadership roles across the non-profit sector, and is currently a non-profit department chair and an adjunct faculty member. Debbie teaches nonprofit administration and grant writing classes at a graduate level and public speaking, ethics and sociology classes at an undergraduate level. Debbie is also a certified grant professional and governance trainer.

Find out more about this course
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