Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Major Gifts & Capital Campaigns Course Wrap Up

From Steve Byers, Instructor

At the outset, I told the students that this wasn’t merely a class on major gifts, this was a class about life. The skills that make someone a successful major gift fundraiser are skills that make people successful no matter what they do for a living.

Being a good listener, for example, doesn’t just apply to meeting with prospective donors. Being a good listener is beneficial in developing any meaningful relationship, whether it is romantic, platonic or collegial. Persuasive speaking and writing, which are fundamental to major gift fundraising, are helpful in just about every other endeavor you could undertake as well. And understanding what motivates people will not only help you obtain major gifts, it will give you important insights in virtually every aspect of your life.

I don’t know how many of the students will go on to become professional major gift fundraisers. But I am confident that learning and practicing the skills that are covered in this class will have value for them wherever their career paths lead.

Here's what student, Janice Taylor had to share about Steve's class ...

"Instead of just lecturing about elements involved in asking for a major gift, we were able to demonstrate it. We not only used our writing skills in designing a case statement and understanding our prospects, but we actually practiced making the personal ask. This exercise was very beneficial. Videotaping it and learning with practice was just what I needed to give me confidence that I can do this."

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fundraising Concentration Becomes Certificate Program

A proposal to create a Fundraising Leadership Certificate program was approved by the undergraduate curriculum committee at Rockhurst. This means that students who take the fundraising concentration courses will now receive an actual certificate, granted by Rockhurst University, and they are eligible for financial aid as certificate-seeking students.

The certificate requirements mirror the concentration requirements, and students from any major (not just nonprofit leadership) and/or from the community may earn this certificate.

Our banner ads on selected websites in the nonprofit community have led to inquiries from prospective students, so we are gaining visibility!

As a recap, required courses for the Fundraising Leadership Certificate and/or the Fundraising Concentration within the Nonprofit Leadership Studies major total 18 credit hours and include:

NP 1110 – Intro to NPOs
NP 3050 – Foundations of Fundraising & Development
FD 4000 – Developing Annual Sustainability
FD 4100 – Major Gifts & Capital Campaigns
FD 4200 – Technology & Marketing Trends in Fundraising
FD 4300 – Prospect Research & Proposal Writing

On a related note, the committee also approved the creation of a Nonprofit Leadership Certificate program utilizing our existing NP/American Humanics courses. Because the University will award this certificate, students who pursue this program also will be eligible for financial aid.

Thank you for all your hard work!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

AFP's Diane Marty Named Rockhurst Adjunct of the Year

Diane's energy and passion for fundraising is being recognized by Rockhurst. She's the first adjunct to receive this prestigious award! Find out more about her work and the award here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

…And we’re off!

Greetings! I’m Jenny Rinella, Director of the Nonprofit Leadership Studies and American Humanics program at Rockhurst, where the AFP Teaches Fundraising Concentration is housed. Fall classes have begun and are kicking into high gear, as we welcome 30 students to the new fundraising concentration! I am thrilled about our new faculty, courses, and the quality of teaching and learning in this collaborative program.

Just a few tidbits since we announced the program start:

• Our very own Diane Marty, co-chair of the AFPTeaches curriculum development committee, was selected as the Rockhurst Graduate and Professional Studies Adjunct Faculty of the Year for 2009-10! The GPS Dean, Dr. Jeffrey Breese, presented this award to Diane at the all-faculty assembly last week.

• I recently enjoyed an opportunity to present our progress at the National American Humanics Professional Development Meeting, in successful conclusion of the 2009-10 Cohen Research Grant project, “Raising the Bar on Fundraising Education”

• Rockhurst has been invited to present on the RU/AFP partnership at the 2011 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools conference in Milwaukee, “Creating Strategic Partnerships and Alliances to Advance Graduate Education”

I look forward to sharing more good news with you as the academic year progresses.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More Buzz as the School Year Approaches

Catch up with the latest on the AFP Mid-America Chapter and Rockhurst University's partnership: the offering of a new fundraising concentration within the Nonprofit Leadership Studies major. Did you know Kansas City is home to 7,500 registered nonprofit organizations that generate more than $9.5 billion and employ about 10 percent of our city's workforce? Read more here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

AFPTeaches in YIP E-Newsletter

Mid-America Chapter's Youth in Philanthropy chairman, Karma Vowell discusses how AFPTeaches will bridge the gap between fundraising professionals and students. Exciting coverage of our flagship effort! Read the interview here. Thanks, Karma!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Interested in making $$$ for your AFP Chapter??

So last you saw this blog, you heard from Merritt Engle, our first faculty hire for AFPTeaches. Since then, the full slate has been established and they are:

Fall Semester:
  • Foundations of Fundraising & Develompent - Diane Marty, CFRE, United Way of Greater Kansas City
  • Annual Sustainability - Stuart Hoffman, CFRE, Goodwill Industries of Kansas City
  • Major Gifts & Capital Campaigns - Steve Byers, CFRE, Steven J. Byers Consulting
Spring Semester:
  • Foundations of Fundraising & Development - Beth Dollase, CFRE, Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences
  • Technology & Marketing Trends in Fundraising - Merritt Engel, Merrigan & Company
  • Prospect Research & Propsoal Writing - David Hanzlick, CFRE, Omnipro Consulting

And here's the other REALLY COOL part about this new initiative for our Chapter: because we've hired 6 instructors (by sharing the teaching of the foundation class by semester) AND because our committee agreed to devote the entire grant stipend for curriculum develompent back to AFP Mid America Chapter, this endeavor has already NETTED $3100 for our Chapter!

Not bad, eh? Feel free to get in touch if you'd like to explore this as a win-win option for your own Chapter...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Well Hello There!

Greetings! I’m Merritt Engel, one of the newly selected instructors for this program—Marketing and Technology in the Spring 2011.

I’m thrilled … and not just because Rockhurst is my alma mater.

I’ve taught at Rockhurst before (Communications and Journalism), but this class has special meaning because of what I do by day. I’m Vice President of Merrigan & Co., a marketing firm specializing in communications for non-profits. I develop campaigns and write copy for all media, so I get a chance to see what’s working (and what’s not) for organizations large and small. I’m also fortunate to have a curriculum development committee that is bursting with energy and ideas. Work is already underway.

I hope to bring the most current thinking and best practices to the classroom … along with an all-star lineup of guest speakers (from front line fundraisers to leading direct marketers to dynamo social media mavens).

Most of all, I’m excited to inspire and prepare future non-profit professionals for successful careers. As someone who hires from this pool and works in this world, I know there are great opportunities out there … and great futures for the students who choose them.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hi, my name is...

As someone new to blogging (yes, it's true, even though someone near and dear recently pointed out that this is all the rage for the 35-49 demo...), it's been suggested I offer a quick intro of myself so people have an idea of who they're reaching out to with questions, etc. regarding AFPTeaches.

SO - I'm Diane, a professional fundraiser since "falling into" the profession through community development work and then in a full-time fundraising position since 1998. Over the course of the last dozen years, I've achieved (and renewed...and am about to renew) my CFRE; had the good fortune to be offered and accept an adjunct faculty position at Rockhurst University (teaching fundraising for nonprofit organizations); provided many a training / consulting session in nonprofit fundraising and administration; and visited South Africa last year to present on capital campaigns and social media at the South African Institute of Fundraising (SAIF).

It's my hope that in putting myself out here like this (photo and all) that it'll be easier for you to connect a face and name as you reach out by phone, blog and/or email - and hopefully in person at AFP events! - to inquire about our AFPTeaches pilot program.

Here's to many of you taking this idea and running with it in your community...all of us and our profession will be better off for our collective educational pursuits!

Cheers -

Monday, April 12, 2010


So exciting to learn from Rockhurst that even BEFORE we sent our AFPTeaches team to Baltimore, armed with AFPTeaches business cards to 'begin the buzz,' we already have students enrolled for the concentration courses being offered this fall....IT'S OFFICIAL (and to those of you considering starting your own pilot program, very exciting!).

Monday, March 22, 2010

Getting Started ...

Welcome to AFPTeaches. We started this blog to document the launch of the first ever undergraduate fundraising concentration taught by AFP members. Ideally, we hope it becomes a resource for other AFP chapters interested in emulating the model as a revenue source, and as an asset to their own fundraising and collegiate communities.

Here's a brief history and timeline of how the idea came about and where the project stands today. For more details, please ask questions in the comments section after this post.


American Humanics Management Institute Conference is hosted in Kansas City, MO. Diane Marty, adjunct instructor at Rockhurst University and 2nd year president of the AFP Mid-America Chapter is in attendance, as are members from AFP IHQ. The international organization is formally launching AFP collegiate chapters. Ideas about bringing AFP members to the table as college instructors begin to simmer ...


Marty and others attend the AFP Leadership Conference in Louisville, KY. The idea gains traction. According to student surveys from the "Fundraising for your Nonprofit Organization" course taught once a year at Rockhurst, students want more courses in fundraising. Jenny Rinella, Director of the Nonprofit Leadership Studies and American Humanics Department at Rockhurst, partners with Marty to discuss a plan in response to student feedback.

MARCH 2009

Marty reviews a grant application being put forward by Jenny Rinella, Director of Nonprofit Leadership Studies & American Humanics Nonprofit Management Certificate Program at Rockhurst University. Funding to support curriculum development by AFP members and courses taught by AFP members is getting closer.

Funding is a success! A $7,500 grant through the Jerome & Jeanette Cohen Fund at American Humanics will support curriculum development plus attendance for two individuals at the 2010 International AFP Conference in Baltimore, MD.


A call for instructors is circulated among AFP Mid-America Chapter members. Marty and Rinella, along with current AFP President Jan Murfield brainstorm an outline for presentation to the Deans at Rockhurst.

Rockurst University approves the offering of four courses: Developing Annual Sustainability and Major Gifts and Capital Campaigns to be taught in fall 2010, and Technology and Marketing Trends in Fundraising and Prospect Research and Proposal Writing to be taught in spring 2011.


Initial meetings of curriculum development committees are held. Course instructor interviews are being conducted.
More to come!