Skip to Main Content
Library HoursLibrary SearchOff-campus AccessRenew LoansRedeemer AppRedeemer UniversityCollege

BUS 337: Development and Fundraising

BUS 337: Development and Fundraising (Winter 2022)

You are required to produce a fundraising plan for a non-profit or charitable organization (Client). Your plan should be written to be read and implemented by a senior member or members of the management team. It is thus a practical document that should utilize the theory you will learn during the course to inform the analysis you undertake.

The following headings may be useful in guiding the structure of your assignment – and further advice will be provided throughout the course. As we will discuss in class, fundraising plans can take many different forms, but you are asked to use these headings in guiding your work. The plan shall consist of two phases.

Organizational overview and audit (5-7 pages) and Preliminary Presentation - DUE Feb. 17 (15%)

Review the mission statement of the non-profit organization (Client). Why does the organization exist? What services or programs does the non-profit provide to meet the need or solve the problem? Why should prospective donors (individuals, corporations, foundations, etc.) provide gifts and what benefits accrue to donors who make gifts?

Assess your non-profit’s total development program:  What fundraising strategies does the organization use to attract first-time donors?  Are the same strategies used for renewals and for increases in gift amounts?  What additional strategies are used? What is the current positioning?

  • Does your organization conduct an annual fundraising campaign? What fundraising strategies are used?

  • Does your organization also have a major (or special) gifts program? Has the organization conducted a capital campaign recently? Was it successful? Why or why not?
  • Does your organization have a planned giving program?  How effective is it?  If there is no program now, should the organization begin planning and implementing one?

  • Examine several recent fundraising pieces (if available and when applicable) such as brochures, direct mail letters, or grant proposals, social media appeals produced by the organization. Note how these solicitations make the case for charitable gifts to the organization.

  • What are the fundraising goals for the period under consideration?

Conduct an organizational SWOT and a market analysis.

Provide a summary of the challenges and opportunities you see in raising funds for this organization.

Executive-in-Residence consultation:

Your group will contact the Executive(s)-in-Residence (EiR) assigned for this class to set up one or two meetings to discuss your progress and seek EiR’s feedback. Attach the Minutes of these meetings and the summary of his or her suggestions, both for the Report and the Preliminary Presentation as an appendix to your Phase 1 report.

Preliminary Presentation (5%)

This is a preliminary presentation of your plan to your client. This presentation will include Phase 1 and the following sections:

  • Established fundraising goals for the period under consideration (e.g., annual fund, planned gifts, etc.).
  • Describe alternative potential strategies (e.g., programs or approaches) on how those goals will be met (see chapters 1 – 15).

Print your slides as a handout with six slides on a page and submit to me for feedback just before your oral presentation.


Fundraising plan and strategies (15 - 20 pages) (55%) (Due April 12)

Your Plan should include the following sections:

  • Establish fundraising goals for the period under consideration (e.g., annual fund, planned gifts, etc.).
  • Set quantifiable objectives that support the goals.
  • Design strategies (see programs or plans, below) and describe action plans on how those objectives will be met (e.g., direct mail, gift clubs, telemarketing, etc.)
  • Create a calendar / schedule for the entire year that identifies everything that will occur and by when.
  • Describe a monitoring plan to measure progress throughout the period under consideration.
  • Provide a rough estimate of fundraising costs to implement the fundraising programs.
  • Include the projected net revenue to be realized from the fundraising efforts.
  • Develop new / revise the existing case support statements, if necessary, that guide your suggestions. In case of re-development, imagine that you are developing a new case expression for the non-profit. In one to two paragraphs, make the case for support for gifts to the organization’s annual fund.  Develop a brochure and write a complete letter.  This letter should be the essence of the justification for the non-profit’s seeking of gifts to its fund.

Prepare an integrated development campaign for your Client. This could include the following components.

  1. Annual Plan

The annual-giving program has three principal objectives: the acquisition of new donors, renewal of donors’ giving in subsequent years, and upgrading donor gifts from one year to the next. If your organization is using an annual giving plan of any type, assess its annual giving program in terms of the degree to which it is successful in generating support and in terms of additional annual plan options it might use to expand its program, given its current and potential donor base and level of organizational development.  What resources would the organization have to add?

  • What are the most promising donor constituencies (individuals, corporate sponsors, foundations)?
  • What are / should be the average gift value goals? Total giving goals?
  • Which mix of alternative strategies may be most promising (larger base, new donors, upgrade current donors)?
  • What are the best methods to use (mail, phone, Internet, events)?
  • What will the organization need to spend and on what?
  1. Major Gifts

major gift is defined by the dollar amount, which may vary considerably among nonprofit organizations and institutions. Conduct major gift prospect research and devise strategies and tactics to solicit major gifts.

  • What is known about the prospective benefactor’s financial information and ability to make a major gift?
  • Who are the individuals, staff, and volunteers closest to the prospective benefactor?
  • Who are the donor’s natural partners?
  • Who should be involved in the relationship building, proposal development, and the request?
  • For what specific purpose is the gift being sought?
  • What is the proposed gift amount? When will it be presented? What specific steps or next actions must be accomplished before a proposal can be made?

  1. Capital campaign

Assess your organization’s readiness to conduct a capital campaign. Things you may want to examine include key strengths, available leadership, and other indicators that the non-profit can confidently begin a capital campaign.

If you believe there is a lack of organizational readiness to conduct a campaign, identify and discuss weaknesses, areas of concern, and other factors that indicate the organization is not ready to begin a campaign. Indicate how these weaknesses and concerns can be mitigated or remedied. Provide advice that will help prepare the organization for a capital campaign.

In consultation with your client:

  1. Set a goal and create a gift range chart (see
  2. Create a timeline and justify your choices.
  3. Form a proposed solicitation team. Identify characteristics of individuals who will constitute appropriate candidates.
  4. Compile and organize a list of two or three typical prospects who may qualify as candidates for solicitation.

  1. Planned Giving

If your organization is using planned gift instruments of any type, assess its planned giving program in terms of the degree to which it is successful in generating support and in terms of additional planned gift instruments it might use to expand its program, given its current donor base and level of organizational development. What resources would the organization have to add?

  • If your organization currently does not have a planned giving program, what potential does it have to initiate a planned gift program? 
  • Given its donor base and state of organizational development, what planned gift instruments might be appropriate? 
  • What particular donor groups are available as prospective donors?

  1. Grants / foundations support

Foundations generally publish guidelines for approaching them about a grant.  These guidelines usually include areas of interest, types and sizes of grants, and the process of applying for a grant.

Very often the initial step in the application process is submission of a letter of inquiry (also called a letter of intent) of one or two pages in length. Often the foundation will specify this as the initial step and provide guidelines for the letter. In all cases, the general recommendations made in this course should be modified to fit the guidelines recommended by the foundation you are approaching.

On behalf of your organization, prepare a letter of inquiry/letter of intent of one to two pages in length to a real foundation for a specific project (or general operating support if the foundation supports such activities). Be sure to attach a copy of the foundation’s or agency’s guidelines and/or instructions along with this assignment.

It is important to signal to the foundation program officer early in the letter that you understand the foundation’s areas of interest and the application process. It is also important to end the letter with a request for additional information, opportunity for discussion, permission to submit a full proposal, or other meaningful response from the foundation.

Prepare a grant application on behalf of your client (if applicable).

  1. Corporate sponsorships

If you find that corporate philanthropy is appropriate for your project, explain why, then identify suitable partner candidates, including contact information for two or three most appropriate candidates, describe benefits and challenges of the potential partnership, as well as recommend relevant fundraising strategies and tactics. How would you evaluate a potential corporate partner for your non-profit?


Your Plan should include any recommendations or suggestions for how the total development program can be improved or made more effective. How would you assess and judge the overall success of the proposed plan?

Efficiency and effectiveness are two bases for evaluating fundraising production. 

Efficiency is a measure of fundraising cost or fundraising share. One management task is to create efficiency in fundraising by reducing fundraising costs. 

Effectiveness in fundraising refers to the increase in fundraising productivity even at the expense of increased cost.  Pick one fundraising activity at your organization (this could be their direct mail program, a special event, etc.). Find out how much it costs to conduct this activity, and how much the organization may expect to raise from the activity (estimates). 

Write a brief assessment of the efficiency and effectiveness of the fundraising effort. Is this activity a good use of the organization’s fundraising resources? Are there ways in which the organization could more efficiently use the fundraising resources devoted to this activity?  Use metrics you’ve learned in the course to justify your answers. For example:

  Percentage response - The response rate received to the original communication.

  Cost per response - The total cost of the campaign divided by the number of respondents.

  Percentage conversion - The percentage of enquiries that ultimately offered a donation.

  Cost per donor - Total cost of the campaign divided by the number of donors attracted.

  Revenue per donor - Total value of donations divided by the number of donors attracted.

  Profit per donor - Total profit from a campaign (if any) divided by the number of donors attracted.

 *This assignment has been adapted and modified from Tempel, E. R., Seiler, T. L., & Burlingame, D. F. (2016). Achieving excellence in fundraising. John Wiley & Sons.


Executive in Residence

The School of Business established the Executive in Residence program to recognize the expertise, advice, and support members of the business community provide to the school’s initiatives and projects. Our Executives in Residence provide students with access to valuable insight into real-life experiences in various fields of business. The hallmark of the program is coaching sessions in which executives advise students on course projects. These meetings are approximately 30 - 60 minutes in length and are designed to assist you in your Project. I will connect your group with an Executive whose expertise, interests, etc. are most closely aligned with your project.

Participate in two mandatory meetings throughout the term – most likely prior or just after crucial Project Phase submissions – for guidance and feedback. All members of the group must be present at these meetings. Additionally, you are encouraged to reach out as needed if more advice is desired, with the Executive’s agreement. Finally, you may request a debrief session after your Project presentation at the end of the term, if your Executive is willing.

For each of the mandatory meetings, upload a one-page memo to the shared Google Folder (BUS 337 – Exec-in-Res Memo_#..._Last Names of Students + Last Name of Exec) as a summary of your discussion with the Exec (e.g., what kind of questions did you ask? what was the most helpful feedback you received?).


  1. Write 20 - 27 pages, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, font size 12 point, with 2.5 cm margins, excluding exhibits of the fundraising pieces to be used by the organization, table of contents, and bibliography. 
  2. Cover Page – to include title, time period addressed in the plan, authors, name of the organization/product/program and, if appropriate, any confidentiality restrictions.
  3. Executive Summary – one-page summary of the main proposals in the fundraising plan.
  4. Table of Contents – detail of key sections and sub-sections.
  5. Citations should be made in Chicago Notes and Bibliography (NB) style for the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition) format.

Submit an electronic version of the final paper in MS Word format, in addition to a print copy. Copy all members of your group in this e-mail. Name your file in the following format: BUS_337_Client_Name_Group_Leader_Last_First-name, which should also appear in the Subject line of your e-mail. For example, US_337_Client_Name_Lead_Student_LastFirst_Name

Peter Turkstra Library,  Redeemer University , 777 Garner Road East, Ancaster, ON, L9K 1J4, Canada
Circulation Desk Telephone: 905.648.2139 ext. 4266, Email: