Course Syllabus

ORG617: Major Gifts and Planned Giving

Instructor & Contact Information

The People tab in Canvas provides information on the course instructor and you can send a message to your instructor following these instructions. Faculty are expected to: 1) grade and return assignments, with feedback, within 7 days from the date of submission; 2) reply to your Canvas messages within 72 hours; 3) reply several times each week in total in the discussion forums (not to each individual student); and 4) demonstrate the core values of City Vision University.

Course Description

In this course you will learn to develop and expand major gifts and planned giving programs in your organization. You will learn how to identify potential major donors and their characteristics. You will also learn how to organize a major donor database and how to build relationships with major donors. You will learn how to develop a strategy and tools to implement planned giving. The final project for this course will be to develop a major donor and planned giving plan for your organization.

Students need to identify a nonprofit organization to work with for this course that has capacity to develop major donor and planned giving programs.

Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Certification Credit

This course has been approved to count as 45 continuing education credits for Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) Certification.

Course Outcomes

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Describe how major donor and planned giving programs can be designed to be a ministry (or act of service) to donors.
  2. Develop your organization’s donor databases, prospect research and systems to support its major donor program.
  3. Write a plan to develop prospects and then prepare for and secure a first visit with a prospective major donor.
  4. Develop a plan for major donor solicitation and a model case for support statement to use with major donors.
  5. Create a plan for effective major donor follow-up both after the initial ask and continued cultivation after a gift, including strategies for thanking both in person and through letters/email.
  6. Design a plan to develop a planned giving program for your organization, including researching potential consultants to work with to develop your program.
  7. Develop a planned giving plan for your organization.
  8. Develop a comprehensive major donor and planned giving plan for your organization.

Degree Program Outcomes

Degree outcomes are the overall skills and knowledge we expect you will have after successfully completing a degree program at City Vision University. After completing the degree, you will be able to do the following in each of the listed domains:

  1. Bible & Theology. Use sound principles of Biblical interpretation and Christian theology to understand the structure, themes and content of the Bible and apply and communicate that well in local contexts.
  2. Applied Theology. Develop a theological vision that is a faithful restatement of the gospel with transformative power in a particular culture at a moment in history.
  3. Vocation. Create plans to achieve your own personal vocation and calling as well as bringing social change to the world in line with Christian values.
  4. Spiritual Formation for Healthy Leadership. Develop plans for inner character development and outer strategies needed for healthy leadership & organizations.
  5. Cross-Cultural Ministry. Develop strategy for effective cross-cultural management and ministry and apply that to your own organizational or ministry context.
  6. Organizational Skills. Demonstrate professional competencies in a specialty area appropriate for leadership roles in nonprofit organizations and ministries.
  7. Strategy. Integrate a wide range of organizational leadership skills into a strategic plan for developing an organization centered around a biblical philosophy of ministry for your context.

Required Texts

Students are required to purchase these texts before the first day of classes. 

Guidelines for Written Work

All written work must follow our Writing Format and Forum Requirements. You must read these to understand how to cite sources appropriately.

Critical Policies to Read for This Course

Note: These policies are critical for all students to read. In case of change, we have linked to the versions on our website to make sure you have the latest version.

Additional Policies:

This syllabus is subject to change without notice up until the first day of the semester. Last updated: March 1, 2023

Course Summary:

Date Details Due