Why you should take this course

Digital fundraising accounts for roughly 10% of all nonprofit donations — over $40 billion given online in the United States alone — and it's growing ~15% each year. Mobile giving is growing even faster.

This growth is coming from every type of donor too: lower level one-time donors, recurring donors, mid-level, and even major donors.

But digital fundraising isn't just about the revenue you bring in online. Every donor group from prospects to institutional funders can view, follow, and engage with your organization online.

Are you ready for donors and funders to engage with you online?

Do you know how to make the most of your time, energy, and resources? Do you know which metrics are the best to improve? Which metrics should you leave behind?

As fundraisers, marketers, researchers, and instructors that have been studying and practicing in the nonprofit space for a combined 60+ years, we believe the biggest opportunity nonprofits today is digital fundraising.

There are a lot of ideas out there saying, “You should do A, B, or C.” Or, “You should use strategy X, Y, or Z”.

But how many ideas are based on real data and evidence as to what really works? How many ideas are driven by research focused on actual human and donor behavior? And how much of that takes a holistic view to engage with donors online beyond just a website, email, or donation page?

From what we've seen... not much.

This course takes a different approach

To develop this course, our team spent a year researching what online fundraising content and training was available around the world.

We also spoke with nonprofit professionals, consultants, and researchers to see what learning gaps needed to be filled.

And from this research, we created this course for you.

Our goal is to equip fundraisers and marketers with both the base knowledge of philanthropy and fundraising as well as the cutting edge proven professional practices of the expanding world of digital fundraising.

This course is not for everyone.

If we’ve learned anything in our research, teaching, and training it’s that not everyone wants to do what it takes to grow their digital fundraising skillset.

But if you’ve read this far, you might be one of the exceptions.

This course is designed specifically for fundraisers looking to:

  • Get a better understanding of today’s donor
  • Understand the digital landscape and strategies at your disposal to engage donors
  • Become immersed in the digital fundraising world alongside other like-minded peers from around the world
  • Grow, learn, and innovate based on the instruction from leading thinkers in digital fundraising and donor psychology

There's a huge opportunity for almost every organization to do more, get better, and improve their online fundraising. Our hope is that this course can help you do just that.

- Adrian, Tim, Harriet, and Brady

Course Syllabus

Over the course of 8-weeks, you'll learn through lessons, quizzes, case studies, experiments, and group discussions with practical application exercises and assignments along the way.

  • 1

    Welcome to the course!

    • What you need to know before you start

    • How to Navigate the Course

  • 2

    Week 1 - Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector

    • Week 1: Learning Objectives

    • Introductions

    • Our Sector Defined

    • Classifying Nonprofits

    • Size And Economic Significance Of The Nonprofit Sector

    • Where Does The Sector Get Its Income?

    • Philanthropy In The United States

    • M+R Benchmarks

    • Using Benchmark Data

    • Blackbaud Institute

    • NextAfter

    • The Development Of Fundraising As A Profession

    • What is the Role of a Fundraiser?

    • Week 1 Lesson

    • Week 1 Assignment

    • Week 1 Quiz

    • Reading, Resources, and References

  • 3

    Week 2 - Week 2: Permission, Regulation and Codes of Practice

    • Week 2 Lesson

    • Week 2 Assignment

    • Week 2 Quiz

    • Reading, Resources, and References

  • 4

    Week 3 - Week 3: Developing a Case for Support

    • Week 3 Lesson

    • Week 3 Assignment

    • Week 3 Quiz

    • Reading, Resources, and References

  • 5

    Week 4: Site Design and Optimization

    • Week 4 Lesson

    • Week 4 Assignment

    • Week 4 Quiz

    • Reading, Resources, and References

  • 6

    Week 5: SEM and Digital Advertising

    • Week 5 Lesson

    • Week 5 Assignment

    • Week 5 Quiz

    • Reading, Resources, and References

  • 7

    Week 6: Email Fundraising

    • Week 6 Lesson

    • Week 6 Assignment

    • Week 6 Quiz

    • Reading, Resources, and References

  • 8

    Week 7: Social Channels

    • Week 7 Lesson

    • Week 7 Assignment

    • Week 7 Quiz

    • Reading, Resources, and References

  • 9

    Week 8: Mobile Fundraising

    • Week 8 Lesson

    • Week 8 Assignment

    • Week 8 Quiz

    • Reading, Resources, and References

  • 10

    Next Steps

    • Here's what comes next


Who you'll get to learn with and from.

The four instructors of this course combine academic and research backgrounds with field experience working directly with and for charitable organizations around the world.

Dr. Adrian Sargeant

Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy

Adrian is the Co-Director of the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy. He was formerly the first Hartsook Chair in Fundraising at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. He is also a Visiting Professor of Fundraising at Avila University and the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.

Tim Kachuriak

Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer at NextAfter

Tim Kachuriak is the founder and Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer for NextAfter, a fundraising research lab and consulting firm that works with businesses, nonprofits, and NGOs to help them grow their resource capacity.

Harriet Day

Research Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy

Harriet is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy. She holds a law degree from the University of Exeter, is a graduate of the Institute of Fundraising’s Certificate in Fundraising qualification program, and also is a tutor for the Fundraising Standard. Harriet is passionate and committed to her work and has published several research reports in the domain of philanthropy and fundraising.

Brady Josephson

Managing Director at the NextAfter Institute

Brady is the Managing Director of the NextAfter Institute. A charity nerd, adjunct professor, and international speaker, his thoughts have been featured in The Huffington Post, NPR, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy among others. He was the lead researcher and author of The Canadian Online Fundraising Scorecard, The State of Nonprofit Donation Pages, and The State of Nonprofit Email Cultivation. Brady is also a host of The Generosity Freakshow (Links to an external site.) — a podcast discussing how we can improve, optimize, and grow giving.


  • How much does it cost?

    $1,299 USD

  • What is the expected time commitment?

    Each week there is a professionally recorded lesson, practical application assignment, and group discussions. We think this should take roughly 5 hours a week. There are additional resources, references, and research and you are free to engage with classmates and instructors as much as you like beyond that as well.

  • Is this worth the cost, both time and money?

    We wouldn't take the time to research, create, and construct this course if we didn't but just in case, if you get all the way through the 8-week course and don't think you've received the value expected, we'll refund your money.

Coming Soon!

Please provide your email below to be the first to know when the course will launch, how you can apply, and other key details.

About the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy

Based in the UK, the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy exists to grow personally meaningful philanthropy around the world. We do that by using science to create more memorable giving experiences that genuinely contribute to the wellbeing of supporters. And by using the latest experimental science to grow the human capacity to love.

About the NextAfter Institute

Based in the US, the NextAfter's mission is to decode what works in fundraising and make it as accessible to as many organizations as possible. The NextAfter Institute, NextAfter's training and research arm, exists to equip nonprofit fundraiser'sand digital marketer's with original research, evidence-backed resources, and data-driven training to better understand your donors and why they give so they can raise more money online to fund their life-changing work.