Course Descriptions

AAD 521 Nonprofit Board Governance
The concept of governance is critical in the nonprofit sector. Governing boards are a vital component for the success of nonprofit organizations. AAD 531 Nonprofit Board Governance is designed to provide an understanding of how a nonprofit is governed through a volunteer board of directors. In this course, students will explore the fundamentals of governance, trusteeship, and leadership in nonprofit organizations. Additionally, students will analyze legal, fiduciary and ethical responsibilities of nonprofit boards in order to critically understand the role of board leadership.

AAD 542 Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations
The competitive grant proposal process is the ultimate exercise in organizational capacity, yet the process itself can be elusive. In AAD 542 Grant Writing for Nonprofit Organizations, students will develop proposal writing, development, and research skills. Specific topics will include writing style and format, advanced analysis of tone, institutional prospect research, program design, strategic planning, building a case for support, identifying funding sources, creating the letter of intent, evaluation, sustainability, organizational capacity, and grant writing ethics. During this course, students will identify, work closely with, and write a complete grant proposal for a nonprofit organization of their choice.

AAD 555 Fundraising: Identifying and Cultivating Individual Donors
This course will help students develop the necessary skills for soliciting contributions from individuals by focusing on the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and acknowledgement of contributions to arts organizations. Students will learn how to identify potential donors and create a "case for giving" that aligns with the arts organization’s mission before creating targeted fundraising campaigns. The course will also include creative and effective methods of retaining donors. Students will not only be thinking about how to present an "ask" to potential arts donors but actually demonstrating it through real-world activities.

AAD 626 Financial Management for Fundraising
Financial management is a central function of successful nonprofit fundraising. In the nonprofit sector, the concept of contributed income is a key framework that must be understood by fundraisers and will be emphasized in this course. In addition, professional fundraisers are the source of financial information to both internal and external stakeholders, and successful financial analysis is essential for sound strategic planning and governance. This course guides students through key topics of financial management including accounting practices, contributed and earned revenue, time value of money, interpreting financial statements, creating mission-driven budgets, analyzing cash-flow, and managing investments.

AAD 640 Principles of Fundraising
Most nonprofit organizations earn more than half of their total annual revenue from contributed sources, including funds from businesses, foundations, government, and individuals. This course will examine how each of these entities are identified, researched, cultivated, solicited, and stewarded, in context of the organization's fundraising cycle. Students will learn practical development techniques such as crafting a case for support, how to identify government and foundation grant programs, the basics of planned giving, donor research and solicitation plans, and carrying out both fundraising and stewardship events. The philosophies and theories that underlie the concept of charitable giving will also be examined, as will the ethical considerations inherent in the development process. During this course, students will identify, work closely with, and write a complete strategic development plan for a nonprofit organization of their choice.

AAD 740 Fundraising Techniques
This course will explore how the development theories examined in AAD 640 Principles of Fundraising are organized into actionable fundraising techniques and products. Students will continue working with their chosen organization from AAD 640 to create the many projects conceived in the strategic development plan. Emphasis will be placed on fundraising device creation, goal setting, case development, the donor-centric communication style, prospect identification, pre-campaign testing, campaign execution, practicing the major gift ask, and donor stewardship devices. The course will also cover how these campaigns are supported by planned giving methods, databases, and web-based applications, as well as related legal and ethical issues.

AAD 745 Venture Philanthropy
Due to the increasing need for unconventional resources, venture philanthropy is a growing field of resource development within the arts. It combines the techniques of venture capital with the approach of philanthropic giving. The critique of its application is that financial investment, when it is driven primarily by market-based practices, will overtake the benefit of public good that is so closely tied to mission-based arts organizations. To meet critique with opportunity, Arts Managers have to be aware of the nuanced complexity embedded within both the concept of “venture” and the stigma of “philanthropy.” Rather than reinforcing how those with means give to those without, this course seeks to challenge the systemic impact of venture philanthropy and empower access by applying an Indigenous-centric approach marked by democratizing, revitalizing, and reframing.

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Interest Level
On-Campus BA in Arts Administration
Online MA in Arts Administration
Online PhD in Arts Administration
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