Innovation in Philanthropy

With more than 1.5 million registered charities in the U.S. alone (double the number a decade ago), philanthropy professionals with an advanced degree are highly sought after to lead the nation’s most prestigious organizations.

The Philanthropy and Development Program at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota remains one of the most unique and innovative master’s programs in the country.  The program is designed for experienced philanthropy professionals who, shaped by their ethical values, embrace the opportunity to become agents of change.

The curriculum focuses on the transformational role a philanthropy professional plays in today’s society by utilizing innovative and ethical fundraising strategies.  Coursework will prepare the student for a senior leadership position in any nonprofit organization.

Upon graduation, students become a member of an alumni network that includes some of the industry’s leading experts in the field of philanthropy.

Hundreds of today's top-earning fundraisers in the United States and Canada launched their careers at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. They hold senior leadership positions at prestigious institutions, including:

  • Johns Hopkins University
  • The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
  • Northwestern University: Kellogg School of Management
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • The National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • California State University
  • The Anchorage Museum
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Mayo Clinic
  • The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas
  • The Salvation Army
  • Texas A&M Foundation
  • Children's Health Foundation

Scholarship Opportunities

Saint Mary’s is pleased to offer four scholarship opportunities available only to students studying in the M.A. in Philanthropy and Development program. 

All scholarship applicants must complete the M.A. in Philanthropy and Development Common Scholarship Form to be considered for one of these scholarships.  Scholarship applications are due June 1.

Scholarship Application (pdf)

  • The Philanthropy and Development Alumni Scholarship
  • Tim Burchill Scholarship
  • F. Walter and Mary Ann Riebenack Scholarship
  • Kristen A. Riebenack Memorial Scholarship


The fall residency is five days in length and is typically held over a long weekend in September on the Saint Mary’s Twin Cities Campus. The residency is a fantastic opportunity for robust collaboration with faculty and colleagues.  The residency allows you to engage in a deeper sense of community and to network professionally with faculty and fellow students during course activities, meals, and formal and informal gatherings.  Students are encouraged to stay at a local hotel where a room block has been reserved to maintain the cohesiveness of the cohort model.  


This program is offered at our Twin Cities location and online.

Connect With Us

Nicole Coppersmith, M.A.

Assistant Director of Admission: Adult Undergraduate and Transfer

Apple Valley Center, AC

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4561

Connect with Nicole for all Bachelor Completion offerings and graduate programs offered by the School of Business and Technology.

Nicole Coppersmith M.A.
Carlie Derouin

SGPP Admission - Enrollment Counselor, Graduate School of Business and Technology

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH112

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5198

Connect with Carlie to learn more about programs offered by the School of Business and Technology as well as MA in Counseling & Psychological Services, MA in Health and Human Services Administration, MA in Marriage and Family Therapy and the Master of Public Health (MPH) from the School of Health and Human Services

Carlie Derouin
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