Innovation in Philanthropy

With more than 1.5 million registered charities in the US 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. Coursework will prepare the student for a senior leadership position in any nonprofit organization.

The curriculum focuses on the transformational role a philanthropy professional plays in today’s society by utilizing innovative and ethical fundraising strategies.  Saint Mary’s is one of the only programs in North America to focus on donor-centered communication as it relates to stewardship and donor engagement. 

Upon graduation, students become a member of an alumni society 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, the Mayo Clinic, The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas, The Salvation Army, Texas A&M Foundation, and Children's Health Foundation.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for the M.A. in Philanthropy and Development program follows a per-credit structure. Because of the unique residency format of the program, a room and board fee applies. The fee includes a room with a private bath, all meals, a welcome and closing banquet and access to university services.

Scholarship Opportunities

Saint Mary’s is pleased to offer three 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 May 1, 2018.

Scholarship Application (pdf)

This is an endowed scholarship established through the generosity of alumni of the M.A. in Philanthropy and Development program.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Admitted to the M.A. in Philanthropy and Development program at Saint Mary's
  • Demonstrated financial need
Awards
  • One or more annual awards may be made
  • The annual award amount will be determined in accordance with the applied endowment income distribution policy in effect at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Selection
  • An internal committee will select the recipient(s)
  • Deadline for application is May 1 prior to the summer session
Scholarship Renewal
  • The scholarship is not automatically renewed—an annual application is required
  • Students applying for scholarship renewal must be making satisfactory academic progress in the program (3.0 GPA or higher)
  • To apply for the Philanthropy and Development Alumni Scholarship, please use the common scholarship application provided above

If you receive scholarship money, we will provide your name and contact information to our Development Office so they can share this information with the donor.

(Formerly the Metanoia Scholarship)

This award was established by Tim Burchill, founding president of The Metanoia Group. The Metanoia Group, founded in 1989, provided service to nonprofit organizations, mainly those with a religious affiliation. These services included consulting across a broad spectrum of activities, including development, strategic planning, fundraising, mission and vision development, and public relations.

Tim Burchill created this need-based scholarship to encourage graduate students to pursue an advanced degree in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary's. Tim co-founded the Master of Arts program in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary's and taught in the program from its inception until the time of his death in February 2007. The scholarship was renamed in Tim's honor and memory upon his death. The scholarship currently awards nearly $7,000 annually to one or more graduate students.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Admitted to the M.A. in Philanthropy and Development program at Saint Mary's
  • Demonstrated financial need
Awards
  • One or more annual awards may be made
  • The annual award amount will be determined in accordance with the applied endowment income distribution policy in effect at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
Selection
  • An internal committee will select the recipient(s)
  • Deadline for application is May 1 prior to the summer session
Scholarship Renewal
  • The scholarship is not automatically renewed—an annual application is required
  • Students applying for scholarship renewal must be making satisfactory academic progress in the program (3.0 GPA or higher)
  • To apply for the Tim Burchill Scholarship, please use the common scholarship application provided above

If you receive scholarship money, we will provide your name and contact information to our Development Office so they can share this information with the donor.

Walter and Mary Ann Riebenack, parents of a program alumnus, funded this endowed scholarship to benefit students in the M.A. in Philanthropy and Development program at Saint Mary's.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Admitted to the M.A. in Philanthropy and Development program at Saint Mary’s
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • Preferences (in order of priority)
    • Current resident of New York City
    • Someone who attended both elementary school and secondary school in New York City
    • Resident of Fort Wayne, Indiana
    • Other qualified student
Awards
  • One or more annual awards may be made
Selection
  • An internal committee will select the recipient(s)
  • Deadline for application is May 1 prior to the summer session
Scholarship Renewal
  • The scholarship is not automatically renewed—an annual application is required
  • Students applying for scholarship renewal must be making satisfactory academic progress in the program (3.0 GPA or higher)
  • To apply for the F. Walter and Mary Ann Riebenack Scholarship, please use the common scholarship application provided above

If you receive scholarship money we will provide your name and contact information to our Development Office so they can share this information with the donor.

From Start to Finish

The program is offered both on-line and through a two-week summer residency in Winona, Minnesota.  Students begin their coursework in the first summer, continue with online instruction during the fall and spring and return to Winona for two weeks the second summer to complete the program; all within four semesters. 
 

Apply Now

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Two recommendations from current or former colleagues who can verify the applicant’s experience and address the applicant’s skills in nonprofit volunteer or professional work and their academic ability.  References may submit either a letter of recommendation or arrange a phone call with the Program Director. 
  2. An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits.(An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated by a university accepted evaluation source, such as World Education ServicesEducational Credential EvaluatorsEducational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    • description of the areas the applicant considers to be his or her strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  5. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55404

Locations

This program is offered at our Winona location.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required courses: 30 cr.


Summer 1 (9 cr.)

PHDE607 Introduction to Philanthropy and Development (3 cr.)

This course examines two areas key to the work of today's development professional. The first is an understanding of the historical contexts, the theological and philosophical traditions, and the roles of philanthropy and development that continue to shape the field. The second is an exploration of critical thinking: raising vital questions, gathering and assessing relevant information in an open-minded manner, and creating well-reasoned solutions.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Distinguish philanthropy from development.
  2. Analyze the social and faith-tradition contexts that influence philanthropy.
  3. Evaluate historical practices and their influence on today's development approaches.
  4. Apply critical thinking skills.
  5. Evaluate the public role of philanthropic leaders in delivering programs that create positive change for the common good.

PHDE622 Foundations of Development (3 cr.)

This course provides an overview of the foundational concepts of fund development, explore the critical components of a comprehensive fund development program, provide the framework for developing an integrated development plan, and examine the infrastructure necessary to support a strong development effort.  The course focuses on understanding organizational readiness for a successful development program, establishing the key elements of a development program, and creating a development plan. 

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Develop skills to create a development plan.
  2. Evaluate the execution and results of a development plan.
  3. Define and explain primary roles of the development operation including direct mail, special events, grant proposal writing, corporate and foundation giving, gift planning, major gifts, memorial and tribute gifts and capital campaigns.
  4. Understand the role of advancement services including prospect research, gift processing, gift metrics, CRM systems and stewardship in the overall development operation.

PHDE660 Fundraising Communications (3 cr.)

This course focuses on what the world's leading researchers know about the subtle science of persuading people to give and stay loyal to an organization.  In addition, students analyze several recent successful direct mail campaigns, and learn how direct mail and other donor communication vehicles really work, how to set achievable expectations, and how to write an appeal that engages the reader.   

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Prepare engaging print and digital solicitations, acknowledgements and stewardship communications.
  2. Develop the case for support for a nonprofit organization
  3. Learn how to use words and images to attract and retain donors.  
  4. Describe the use of electronic media including email and social media.
  5. Understand the neuroscience of persuasion as it relates to donor communication.

Fall 1 (6 cr.)

GM623 Academic Research and Writing (3 cr.)

This course focuses on graduate academic writing skills, including voice and style, writing that incorporate source material, ethical use of source material, APA writing guidelines, and the revision process.  Students learn to locate and evaluate resources relevant to the research and writing process.

Upon completion of this course students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Develop a research question delineating the complexity of an issue.
  2. Use information from a variety of sources relevant to a question.
  3. Evaluate information for relevance and credibility.
  4. Analyze and synthesize content of scholarly sources.
  5. Present writing in an unbiased manner, representing diverse points of view on the topics.
  6. Incorporate source material into academic writing, including correct use of summary, paraphrase, and quotation, along with proper citation.
  7. Write clearly and concisely.
  8. Develop skills in rewriting, editing, and proofreading.

PHDE661 Legal and Ethical Issues in Nonprofit Organizations (3 cr.)

This course explores the role of ethics and values in our lives as philanthropic leaders as well as the legal concepts and principles that regulate nonprofit organizations.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate the role of ethics in organizational settings.
  2. Apply a values-based approach to leading and managing fundraising programs.
  3. Understand the importance of the Donor Bill of Rights and International Statement of Ethical Principles in Fundraising.
  4. Apply basic legal concepts and principles that regulate nonprofit organizations.

Spring 1 (6 cr.)

PHDE662 Program Assessment and Evaluation (3 cr.)

This course addresses the criteria and process for creating programs with measurable outcomes. Students learn to articulate and assess program results to demonstrate effectiveness in meeting stated outcomes.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify program outcomes and develop performance measures.
  2. Identify programmatic resources, including financial, to meet objectives.
  3. Create and implement a data collection plan.
  4. Analyze the data.
  5. Communicate the results.

PHDE698 Capstone (3 cr.)

This course provides an opportunity for students to synthesize and present the concepts, knowledge and experiences gained from coursework and a literature review on a topic that contributes new knowledge to the field.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Conduct a comprehensive literature review on a topic related to philanthropy and development.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to integrate, synthesize, and evaluate professional literature.
  3. Deliver a Capstone paper that results in new knowledge, perspectives or resources to the field of philanthropy.

Summer 2 (9 cr.)

PHDE624 Board Governance (3 cr.)

This course focuses on the complexities of board governance and the scope of board participation in fund development.  The course explores the board's legal and fiduciary responsibilities, and strategies for recruiting, motivating and developing an effective board.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Assess the value of board volunteers to an organization.
  2. Compare and contrast the roles of board members, development professionals and CEOs in fund development.
  3. Define the development professional's role in volunteer management.
  4. Create processes and plans to develop board members.
  5. Develop strategies to engage board members in advancing the mission of the organization.
  6. Synthesize the principles of governance for enhanced board functioning.

PHDE634 Strategic Giving (3 cr.)

This course provides an overview of major and capital gift fundraising including the design, planning and successful implementation of a major gifts program for nonprofit organizations. The course focuses on developing an effective case for support, establishing the major gifts program, developing a donor stewardship program and making the ask.  Students are expected to participate in simulated cultivation and solicitation calls as part of this class.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate the key elements of a strategic gift fundraising model.
  2. Understand the major gift process including identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding gifts.
  3. Develop and implement specific solicitation plans for targeted constituencies.
  4. Ask for and secure gifts from current and prospective donors in order to generate financial support for the organization.

PHDE656 Strategic Planning (3 cr.)

This course focuses on designing and implementing the strategic planning process. The final course project challenges students to create a plan outlining how they would implement the strategic planning process within a nonprofit organization of their choice.  

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate the role of planning in a nonprofit organization.
  2. Create, orient, and manage an effective strategic planning team.
  3. Implement the data-gathering, visioning, critical issues, goals, objectives and evaluation steps in a strategic planning process.
  4. Identify how the completed plan would be communicated to stakeholders.

Connect With Us

Nicole Coppersmith, M.A.

SGPP Admission - Senior Enrollment and Transfer Counselor

Oakdale Center, OC

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 238-4561

ncoppers@smumn.edu

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

cderouin@smumn.edu

Carlie Derouin
Cheryl Pray, M.A.

Executive Director, Philanthropy and Development Program

Martin DePorres Hall-TC Campus, MDP118

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5137

cpray@smumn.edu

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