About us

New to fundraising and wanting some help?

If you can answer yes, the Fundraising Standard is definitely for you.

The Standard is a 40 hour program of online learning designed to give participants a thorough introduction to the process of fundraising and get them started on their first fundraising campaign. It provides an introduction to the nonprofit sector and its associated fundraising ethics, before taking the lid off what we know about giving (who gives and why). You'll also receive a thorough grounding in the science and practice of communication design and how to raise substantively more money simply by avoiding common errors that nonprofits typically make and focusing on donor satisfaction and wellbeing.

Dr. Adrian Sargeant

World-class faculty.

The class is led by Dr Adrian Sargeant, the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy and the world’s leading fundraising educator and researcher. Dr Sargeant was the first Hartsook Chair in Fundraising at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his service to the profession including being named to the prestigious Nonprofit Times Power and Influence list in 2010.
Eight weeks. Eight lessons.

Meaningful curriculum over eight weeks.

We've tailored these eight courses to make the most meaningful impact on early-career fundraisers.

Week 1

Introduction to Philanthropy and the Nonprofit Sector

Week 2

Fundraising Ethics

Week 3

Who Gives and Why?

Week 4

Donor Relationships and the Importance of Retention

Week 5

Designing a Compelling Case for Support

Week 6

Communication Design and Donor Centricity

Week 7

The Fundraising Mix

Week 8

Getting the Most from a Fundraising Database

In this first week we begin our exploration of fundraising by studying the sector that is typically the focus of our activity, reviewing definitions of the nonprofit sector, distinguishing it from the public and private sectors and examining its primary sources of income. The goal is to set the scene for the balance of the course.

The course will also introduce the notion of relationship fundraising and how best to deliver longer term and more profitable and rewarding relationships with supporters. The course will close with a detailed examination of the fundraising mix and how to get the most out of a fundraising database to help you maximize your revenue.

Each week you’ll have some reading to complete and 1-3 tutorials to watch presented by the course team. There will be a short self-test of knowledge in the form of a quiz at the end of each week.

At the end of the 8 weeks there will also be a multiple choice test of your knowledge and if you gain 50% or more you will be deemed to have achieved the Fundraising Standard and receive a Certificate to that effect.


CFRE credits.

Full participation in the Fundraising Standard is applicable for 40 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification. Participation in the Fundraising Standard may assist you in learning or reviewing concepts covered on the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) examination as detailed on the Test Content Outline provided by CFRE International. CFRE International does not sponsor or endorse any educational programs and the Fundraising Standard was not developed in conjunction with CFRE International.
You won't go it alone.

Peer support.

Our student discussion forum share will allow you to interact with classmates, share your experiences and learn from each-other. You’ll be expected to participate in 2 discussion forums each week where you can share your thoughts and ideas with other participants. Each class will have a maximum of 30 participants so that you can get to know your peers and genuinely support each other in your work.

Meet our expert team

Dr Sargeant is joined by Emma Bryant and Harriet Day who are both credentialed fundraising educators with experience of fundraising in multiple countries.

All for less than the cost of the typical

per student
  • all 8 sessions
  • access to peer forum
  • can be donated if not used within 18 months
  • discount available for organizations enrolling multiple employees
  • Next start dates: 10/18, 11/1, 11/15, 12/6

Meet our board members

The Fundraising Standard is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Dr. Matt Beem chairs the advisory board of the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy at Plymouth University in Plymouth, United Kingdom and is a senior fellow of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s (UMKC) Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership. He served on the board of trustees of Avila University in Kansas City from 2015-2017 and on the board of trustees of Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa from 2008-2014.

Jay Love is a Co-Founder and current Chief Relationship Officer at Bloomerang. He is past Chairman of the AFP Ethics Committee. He was the Founding Chairman of NPower Indiana, Founding Member of TechPoint Foundation and Founding Member of the AFP Business Member Council. He is still an active board member of Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, The Butler University Innovation Fund, The United Methodist Foundation of Indiana, TechPoint Foundation for Youth, and The Fundraising Effectiveness Project.

Kishshana Palmer is a national speaker, trainer, and coach with a 17 year background in fundraising, marketing, and talent management. She is the CEO of Kishshana & Co, – a boutique leadership consulting firm and The Social Good Life – a social good lifestyle brand. Kishshana is an adjunct professor at Baruch College and Long Island University, Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer (CGT) and an AFP Master Trainer. When an organization wants to grow, find and retain people on their team, raise money, and more she is the philanthropic fairy godmother they have on speed dial. Her work isn’t limited to organizations, she also coaches social good professionals.

Herman “Art” Taylor is president and chief executive officer of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, the organization formed by the merger in early 2001 of the National Charities Information Bureau and the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ Foundation, which housed the Philanthropic Advisory Service program. As head of the Alliance, he oversees all aspects of the organization’s work, which includes setting standards for soliciting organizations, evaluating charities in relation to these standards, publishing the Wise Giving Guide, assisting local Better Business Bureau charity review programs, promoting charity accountability and providing a variety of materials on informed giving to individual, institutional and business donors.

Roger Craver is a fundraising pioneer who’s helped launch and build organizations like Common Cause, the National Organization for Women, the ACLU, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and dozens of others both in the U.S. and Europe. Roger is the author of Retention Fundraising: The Art and Science of Keeping Your Donors for Life. Now he’s the editor-in-chief of the fundraising blog The Agitator and founder of DonorTrends, which provides fundraising analytics.

Rachel Muir has worked every side of the Rubik’s cube that is the nonprofit sector. When she was 26 Rachel Muir launched Girlstart, a non-profit empowering girls in math, science, engineering and technology in the living room of her apartment with $500 and a credit card.  Several years later she had raised over 10 million and was featured on Oprah, CNN, and the Today show.  Today Rachel delivers keynotes, custom trainings and board retreats that transform people into confident, successful fundraisers.

Bob Eichinger is a senior philanthropic advisor with The Chicago Community Trust. Bob, who joined the Trust in 2008, is responsible for directing efforts to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward relationships with advisors of donor advised funds, as well as group funds and affiliates. He brings with him more than 30 years of nonprofit administration and management experience in the fields of human service and education.

What you can expect

Hear from one of our board members


Working at the highest level
for our students

4430 McCoy Street
Indianapolis, IN 46226-9998

Email: info@fundraisingstandard.org
Phone: 317-296-3145

Got a question? Don’t hesitate to contact us!