Marketing Essentials: Elevate Your Fundraising Strategies

Marketing & communications to fuel fundraising efforts

Previously named: Fundraising & Marketing: Building Nonprofit Capacity

Funders and donors are growing savvier and more sophisticated in the way they make giving choices. Hence, the need for nonprofit organizations to understand the changing ‘donor market’ and engage their stakeholders in meaningful ways has become more imperative than ever. It is crucial to revisit organizational fundraising strategy, learn new engagement techniques and create compelling messages to ensure that the organization is on the right track for continued growth.

In this program you will learn from faculty and practitioner experts on topics related to strategies for growing fundraising capacity, fundraising cultures and infrastructures required for achieving fundraising goals and simply why people give. This program will also include marketing and branding strategies that attract and engage key stakeholders for a mutually sustainable relationship.

Center for Nonprofit Management

VIDEO: Learn more from Professor Kevin McTigue & Academic Director Elise Madrick

Who Should Attend

  • Nonprofit leaders, board members and nonprofit managers with fundraising and/or marketing responsibilities
  • Career switchers or for-profit leaders who intend on joining a nonprofit team or Board

Key Benefits

  • Learn about and understand the basic principles of fundraising and marketing
  • Identify and assess your organization's fundraising practices and culture
  • Rethink the engagement strategies with the funder and donor base and the role which targeted marketing plays in it

Program Content

Essentials of Fundraising

In today's competitive environment, more nonprofits are competing for fewer dollars.

  • Discuss the new fiscal reality and the need to be transparent
  • Think about your competitors and your strategies for a multi-channel fundraising
  • Who are your fundraising partners and why is engagement critical?
  • Understand the current fundraising environment

Creating and Advancing a Culture of Philanthropy

This session will offer insights and actionable strategies for how to utilize both internal and external resources to ensure fundraising success. Participants will learn how to:

  • Infuse philanthropy into your organization's culture
  • Leverage the dynamic partnership between the Executive Director and Development Director, along with other key staff leaders
  • Better engage your Board of Directors to propel fundraising efforts

Marketing Essentials for Nonprofits

  • We discuss the concept of marketing as more than just communications. How do we position our non-profit to be seen as offering more value to our constituents?
  • In this class we cover the fundamentals – setting clear, achievable marketing goals, choosing where to focus our resources with segmentation, targeting and creating a distinct identity in the market with positioning
  • An in-class case borrowed from the consumer packaged goods world helps us put these ideas into practice

Creative Brief Writing

  • Understand the importance of the creative brief for stakeholder communications and advertising
  • Learn how to structure and write a sound and proper creative brief
  • Discuss common pitfalls and best practices in creative brief writing

Communicating Brand Value: The ADPLAN Framework

  • Strategically assess the strengths and weaknesses of ads being used to build your organization’s brand
  • Utilize the ADPLAN framework to make your communication efforts more successful

Digital Stewardship

  • Learn strategies to improve your digital fundraising strategy
  • Understand and apply behavioral economics principles to improve your connection with stakeholders and increase fund generation


  • Amplify your communication skills by unpacking the psychology of storytelling
  • Learn techniques to engage, inform and persuade your donors and stakeholders


Elise Madrick - Academic Director; Associate Director, Nonprofit Executive Programs

Kristian Alomá - Founder & CEO, Threadline

Liz Livingston Howard - Clinical Professor of Management; Executive Director of Nonprofit Executive Education

Kevin McTigue - Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing

Derek D. Rucker - Sandy & Morton Goldman Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies in Marketing; Professor of Marketing; Co-chair of Faculty Research

Gina Fong - Adjunct Lecturer of Marketing; Principal of Fong Insight

Accommodations, Fees & Policies


Nonprofit Management Programs are held at Northwestern University's Chicago Campus.

Wieboldt Hall
340 East Superior Street
Chicago, IL 60611

Chicago Campus Parking Map - Please Note: the Huron Superior Parking A lot and the Erie Ontario Parking C & D lots are available to the public and should be used when attending programs at Wieboldt Hall.

Application Deadline

The deadline for registration is 10:00 am one business day prior to the program start date.

Scholarship Assistance

Up to 50% scholarships are available for all of our nonprofit executive education programs for those working in nonprofit organizations. All scholarship requests are reviewed by our Registrar and any scholarships granted will be reflected in the amount charged to your credit card.

Payment Deadline

  • If you request a scholarship, your credit card is submitted upon registration and will be charged once your request is approved (allow 1-2 business days for review).
  • If you do not request a scholarship, your credit card will be charged upon application submission.

Hospitality during the Program

We strive to provide healthy meal choices for our participants for breakfast, lunch and breaks. We typically provide a range of choices, including some vegetarian-friendly and gluten-avoidant selections. We cannot meet all dietary preferences, but we will do our best to accommodate health restrictions, religious restrictions and food allergies.


Participants are responsible for booking their hotel accommodations during their stay in Chicago.

Download Nearby Hotels List

Cancellation Policy:

Participants must notify the Program Manager five business days in advance of the program start date if they are unable to attend. Otherwise, participants will be charged 20% of the stated program fees.

When canceling a program registration, participants may choose to rollover their payment to a future program or receive a refund. Participants are allowed two rollovers, after the second rollover, participants forfeit the money paid to the Center for Nonprofit Management.

*Refund or rollover must be requested at the time of the program cancellation. Once a program payment has been rolled over, a monetary refund is no longer an option. The participant must continue with the rollover process.

Approved By CFRE


Full participation in this Kellogg Nonprofit Executive Education program entitles you to 21 points in Category 1.B—Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

Note: Participants who wish to apply for continuing education points on their CFRE application for initial certification and/or recertification will be able to access a tracking form on the course site, once they register for the program.

Grow your fundraising and marketing efforts to create an innovative strategy


Learn More

Please email or call us if you would like additional information about Nonprofit Programs

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208