The Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy has launched a course to help fundraisers use insights from psychology to inform their communications and build a better donor experience.
The Certificate in Philanthropic Psychology is a 40-hour course of university style learning, hosted online by the Institute’s Professors Jen Shang and Adrian Sargeant.
Philanthropic psychology focuses on how donors’ actions make them feel, with the course aiming to teach a new perspective on the role of fundraising through exploring the concepts of identity and wellbeing, how people love others, and how to use this to make a deeper connection with donors and supporters and improve their experience.
Starting in January, course participants will attend virtual lectures given by the course team, undertake assigned readings, participate in group discussions and be encouraged to reflect on their own professional practice. There will also self-test quizzes to test learning and a practical 1500 word assignment at the end of the course for those who wish to gain the certificate.
The course is structured as follows:
Week 1: What is Philanthropic Psychology and what value can the study of it offer fundraisers?
Week 2: How can we define love in giving?
Week 3: Who are your donors? How does people’s sense of who they are drive giving?
Week 4: How does giving contribute to donors’ personal sense of wellbeing and how can we boost this?
Week 5: What is the best way to talk to your donors in order to grow their capacity to love others?
Week 6: How can you translate this knowledge into the design of a donor journey for your organisation, including thank-you communications, newsletters, upgrades and appeals?
Week 7: How can you double, triple and quadruple giving as a consequence?
Week 8: How does this way of thinking make a difference in how you think about your role as a fundraiser?
The first class will begin on 13 January, and will be available four times a year.