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Philanthropy | On the College of Philanthropy

While people who worked in philanthropy learned their work mainly on the job, universities have been offering relevant courses for a number of years. There is an offer in French and English, for Bachelor’s and Master’s courses, online and in person. Overview.


Martine Letarte

Martine Letarte
special cooperation

The Université de Montréal just completely overhauled its philanthropy program. The bachelor’s certificate has become the five-course microprogram (15 credits) on nonprofit organization (NPO) funding and is offered online.

“The certificate was offered in person, but the pandemic made us realize that online courses work well and the community asked for them because workers or volunteers need to be trained in different regions of Quebec,” explains Caroline Bergeron, responsible for studies in Philanthropy Management at the University of Montreal.

Complete program

The evening events were therefore designed for the online format. They contain a selection of the subject of the former certificate, which offers the most concrete tools for progress in the field of philanthropic management. For example, to collect donations or obtain information in order to specifically address donors.

The micro-program also includes an introductory course and a standards course to enable participants to understand the basics of philanthropy and its governance, which involves various stakeholders such as governments, administrators, employees, volunteers and donors.

The optional courses offered in the micro-program relate to relationship communication with donors, planned gifts, and management of employees and volunteers in NPOs.

The lessons can also be attended à la carte as a free student.

There is a critical shortage of qualified staff in the area of ​​philanthropy, so we aim to meet the need through flexibility as much as possible.

Caroline Bergeron, Director of Studies in Philanthropic Management at the University of Montreal

Philanthropy from a communications perspective

At McGill University, it is possible to take courses in philanthropy, but from a communication perspective. At the undergraduate level, the Certificate in Public Relations and Communications Management covers the required course Fundraising Basics. There is also an optional course fundraising and philanthropy is offered in the graduate program Public Relations and Communications Management.

“I teach these courses to people who are involved in philanthropic communications because they definitely do a better job when they have a good understanding of how fundraising, for example, methodology works,” explains Shaun Lynch, an associate professor at the School of Continuing studies at McGill University.

Specifically, these two courses deal with reasoning development, prospecting for potential donors, donor motivation and psychology, advertising, organizing campaigns, planned gifts, and donor recognition.

“One important thing I teach my students is that people give to help people,” says Shaun Lynch. Nobody donates to build a building, but we give to build a building that enables people to be better cared for. Even when you are recruiting a company, there is always a human making the decisions, and you need to focus on their needs and philanthropic vision. »

You can also enroll in these courses as a free student.

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