The School of Practical Fundraising™


What is the School of Practical Fundraising?

The School of Practical Fundraising (SPF) is a system of seminars, workshops and supporting material created by Mike Montgomery, drawing on his 25+ years of experience as a fundraising consultant and teacher. SPF is available at periodic public sessions held in conjunction with partner organizations or can be contracted as in-house training. 

The SPF Philosophy

After teaching a well-known national fundraising curriculum for the better part of a decade, Mike reached the conclusion that traditional fundraising training is too abstract, overly-focused on a narrow range of tools and techniques, and often just plain boring. In response, he created the School of Practical Fundraising which was designed to be none of those things.  

SPF takes a direct, hands-on,  often humorous and sometimes painfully blunt approach to teaching a broad range of effective fundraising tools and techniques to nonprofit organization leaders, staff and board members. SPF was designed to quickly prepare attendees to successfully lead, or fill particular roles in, the fundraising efforts of American nonprofit institutions and  organizations. 

In 2009, Mike spoke with Crain's Detroit Business about his approach to teaching fundraising. Click here for that article.

Five Modules

The SPF curriculum is organized into five modules that can be taken separately or as a sequence.

Module One introduces attendees to modern fundraising practice.

Module Two focuses on seeking gifts of less than $2,500 from individual donors using a variety of mass and personal solicitation techniques. 

Module Three exposes attendees to the tools and techniques used in seeking major and planned gifts from individual donors.  Module Three includes a solicitation exercise through which students learn by doing.

Module Four teaches attendees how to more effectively seek grants from foundations and units of government through careful research of grant sources, systematic cultivation of grantmakers, an “inside out” method of grantwriting, and impeccable stewardship of grants received. 

Module Five exposes learners to the major types of support available from corporations and businesses and teaches them how to access that support by better-understanding the full-range of agendas that underpin corporate giving.

When SPF is used for staff, board, or member training, material can be drawn from any or all modules to create customized training sessions around your specific training needs and time constraints.

Who can benefit from the School of Practical Fundraising?

Some prior background in fundraising is very helpful to attendees but there are no formal prerequisites. Most, though not all, attendees of public sessions are current nonprofit organization staff members or volunteers but people preparing for careers in the nonprofit community do also attend.

For more information

For more information about the School of Practical Fundraising, contact Michael Montgomery by emailing or calling (248) 224-7330.