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Smart Donors...

Make a Difference

A Onboarding Course to International Philanthropy

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The Ideal Resource for Philanthropists Seeking:

  1. Learn how to become an international philanthropist

  2. Develop a philanthropic strategy

  3. Increase your philanthropic impact

How do I know my donation is making a difference?

Who should I support?

What should I look for on a charity's website?

To help individual donors answer these and many other questions, SylviaBrownSmartDonors and the Beacon Collaborative have partnered in creating a virtual course that provides straightforward, practical guidance to make thoughtful, effective and ultimately more satisfying charitable decisions.

Whether you’re a long-time but frustrated donor or just starting on your giving journey, ThinkingGiving will give you the tools to maximise your impact and build meaningful relationships with charities along the way.

Your Guide to Becoming a Better and More Strategic Global Donor

The course consists of seven modules, each made up of short videos that use a mix of live cases studies, background information, useful advice, exercises and even a few myth busters.  By filling out the accompanying workbook as you progress, you’ll end the course with a personal roadmap for your charitable giving.  It takes about three hours to view the videos and another hour to complete the workbook.  

Module 1 – Your Giving Roadmap

This short course that will empower you to make more thoughtful and effective decisions about your charitable giving overseas – and feel more satisfaction about the difference you are making.

Chapter 1  - Global Interdependence Requires Global Responsibility   

Chapter 2 - Why Does Generosity Feel Good? 

Chapter 3 - The Smart Donor Funnel 

Case Study - The Mistakes We Make

Module 4 – Why Is This Happening?

This module offers simple tools for donors to better understand the issue they have selected before deciding which solution to support.

Chapter 1 - Framing an Issue  

Chapter 2 - Understanding an Issue within its Ecosystem 

Case Study - Youth Unemployment in Kenya  

Chapter 3 - Drawing a Landscape Map 

Module 7 – Who Is Making The Most Difference? 

In this module, you’ll learn how an American donor can engage in international initiatives.  We’ll also look at powerful ways to make the most difference by supporting grassroots organizations. We’ll end with a review of buzzwords and concepts you may encounter as you launch your international giving journey.

Chapter 1 - Ways to Give Overseas 

Chapter 2 - Funding Grassroots Initiatives 

Chapter 3 - Buzzwords 

Module 2 – The International Giving Landscape

This section is an overview of how international assistance has evolved over the past decades and what sorts of new opportunities have emerged in the field. 


Chapter 1 - Giving Today 

Chapter 2  - Giving Tomorrow 

Module 5 – How To Make Change?

This module will show you different the different approaches international funders can use to help make change happen through the organizations or initiatives they support.

Chapter 1 - Three Pathways to Change

Case Study - Advocacy on a Shoestring 

Case Study - Beyond a Woman and Her Cow 

Conclusion – Your Engagement        

This final session will help you finalize your roadmap to making a difference globally and will also highlight ways (beyond making donations) you can make a difference globally.

The Final Chapter - Getting Started

Module 3 – What Interests You?

The single most important decision you can make to ensure your gift makes a difference is choosing the right cause and, especially, the right issue area within that cause.  

Chapter 1 - Choosing a Cause 

Chapter 2 - Selecting an Issue Area 

Myth Buster - The Overhead Myth 

Module 6 – Making A Difference

“Impact” is one of the most misused (and misunderstood) terms in charitable giving.  This module is a primer on the basic concepts smart donors should grasp to understand if they are making a difference.

Chapter 1 - Measuring Results 

Chapter 2 - Evaluating Results 

Chapter 3 - Analyzing a Website 

Myth Buster - Cost Per Head  

Sample the Course

Sign Up for Course
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