2028 Charity Marketing and Donor Management
Dr. Lukas Maier
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/13/23 to 09/17/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
This class is only offered in winter semesters.
Day Date Time Room
Wednesday 10/04/23 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM TC.3.07
Wednesday 10/11/23 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.3.07
Wednesday 10/18/23 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.3.07
Wednesday 11/08/23 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.3.07
Wednesday 11/15/23 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.3.07
Wednesday 11/22/23 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.3.07
Wednesday 11/29/23 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.3.07
Wednesday 12/06/23 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM TC.3.07

Charity organizations such as the Red Cross, Amnesty International, and Greenpeace are addressing some of the most pressing problems in the world today. However, they often have fewer resources, personnel, and marketing budgets than their profit-driven counterparts. Therefore, charities face the challenge to be even more creative: they need to generate awareness for their campaigns, attract new donors, and retain existing ones. The aim of the course is to learn more about the challenges associated with the marketing of charity organizations that aim to further social causes.

The course examines the underlying fundamental principles and methods of charity marketing. In that way, the course introduces marketing as a pervasive societal activity that goes beyond the selling of commercial products and services but communicating the mission and purpose of charity organizations. The course is structured as an empirical research seminar in which students will be actively involved in an empirical research project. Within the course, students will also acquire insights, knowledge, and skills regarding (experimental) research design and data analysis.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand the challenges and complexities associated with the marketing function in charity organizations
  • Formulate effective communication strategies for charity organizations and discuss how these communications can be amplified by integrating donors and using social media
  • Discuss how charity organizations can increase transparency and overcome consumer skepticism
  • Design and execute an experimental research study to test and compare the effectiveness of different donation appeals
  • Analyze experimental data to draw managerial implications for charity organizations
Attendance requirements

Students are expected to attend 100% of the scheduled classes (formal records of attendance will be kept). You at least need to be present 80% of the time, which implies that you should not miss more than one session.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course follows a research-based teaching and learning approach. The course introduces students to recent research insights on prosocial consumer behavior and charitable marketing practices. The project-based character of the course enables students to take agency for developing new research ideas and empirically testing these ideas. The supervisor guides through this process by providing tightly focused theoretical inputs, expertise on experimental research design, and knowledge on appropriate tools and approaches for data analysis. The sessions are interactive and facilitate critical discussions and problem-solving capabilities.

To complement this research-based learning approach with a practical perspective, the course further features guest speakers who will give additional insights into the challenges associated with marketing in different charity domains.


Grading will be based on the following criteria:

  • In-class participation (20%, individual level)
  • Charity Challenge (30%, individual and group level)
  • Research project (50%, group level)
Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

This course is part of the elective pool "Marketing for a Better World" of the MSc Marketing at WU.

MSc Marketing students can only register if they have successfully completed the following mandatory courses from the 1st year:

  • Management by Experiments (5 ECTS)
  • Marketing Analytics (7.5 ECTS)
  • Digital Marketing (5 ECTS)

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Availability of lecturer(s)

If you have any further questions regarding the course content or organization, feel free to contact us anytime. During the course, we will also be available for questions in the classroom after each session. If you have any questions upfront, please write to

Last edited: 2023-06-07