Strategies for Success Online

An Online Course for Project Leaders

Our online Strategies for Success course will provide you with the financial management, strategic planning, communication, and fundraising skills and tools you need to make your project or program more successful and financially sustainable.   Expert faculty will use lectures, group work, discussions, and case studies to:

  • Provide tools and tips that you will use to assess your project and develop an action plan;
  • Introduce essential strategies to communicate effectively  with your stakeholders; and
  • Provide guidance and best practices to help you succeed as you add value to your program, face uncertainty, and make difficult decisions.

Online course overview:

  • Start date:  October 12, 2021
  • Length: 12 sessions; final session November 23
  • Cost: $550 (see below for information on the colleague discount program!)

Who should attend?

Ideal participants include leaders of biological infrastructure projects (such as digital data resources, museum and living stocks collections, field stations, and marine laboratories).  Your resource should have direct relevance to the biological research community, and you should be able to express your need and preparedness for training in business planning and communication.  Up to 30 participants will be selected based on these qualities, and to ensure an appropriate mix of project and participant diversity.

Course fee:

The online course fee of $550 includes access to the online SBI course hub and all course materials, lectures, and recordings for one year.

Colleague discount:

Participants find it invaluable to attend our training in pairs – that way, you can have a brainstorming partner during the course, and you can help keep each other accountable as you implement your action plan.

Here’s how the discount works: bring a colleague from the same project or program, and the second course fee will be reduced by $100!  The colleague discount is only applicable to pairs (2). Please email us at to access the discount.

Our training approach:

We believe in learning by doing.  Our ultimate goal is for you to come away from the Strategies for Success course with an action plan and enhanced skills to improve your project’s sustainability.  Our faculty will present key concepts in course lectures, but you will have opportunities to apply the skills and tools you learn on your own and with teammates in group assignments.

What to expect:

Throughout this course, you will have ample opportunities to engage with our expert faculty.  We also expect participants to learn and share a lot with each other during group assignments and online discussions. Please come prepared to share your own challenges, success stories, and lessons learned.

We will also ask you to do a little advance preparation so you can hit the ground running. Don’t worry – it’s nothing too onerous. You’ll be asked to read one of our case studies in advance, prepare a mini-pitch, and to have easy access to your project or program’s recent financial statements and annual report.

Draft course plan:

Below is the course plan from our Spring 2021 course. The fall course will roughly follow this schedule with minor modifications. The course is expected to begin on Tuesday, October 12th and last for 6.5 weeks. There will be two 90-minute live sessions each week beginning at 3:00 pm Eastern Time on Tuesdays and Thursdays (with the exception of Thursday, November 11 which is a U.S. holiday). Participants should expect to spend an additional 2-3 hours per week on course work and group assignments.

Week Session Material TUESDAY homework Thursday
1 Introduction Live Session: 3pm ET Reading & video introduction Live Session: 3pm ET
2 Evaluate current
Finance 101
Live Session: 3pm ET Matrix map exercise Live Session: 3pm ET
3 Business model canvas;
Private Funds
Live Session: 3pm ET Business model canvas exercise Live Session: 3pm ET
4 Rethink mission, vision, and future activities; Measure success Live Session: 3pm ET Logic model exercise Live Session: 3pm ET
5 Analyze stakeholders; Communicate effectively Live Session: 3pm ET Stakeholder analysis table exercise Live Session: 3pm ET
6 Make the Pitch Live Session: 3pm ET Prepare Pitches Live Session: 3pm ET


How to apply:

Applications accepted until October 1 or until the course fills, whichever comes first.

Apply at


What our alumni say:

“Diversifying approaches to funding is important, and I have learned valuable skills that will help with this – not just the sources themselves, but approaches to communication and establishing partnerships as well.”

“I hoped for practical information about how to diversify my funding base, and my expectations were certainly met.”

“I feel more equipped to take an organized approach to managing my facility… the team of instructors, advisers, and guest speakers was phenomenal.”

“I learned a huge amount about private funding.”

Strategies for Success:  Online Modules

We can adapt sections of our Strategies for Success course to offer online skills training to staff at your organization or institution. If you are interested in this, or would like to have an online SBI workshop in conjunction with your online meeting or conference, please reach out to us!
If you have questions, please contact us at

Brought to you by the Ecological Society of America