Certificate in Fundraising

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Four fundraisers looking at a piece of paper with sticky notes on attached to a glass window.

The Certificate in Fundraising helps fundraisers become more confident and understand how to make a genuine difference to their organisation’s fundraising programme.

This qualification is designed for practitioners responsible for the frontline implementation of fundraising activities. As a guide you must have a minimum of twelve months to three years fundraising experience either in a paid or voluntary capacity and you must be actively fundraising in an organisation while you are on the course. You will need to be with an organisation who can support you to complete the assessments while you are on the course. 

The Certificate course is equivalent to a level 4 programme and is similar in level and assessment to the first year of a traditional full-time degree. 

Please be aware that we will ask for your supporting organisations details and we may contact them. 


The fundraising environment

This unit will provide you with an understanding of the wider environment in which charities and other non-profits operate. It has been newly updated to reflect recent changes in regulation, self-regulation and in particular the implications of GDPR. The module also includes a strong emphasis on fundraising ethics, introducing multiple perspectives for ethical decision making, together with a detailed consideration of the role and implementation of the Code of Fundraising Practice.

Understanding donor behaviour

This unit reveals the emerging science of donor behaviour. You’ll learn who gives, why they give and in some cases why individuals elect not to give or decide to stop giving. We will also draw on the latest research findings from the fields of economics, sociology, marketing and the new field of philanthropic psychology. You will learn how to discern the genuine needs of donors and how to add real value in the experience of their philanthropy.

Designing donor communication

This is a completely new unit. Here you will learn how to design compelling donor-centric communication that will inspire and excite your donors. We’ll look at the science that underpins great fundraising copy and also the design of both print and digital communications. You’ll learn how to audit communications to enhance their effectiveness in both monetary terms and how good they make supporters feel. At the core of this is the design of a truly compelling case for support.

Fundamentals of fundraising planning

This unit provides a framework for the planning of fundraising activities. You’ll learn how to design a plan for your own fundraising activity, conducting a fundraising audit, writing objectives that are an appropriate response to that environment and proposing a fundraising mix to achieve them. The course will give you a firm grasp of how each key form of fundraising operates. The class will also cover key concepts such as segmentation, positioning, branding and the case for support. It will also teach you how to build a fundraising budget, schedule of activities and appropriate forms of monitoring and control.

Further details


You need to complete four work-based and case-study assignments. See the deadlines for each course on the booking page via the training, events and resouces listings.

Course format

The course is taught either via: 


On average, about nine months is needed. You should to commit six to eight hours per week which amounts to about 400 hours of individual study. You are expected to attend every session, actively engage with your class and tutor, and study in your own time.


1–3 years paid or voluntary (guide only)

To ensure you are not placed at a disadvantage when studying for a Chartered Institute of Fundraising qualification you should have a strong command of written and spoken English to complete assignments to the required standard. 

You will need Internet access to use essential online course materials.

You will need to purchase the course textbook Sargeant, A. and Jay, E. (2014) Fundraising Management: Analysis Planning and Practice (third edition), Routledge, London - it is not included within the course fee.

You will need to have read the course handbook before booking onto this qualification. This will help you decide if this is the right qualification for you. Please contact academy@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk for a copy of this document.

Fees and membership

  Individual Membership Non-member
Live virtual delivery £1973 £2129
Online £1625 £1783

Booking terms and conditions apply for all Chartered Institute qualification courses. Fees do not include the course textbook.

If you are not yet an Individual Member your first year's membership is included with the non-member rate to enable you to access the full range of member benefits during your course. You must hold a valid Individual Membership while studying for a qualification. Visit our membership pages for more information.


After completing the Certificate in Fundraising you might wish to progress to the Diploma in Fundraising.

Get in touch

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