Training for Fundraisers: A New Breed of Creative, Specialized Professionals

Read on to learn more about training for fundraisers.

In recent decades, although the expanding field of philanthropy has created a significant need for talented professional fundraising executives, supply has not kept up with this demand. In fact, philanthropy is still hobbled by widely-held mindsets and unspoken assumptions: resistance to change, reliance on unpaid volunteers, and a perception that no particular training is required all devalue the potential of philanthropy.

Today more than ever, a change in attitude is called for. Philanthropy is not only an innovative field.

It is also a specialized discipline, with its own requirements and demands. This is why training for Fundraisers is important.

La formation en philanthropie

Training for Fundraisers to become a Successful Professional

Dreaming of becoming an accomplished fundraising professional? You’ll want to pull out all the stops. Raising real money, cultivating lasting relationships, and extending donor networks is hard work.

And those are just the basic tasks that philanthropy professionals perform. Also, they may be called upon to manage volunteer activities, compile corporate storytelling, and be knowledgeable about the legal aspects of donations.

This range of required skills means that talented individuals who want to help philanthropy move forward need to acquire specialized knowledge. And, the best way to acquire this knowledge is a thorough, well-rounded training program for Phialnthropic Fundraisers. Many people assume that there is no such thing as fundraising training or certification. Not true!

A number of universities and other institutions offer programs, microprograms, certificates and courses for persons who want to enter the field of philanthropy.

What are these training opportunities for Fundraisers?

Université de Montréal: Microprogram in non-profit organization management

While the Université de Montréal had long considered offering a Diplôme d’études supérieures spécialises (DÉSS) [graduate-level diploma in specialized studies]. In 2022, it replaced the former Certificat en gestion philanthropique [certificate in philanthropic management], opting instead to create the new Microprogramme en financement des OBNL.

This new microprogram has the same prerequisites and offers the same courses as the previous certificate, over a shorter period. There are five courses, for a total of 15 credits, covering context, standards, fundraising campaigns, communication, marketing and donor relations. The program provides a complete overview of the workings of the field of philanthropy. In addition, students will learn to identify appropriate fundraising approaches and design fundraising campaigns.

The training offered is designed to be applicable to a broad range of sectors such as communication, health care, entrepreneurship, sports and culture. Also, it provides good coverage of philanthropic background, fundraising management and project management.

Therefore, this offering provides students with a full understanding of the basic concepts needed to become true fundraising professionals. This training can be tailored to a great many sectors.

Carleton University: Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL)

As well, Carleton University, in Ottawa, Ontario, offers a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership degree.

This degree program is headed by led by Suzanne Philipps, a member of the Canadian Philanthropy Partnership Research Network (PhiLab). Designed to develop new leaders in the philanthropic and nonprofit field, the program trains students in specific leadership and management skills including strategic planning, financial management and fundraising.

Since the COVID‑19 pandemic, courses have been offered in‑class and online. So, that students can work and study at the same time. The program provides opportunities for students to meet with professional fundraising executives and researchers. Thus, it’s allowing them to learn more about evolving challenges and new opportunities in the field. Students have access to a network of graduates and experienced professionals. A feature that will support their career development.

Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology: Certificate in Fundraising Management

Also located in Ottawa, Ontario, Algonquin College offers a Certificate in Fundraising Management.

The certificate includes six courses, covering an introduction, management strategies, and donor relations. It is offered part‑time and online. Thus, it’s allowing students to work and study at the same time. It provides students with skills that will enhance their employability. In addition, it help them pursue a career in professional fundraising.

Graduates can become fundraising managers or co‑ordinators, development officers, or writers of grant proposals.

Stand-alone courses at McGill University: Diploma in Public Relations and Communications Management

Stand-alone courses in other programs are another fundraising training possibility.

An example is McGill University’s Diploma in Public Relations and Communications Management, which offers a course in fundraising and philanthropy, as well as a course in ethics in public relations. These two courses give students an opportunity to learn about the basics of fundraising and philanthropy. They are including project justification, target audiences, donor segmentation, values and principles.

BNP Philanthropic Performance: Institute for Philanthropy

BNP Philanthropic Performance has set up its own Institute for Philanthropy. Following two decades of growth in the field, BNP decided to create a training centre for philanthropy: a first! The Institute’s main purpose is to help organizations reach their full capacity. Three training themes are offered:

  1. Fundraising Strategy, to teach your organization strategies for major fundraising campaigns, major donations, planned giving and donor solicitation.
  2. Organizational Management, to enhance your organization’s planning and governance.
  3. Human Resources, to fine-tune your organization’s human resources structure and management.

These training courses will allow your organization to adapt to change. Also, they will boost the capability of staff and volunteer teams.

Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Quebec Section: L'ABC de la collecte de fonds

The AFP, Quebec Section, offers a course on the fundamentals of fundraising entitled L’ABC de la collecte de fonds; ABC course description.

Given over a two‑day period, this training course allows current and future professionals to learn the basics of fundraising. A series of modules cover various aspects of the field: overview, integrated fundraising program development, marketing, creating and maintaining donor relations, donor solicitation, and the role of volunteers. In addition, students will acquire solid expertise, and will have access to the experience and know‑how of a worldwide network of fundraising professionals. This enriching and motivating training course allows individuals and organizations to reach their full potential.

As well, to encourage more individuals to enter the field of philanthropy, each year this organization offers four $250 scholarships to offset the costs of tuition.

From training for Fundraisers to CFRE certification

Finally, it is always best to take training that focuses specifically on philanthropy and will be applicable to a broad range of sectors. That said, classical training in business administration or communications, for example, can also allow you to work and develop your career in the field of philanthropy. Indeed, you will need to adapt the knowledge and concepts applicable in profit-making businesses to the nonprofit world.

Once you have acquired training and experience in one or more sectors of the field of philanthropy, you can apply for certification as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Read the article “What does CFRE stand for, and why should you care?”.

This credential is recognizable demonstration of your personal and professional achievement and commitment.

2022-09-07T10:20:16-04:00August 30th, 2022|