‘Completing the Certificate in Fundraising was hugely rewarding and a significant amount of hard work’

‘Completing the Certificate in Fundraising was hugely rewarding and a significant amount of hard work’

Guest Bloggers | 31 October 2019

Chris Rainford MInstF(Cert) will be graduating with the Certificate in Fundraising at the graduation ceremony in London next month. He explains what he got out of the qualification, and how it had many similarities with completing an undergraduate degree.

The Certificate in Fundraising provided me with the opportunity to broaden my fundraising knowledge and consolidate my understanding of key areas. As a fundraising consultant, I was keen to complete a professional qualification which would be recognised by our clients.

Completing the qualification was hugely rewarding and as expected, required a significant amount of hard work. The tutors are excellent throughout and provide you with a thorough understanding of the key elements during the training days. On top of this, the tutors are on hand to offer you one-to-one support by email, phone or even Skype! The tutors do everything they can for you to succeed, while also ensuring you’re learning as much as possible throughout the process.

To achieve the qualification, I was required to complete four assignments which all addressed different areas of fundraising. The assignments were very varied, from completing a Fundraising Audit and evaluating a communication piece to developing a Fundraising Plan. Each assignment used the knowledge learnt from the previous one so it was satisfying working on the final assignment, as it felt like the putting together the final piece of a jigsaw puzzle.

If you are thinking about completing the qualification, I would highly recommend it. You will learn a huge amount which will help you with your day-to-day fundraising role. If I had to give one piece of advice, I’d say that completing the course reminded me of completing my university degree – in a good way – and I think it’s important you understand why this is before registering for the course. 

Here are some examples to back-up my thinking:

  • The tutors are excellent and some of them have completed their own research in fundraising.
  • The content is not spoon-fed to you. Instead, the tutors provide you with the background and the overview, before signposting you to the relevant literature where you then consolidate your understanding.
  • It requires you to read around the subject, which is what makes the course so interesting.
  • The tutors won’t give a simple yes/no answer – they will point you in the right direction so that you can then draw your own conclusions.
  • The feedback is constructive, allowing you to learn and improve throughout the course.
  • There is a huge sense of satisfaction on completing it.
  • There is even a graduation ceremony at the end!


Chris Rainford MInstF(Cert) is Head of Business Development at Buffalo Fundraising Consultants Ltd, and is graduating with the Certificate in Fundraising.

Find out more about the Certificate in Fundraising and the Institute of Fundraising's other qualifications here.



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