Why we do we need the Advanced Diploma in Fundraising?

Why we do we need the Advanced Diploma in Fundraising?

Guest Bloggers | 22 July 2013

With the launch of the Advanced Diploma in Fundraising, Paul Marvell explains why fundraising qualifications are vital for the sector and the individuals taking them.

I really like LinkedIn! I enjoy joining in discussions on issues that I care about and I can think of two recent debates that really made me think “I may not agree with all these people, but at least they care enough to discuss this!” The most recent discussion was on the recent announcement of an undergraduate degree in fundraising at Chichester University. The discussion before this was about the Advanced Diploma in Fundraising, with the question “Do we really need another fundraising qualification?” In both discussions I said, as you might expect given my role at the IoF, that yes we do need an undergraduate degree in fundraising, and yes we do need the Advanced Diploma!

So why do we need the Advanced Diploma?

Firstly it is the final piece in the jigsaw of the 4-tier qualifications framework, which the IoF launched around three years ago. So far (since 2011) 1203 individuals have completed the Introductory Certificate in Fundraising, our entry level qualification, over 250 have completed the Certificate in Fundraising and over 100 the Diploma in Fundraising. I think this is fantastic, and I am delighted that so many people are prepared to invest so much of their time and often their own money into furthering their professional development, and I am even more delighted that they have chosen to do this through the Institute. The Advanced Diploma allows some of these graduates and others operating at a senior level to continue their professional education in a directly relevant area.

Secondly the Advanced Diploma in Fundraising is unique.  Although there are a number of Higher Education Institutions in the UK offering masters level qualifications in non-profit studies of one sort or another, nowhere is there an international masters level qualification in fundraising. Through our alliance with the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the European Fundraising Association, the Advanced Diploma has a common curriculum that will be taught in Europe and North America. This means that it will be the ‘must have’ advanced qualification around the world. The Advanced Diploma is the only professional qualification that uses a combination of just in time teaching and active learning to ensure students get the most from their learning experience.

Thirdly, senior fundraisers have been waiting for this for a long time. Ever since we announced the qualifications framework back in 2010 we have been asked many times when the Advanced Diploma will be available. Well we are delighted to say that it will be available this Autumn!

So if you want to develop your understanding of fundraising in the context of your organisation and society as a whole; if you want to stretch your skills in analysis, synthesis and evaluation to the limit; if you want to understand how to represent fundraising better to your board and senior management team; if you want to understand philanthropic psychology and how to apply it, the Advanced Diploma in Fundraising could be for you.

However, the Advanced Diploma is not for the faint-hearted! You will be expected to complete about 600 hours of study over a full academic year, including attending two three-day residential teaching blocks and completing seven assignments. Because of the innovative teaching methods being employed by the course faculty headed by Professors Adrian Sargeant and Jen Shang, you will be expected to engage with the course material and your fellow students in advance and between the teaching blocks.

This is a really exciting development for the sector, and fits in with other work the IoF are doing with leadership level fundraisers (watch this space!). Whilst I cannot foresee many of our existing fundraising directors beating down my door to get their place on the course, I am certain that we will have a healthy interest from their future successors!

Contact us at academy@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk to find out more


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