Certificate in Fundraising

Want to consolidate your skills and develop as a fundraising professional? The Certificate in Fundraising gives a solid grounding in the theoretical concepts and principles behind fundraising. It examines the role of fundraising within the sector and the role it plays in society. 

Why take the Certificate in Fundraising?


Who is this qualification for?

This qualification is designed for practitioners responsible for the frontline implementation of fundraising activities. As a guide you should have a minimum of one to three years fundraising experience either in a paid or voluntary capacity.


What are the benefits to you and your organisation?

You will become a more confident fundraiser and understand how to improve your results. You will learn practical, effective fundraising skills to apply in your current role. These skills will enable you to make a positive immediate impact on your own, and your organisation's fundraising results.


The IoF Certificate in Fundraising has been a great tool to help me prepare for the new events we are planning for 2018. I have gained further understanding of my specific area of fundraising through the qualification, which I have applied using the tools and models that I learnt on the course. Now I hope to carry on working within the charity sector to fulfil my aspirations!” Sophie Gunner MInstF(Cert), graduated 2017


What will you learn?

The syllabus blends the very latest ideas from professional practice with the emerging science that will be shaping our future. You’ll gain knowledge and skills at the very cutting edge of the profession that you can take to any employer and make a genuine difference to their fundraising programme.

You will work your way through four Units on this course. These are:

The Fundraising Environment: This unit will provide you with an understanding of the wider environment in which charities and other nonprofits 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.

We believe that the new course will offer candidates a truly exceptional grounding in the principles of fundraising and provide the knowledge and skills essential for a modern career in the profession.



You need to complete a series of four work based and case study assignments. To help you plan your studies the assignment deadlines for each course are provided to you on each course's booking information page within the Events & Training calendar.


Course formats

The course is taught either online or via intensive face to face courses (two blocks of two full days) at various locations around the UK. As a guide courses usually run during the spring and autumn.


What level of commitment is needed?

Whichever course teaching format you choose you are expected to attend every session and actively engage with your class and tutor. If you fail to attend and/or engage you will disrupt your own learning experience and the shared learning experience of your group.

You are also expected to study in your own time. On average the length of time needed to complete the Certificate in Fundraising is approximately nine months. You are expected to commit approximately 6-8 hours a week until the completion of the programme. This amounts to approximately 400 hours of individual study.

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

You will need Internet access to enable you to access our online learning platform which provides 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.


Completed the Certificate in 2014 & it’s had such a positive impact on my career & fundraising. Highly recommend it!@CharityNikki, on Twitter 


To book your place on a Certificate in Fundraising course visit the Events & Training calendar.

Find a face to face Certificate course near you:

Book face to face course


Alternatively, start your learning online:

Book online course


Course fees* and materials

* For current course fees please follow the relevant booking link via the Events & Training calendar.

Course fees include: Tutor costs, access to online course resources via our online learning platform (all students need Internet access throughout their studies) and an A4 hard copy folder with printed 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.

For online fees, find out more here

** If you are not yet an individual IoF member your first year's membership is included with the non-member rate to enable you to access the full range of IoF member benefits during your course. You must hold a valid IoF individual membership while studying for a qualification.

Booking terms and conditions apply for all IoF qualification courses - for details please click here.

Please note if you are a new member you will need to provide a reference to complete your membership application and our Membership team will get in touch with you to arrange this on receipt of your booking. You can visit our membership pages for more information.


What our learners say:

I found it a fantastic week and a fantastic course. I got a lot of really great learnings on many different aspects of fundraising and I think the quality of the lecturing and subject matters we covered, I found it hugely rewarding."

The important part for me in choosing a course was knowing I could put some trust and belief in what I was going to be taught and having the tutors and teaching staff to hand."



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


Contact us

For more information please contact our IoF Academy team on 020 7840 1020 or email academy@institute-of-fundraising.org.uk