Certificate in Fundraising


The Certificate in Fundraising helps fundraisers become more confident and understand how to make a genuine difference to their organisation’s fundraising programme. It's designed for fundraisers who are responsible for the front line implementation of fundraising activities, with about one to three years paid or voluntary experience.

You’ll learn practical, effective fundraising skills at the very cutting edge of the profession that will enable you to have a positive, immediate impact on your fundraising results. The Certificate in Fundraising will give you a solid grounding in the theoretical concepts and principles behind fundraising and examine the role of fundraising within the sector and the role it plays in society.

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Create an account (it's free to register) or login to your existing My IoF, go to 'My interests', and select 'Qualifications' and 'Training'.

Our newly updated syllabus consists of four units:

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.



You need to complete four work-based and case-study assignments. See the deadlines for each course on the booking page via the Events & Training calendar.

Course format

The course is taught either via: 

- Live virtual delivery (learn from and engage with your tutor and peers through Zoom teaching sessions and tutorials) 


- Online (create your own study plan and work through the course materials at a time that suits you. Please note the assignment deadlines dates for you chosen qualification course will still apply)  


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 an IoF 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 see the below links:

Certificate in Fundraising course handbook

Certificate in Fundraising Online course handbook


Live virtual delivery – £1973 (IoF Individual Members), £2129 (non-members)        

Online – £1625 (IoF Individual Members), £1783 (non-members)


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

Bursaries are available via the RAISE: Arts, Culture and Heritage programme. Download an application form


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. Visit our membership pages for more information.



live virtual

Book online course



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


Contact the IoF Academy team 


020 7840 1020