Fundraising Management

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*NOTE: We will be reviewing curriculum and format changes over the course of this year. Please contact us to receive updates. Keep an eye out for shorter webinar programming over the course of this year.

Program Overview

As organizations compete for donor dollars, they have a great need for fundraising professionals. With the focus increasingly on the individual contributor, fundraisers recognize the growing importance of planned and major gifts, the fundamental relationship between good management, financial and marketing skills, and the ability to develop strong case statements for grant proposals. This Certificate Program in Fundraising Management reflects the changing trends and new directions of the field.

This program was planned in cooperation with the Northwest Development Officers Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and Philanthropy Northwest.  Content was designed by an advisory board of UW faculty and development professionals representing major Puget Sound organizations and is taught by instructors with Fundraising Experience. This program presents opportunities to network with other fundraising professionals and make contacts you will value throughout your career.


Introduction to Fundraising

This basics course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of fundraising for nonprofit organizations.  Course includes developing a professional communication style, a basic development plan, relationship building, working with Board of Directors, value-based decision making, the Fundraising Code of Ethics, and career development. In this course, you will:

  • Examine the history of philanthropy.
  • Learn how successful fund raising programs are structured.
  • Examine the roles of volunteers and staff in fundraising.
  • Build your donor base.
  • Plan and implement a capital campaign.
  • Examine donors, motivations, and changing trends in the Northwest.
  • Discuss the Fundraising Code of Ethics and best practices.
  • Developing a professional communication style
  • Build constituent relationships.
  • Use value-based decision making.
  • Evaluate what skills and abilities employers look for in fundraising professionals
  • Develop an effective resume.
  • Evaluate the benefits of participating in professional organizations.

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Major and Planned Gifts

An overview of major and planned giving within a comprehensive fund development program.  Course includes: Theory and best practices, prospect identification and research, cultivation methods, solicitation techniques, closing strategies, the role of the Board, marketing, donor recognition and stewardship, and the role of major and planned giving in capital and endowment programs.  In this course you will learn how to:

  • Assess, plan and incorporate major and planned giving programs into an organization’s comprehensive fund development program.
  • Identify, research and cultivate major and planned gift donor prospects.
  • Secure appointments with major gifts prospects, identify donor conversational cues, ask for and close gifts.
  • Understand the role of the Board in implementing and sustaining major and planned giving programs.
  • Identify the concepts and major components of a capital and/or endowment campaign.
  • Understand basic and advanced planned giving concepts and strategies
  • Understand relationship-based, donor-centered fundraising and stewardship.

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Writing for Development

If you want to be on the top of your game when using words to raise money, this class is for you! We will focus on developing the necessary written fundraising messages to reach different audiences for fundraising success. Students will gain practice in writing case statements, appeal letters, grant proposals and press releases. In this course you'll:

  • Write to your target audience.
  • Write case statements for campaigns.
  • Write compelling annual appeal letters and thank you letters
  • Use the Internet to research appropriate foundations to apply for grants.
  • Write the grant proposal and letter of inquiry.
  • Develop relationships with funders and donors (stewardship).
  • Write press releases that get noticed and working with the press.

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Managing the Development Process

Utilizing the practice of a Development review this class examines the full spectrum of best practices in managing a fund development program.  Through the use of a modified Development audit participants will better understand the systems and techniques needed to manage a high-performing comprehensive development program.  In this course you will:

  • Define the role of the chief development officer.
  • Manage staff and volunteers.
  • Select and use donor information systems.
  • Analyze donor data to assist with planning.
  • Incorporate online fundraising into your program.
  • Work with finance departments.
  • Build, track and record budget information.
  • Use financial knowledge to assess fundraising productivity.

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Fundraising Capstone Research Project

This course offers the time and resources to research a fundraising topic of the student’s choice to delve deeper into an area of interest.  The instructor, in class and one-on-one meetings between class sessions, will help you focus and hone your research with the end result being the creation of a 20 page paper and high level presentation of your topic to the class.  In this course, you will:

  • Research an in-depth knowledge on a topic of your choice.
  • Apply skills learned in the program to a professional paper and presentation.
  • Make a connection with a fundraising expert in the community.
  • Synthesize information into a short presentation.
  • Learn from the research of your peers.  

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Who would benefit from this program?

This program is designed for fundraisers, board members and volunteers, who want to upgrade their skills or for those seeking a new career in the development field. Do you like working with people to help them realize how they can help others? The Fundraising program will help you pivot into positions like a Development Officer or a Major Gifts Officer in Advancement (also known as Development or Fundraising) departments.

Recommended Qualifications

No application required.

Two years of college or two years of work experience in the field of development and fundraising is recommended.


The Fundraising Management program will be offered ONLY EVERY OTHER YEAR. We are encouraging students to start in September and complete the program in June. However, unique to UW Tacoma is the ability to take any course that is being offered as an open enrollment option. For example, you may only want to improve your grant writing skills by taking the Writing for Development course. You have two years from the start of your first course to complete the entire certificate program. Upon successful completion of all program requirements, participants earn a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington Tacoma and 128 hours or 12.8 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Participants must meet the minimum standard of 80% for attendance and completion of coursework.