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How to Fundraise: A Guide to Fundraising for Non-Fundraisers

Get a practical guide to fundraising and learn tips on everything from preparing your fundraising story to processing donations.

3,606 enrolled on this course

How to Fundraise: A Guide to Fundraising for Non-Fundraisers
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours

Design a fundraising strategy to help your group or charity take the next step

On this course, you’ll get practical advice on how to fundraise whether you work for a non-profit or charity, or you volunteer in a community organisation.

Using evidence-based fundraising research, you’ll learn who gives, how they do it, and why they do so.

As you explore the fundraising process, you’ll build skills in fundraising management and learn how to create a fundraising strategy that works for your organisation.

The course will help you to take the next step in raising the money and support that your cause, charity, group, or non-profit organisation needs to thrive.


  • Week 1

    Who do you ask and in what way?

    • Introduction

      In this activity we begin with a short introduction to the course and your team of educators.

    • The fundraising mix

      This activity introduces the concept of the fundraising mix and explores what types of formal groups and organisations give to charity and non-profit organisations. Image by Howard Lake, CC BY-SA 2.0.

    • The individuals who give and why

      In this activity we will look at the many reasons why individuals give to charity. Understanding how they make their decisions may help you choose how to fundraise from them. Image: 'Group Jump' by Paolo Dala, CC BY-SA 2.0

    • Your potential supporters

      Who you ask for support from will be depend on many factors. In this section, we consider how might go about determining which funding sources are suitable for your cause or group.

  • Week 2

    What are you asking for and who does the asking?

    • Finding your fundraising stories

      In this activity we introduce the concept of fundraising as social and emotional labour. Understanding this can help to develop your case for support. Image: 'Puppet show at Amer Fort' by Kirithiga Ramalingam, CC BY-SA 2.0.

    • What and who do you need to tell your story?

      This activity focuses on who else within a charity helps make for effective fundraising, and the possible roles that these individuals may play. Image: 'Crowd Sourcing Like Tom Sawyer' by Dave O, CC BY-SA 2.0.

    • Your fundraising story

      In the final activity for Week 2 you'll be writing and testing your own fundraising story.

  • Week 3

    What is your unique fundraising plan?

    • Reciprocity and developing loyal donors

      Here we introduce the concept of reciprocity and explore what role it plays, as well as the forms it takes within the fundraising process. Image: 'Happy May Day' by Shannon Hillinger (Flickr), CC BY-NC 2.0.

    • The practical stuff

      In this activity we will look at some of the practical tools and ethics involved in fundraising. We will also briefly consider the role of fundraising regulation in the UK. Image: 'Ladder' by 'synx508' (Flickr), CC BY-NC 2.0.

    • Your fundraising plan

      This activity will guide you through the development of your fundraising strategy and plan, so that you are ready to fundraise. Image: 'P1070131_arches_9' by Simone Pittaluga (Flickr), CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

    • Summary

      We've now reached the end of our course on How to Fundraise. Here we round things off with a brief summary and thoughts about next steps. Image: 'End of term fête' by Crawley College (Flickr), CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify why and how people and groups would want to give to your cause or organisation.
  • Assess which methods of asking people to give are most suited to your organisation.
  • Explore how to be emotionally and socially skilled facilitators of giving to your organisation.
  • Develop your organisation’s stories in a way that will motivate people and groups to become loyal supporters.
  • Investigate how to sensitively and effectively manage the fundraising process including processing donations and managing data.
  • Design a fundraising strategy and plan that works for your organisation and be confident about what to do next.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who would like to learn how to fundraise more effectively.

The course will be particularly useful for leaders and members of small charities or non-profit organisations, local branches of larger charities, volunteer-led groups and community organisations, as well as inexperienced or new fundraisers.

Who will you learn with?

Lesley is a Researcher at the University of Kent where she researches and teaches on gifting practices and the role of fundraisers in the non-profit sector.

Ali is Director of Studies for the MA in Philanthropic Studies at the Centre for Philanthropy. Her research focuses on voluntary action, donor socialisation and children's charities.

Beth worked as a fundraiser and charity manager for a decade before co-founding the Centre for Philanthropy in 2008 where she now leads a team conducting research and teaching courses on philanthropy.

Who developed the course?

The University of Kent

The University of Kent, the UK’s European University, is one of the country’s most dynamic universities. Established in 1965, it now has 19,850 students studying at its various campuses.


supported by

Pears Foundation

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