Fundraiser Training Programs in Canada

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The work of fundraising and fundraising management is a specialized skill that leads to inspiring work but is not for the faint of heart. Nonprofits must develop their leaders to effectively raise funds to support their mission. Skills to develop include donor relations, campaign planning, grant writing, and event management to name a few. Ensuring that your marketing, communication and fundraising management skills are current will also go a long way to ensuring resource allocation, compliance and revenue-generating strategies that are critical to any nonprofit’s success. 

Here’s a brief description of some reputable institutions and fundraiser training programs in Canada that offer fundraising skills and fundraising management training. These programs and institutions are listed in alphabetical order. 

1. BCIT School of Business + Media
Fundraising Management Program
Based in Burnaby, British Columbia

Specializations: The Fundraising Management associate certificate program focuses on teaching the most effective ways to manage and promote fundraising for charitable organizations. It offers specialized training in fundraising, grant writing, marketing, and more, providing students with a solid understanding of the essentials needed for a successful career in fundraising.

Features & Benefits: The program offers up-to-date training reflecting fundraising trends, suitable for all experience levels. It emphasizes hands-on practical skills for daily work in charitable organizations, preparing graduates for careers in the growing fundraising sector. Completion may lead to a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation.

2. Carleton University
Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership
Based in Ottawa, Ontario

Specializations: The Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (MPNL) program at Carleton University offers specializations in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. Students can focus on areas such as donor relations, fundraising campaigns, grant writing, and strategic planning, providing a comprehensive understanding of fundraising principles and practices.

Features & Benefits: This program, the first of its kind in Canada, focuses on evolving fundraising trends. Based in Ottawa, a nonprofit hub, it offers diverse learning opportunities and connections. Faculty research areas, including charity regulation and social media, provide students with up-to-date skills. Graduates are prepared to lead in nonprofits, social enterprises, and related sectors. The program suits both full-time students and professionals seeking part-time study, with flexible pathways to a master’s degree.

3. George Brown College
Fundraising Program
Based in Toronto, Ontario 

Specializations: This program offers specializations in major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, and capital campaigns. These specializations provide students with a comprehensive understanding of various fundraising techniques and strategies.

Features & Benefits: This program equips passionate individuals with skills to effectively raise funds for causes. It features instructors and advisors from various non-profit sectors, offering a comprehensive curriculum covering campaign creation, grant writing, event organization, donor research, and digital strategies.

4. Mohawk Continuing Education
Fundraising Program
Based in Hamilton, Ontario 

Specializations: This program offers specializations in donor relations, campaign planning, grant writing, and fundraising events. These specializations provide students with a comprehensive understanding of fundraising principles and practices.

Features & Benefits: Students will experience comprehensive training for those seeking to excel in fundraising. It stands out for its industry-relevant curriculum, offering up-to-date strategies and techniques. It provides flexible learning options with evening and weekend classes, catering to both full-time students and working professionals. The program emphasizes practical, hands-on learning, preparing students for real-world fundraising challenges. Networking opportunities with industry professionals enhance students’ connections and potential career prospects. Graduates benefit from enhanced job prospects and opportunities for career advancement in the nonprofit sector, thanks to their specialized training.

5. Seneca College
Fundraising Management Certificate
Based in Toronto, Ontario

Specializations: The Fundraising Management program at Seneca College focuses on developing skills necessary for a career in fundraising within the non-profit sector. Students learn methods of fundraising, donor relationship management, and campaign management.

Features & Benefits: The program’s curriculum includes courses such as Introduction to Fundraising, Fundraising as a Management Process, Methods of Fundraising, Donor Relationships in Fundraising, and Strategic Management of Campaigns. Students also complete an independent project, allowing them to apply their skills in a real-world setting. Graduates can explain the impacts of philanthropy and volunteerism on the economy and society, demonstrating a deep understanding of these concepts. They also acquire essential management and leadership skills required for fundraising management roles. 

6. Toronto Metropolitan University
Fundraising Management Certificate
Based in Toronto, Ontario

Specializations: The fundraising program at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies offers a comprehensive curriculum covering various aspects of fundraising, such as annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, and capital campaigns. This approach ensures students receive a well-rounded education in fundraising practices and techniques. Graduates benefit from a strong network of industry professionals, enhanced job prospects, and the ability to succeed in the nonprofit sector by utilizing effective raising funds skills.

Features & Benefits: This certificate program offers practical skills in donor relations, campaign planning, and fundraising marketing ideal for advancing in the nonprofit sector. Flexible class schedules, including evening and weekend classes, cater to working professionals, and networking opportunities enhance career prospects. Upon completing this certificate program, you will gain the ability to develop and execute successful and ethical fundraising strategies. Students will be able to adapt to emerging trends in donor-centred fundraising, apply financial management practices, and evaluate strategic fundraising plans. Completing the program will provide credits to help students qualify to pursue a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation.

In conclusion, these programs and institutions are well-regarded for their quality training in fundraising skills and can provide valuable knowledge and networking opportunities for fundraisers in Canada.

*Note: This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but only a sampling of the available programs. If you have other good programs you wish to recommend, please email us at [email protected] . The details and availability of each program may change, so visit their websites for the most up-to-date information. For example, one popular program offered by Humber College in Toronto was halted at the end of 2023. 

Contact us at Cause Leadership for fundraiser job opportunities. 

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