Principles of Fundraising


Villanova's Principles of Fundraising certificate provides students with the tools and data driven solutions for their development needs. Effective fundraising requires sophisticated techniques for identifying, cultivating, and soliciting potential donors.Through this course students develop a portfolio of strategies and skills to implement goal setting, strategic outreach and communication with donors.

About the Program

Principles of Fundraising is offered in collaboration with the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Greater Philadelphia Chapter (AFP-GPC) and is an exemplarily program for individuals looking to enhance their philanthropic endeavors. Villanova University will award 3.0 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) along with a certificate of achievement upon completion of the program, which can be applied towards the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) credential.

Principles of Fundraising educates individuals on how to:

  • Plan, implement and manage an annual giving program.
  • Identifying the best multi-media communication strategies and how to adapt your message per each outreach outlet.
  • Apply the latest information technology to your fundraising program.
  • Organize and host a successful solicitation event.
  • Build meaningful, workable relationships with board members and volunteers.
  • Assess your current organizations major gifts plan and how to implement better strategies for success through goal setting, strategic outreach, and communication with donors. 


Certified Fundraising Executive Credential

Students who successfully complete the Principles of Fundraising program will earn 30 points towards the Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) exam. CFRE International certifies experienced fundraising professionals aspiring to the highest standards of ethics, competence, and service to the philanthropic sector.

Learn how to become a CFRE


Scholarship Opportunity

Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater Philadelphia Chapter offers several partial scholarships for this course to individuals employed as fundraising professionals with one to five years of experience in the field. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of organizational need and career potential. 

Go to to download an application. The deadline is two weeks prior to the class start date. 

Course Fees

Course Schedules

Spring 2018

Dates: Mondays, January 22 to April 9, 2018
Time: 6 to 9:00 pm
Location: Villanova University Main Campus


Spring 2018 Schedule


Starting a Development Program

Week 1 – January 22

Annual Giving

Week 2 – January 29

Institutional Fundraising

Week 3 – February 5

Grant Seeking

Week 4 - February 12

Research, Cultivation and Solicitation

Week 5 - February 19

Accountability, Ethics & The Law

Week 6 - February 26

Spring Break  

OFF – March 5

Campaign Fundraising

Week 7 - March 12

Basics of Planned Giving

Week 8 - March 19

Solicitation & The Donor's Perspective

Week 9 - March 26

Easter Recess  

OFF – April 2

The Board's Role

Week 10 – April 9

Marketing, PR, & Social Media

Week 11 – April 16

Putting It All Together

Week 12 - April 23

To learn how you can become an AFP Member, call 215-320-3871 or visit  Memberships start at $75 per year.

Registration, Billing/Payments and Cancellation Policy