Principles of Fundraising

Broaden your Fundraising skills and knowledge!

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

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Course Fees & Schedule

Class Location:

Class Dates & Time:

Program Cost:

Villanova University
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA 19085

New Start Date:
February 2 to April 25, 2016

Mondays: 6:30pm-9:00pm

AFP Member: $750.00

AFP Non-Mem: $850.00

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


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. 


“The diverse assortment of weekly courses that offer an overview of major fundraising strategies combined with the diversity of instructors from various local non-profits make the Villanova Principles in Fundraising course extremely worthwhile. I would recommend this certificate program to those who would like to learn about the trends and best practices of successful and ethical fundraising.” – Jeanne Szyszko (Spring Semester 2015)

Course Curriculum 

Class Date:


Jan. 25

Starting a Development Program: An Overview

Feb. 1

Campaign Fundraising

Feb. 8

The Annual Appeal: Direct Mail, Telefunding, & Online Giving

Feb. 15

Major Gifts: Research, Cultivation, Solicitation

Feb. 22

Marketing, Public Relations, and Social Media

Mar. 7

The Basics of Planned Giving

Mar. 14

The Role of the Nominating Committee

Mar. 21

Institutional Fundraising

Apr. 4

Grant Seeking

Apr. 11

Solicitation & the Donors Perspective

Apr. 18

Accountability, Ethics, & the Law

Apr. 25

Putting It All Together: The Development Plan


“The Principals of Fundraising course was a comprehensive overview to all aspects of fundraising, presented by highly qualified and engaged experts in the field. Instructors welcomed questions and discussion beyond the class agendas.”  - Donna Scheuerle (Spring Semester 2015)


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. 

Certified Fundraising Executive Credential 

Students who successfully complete the Principles of Fundraising program will earn 36 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

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