Diploma in Professional Fundraising

Course Overview

Undertaking the FIA Diploma in Professional Fundraising shows a true commitment to your fundraising career.

This newly redesigned course helps to develop fundraising management strategies through strategic thinking, creative approaches to fundraising and nurturing donor relationships. Students will also develop advanced problem-solving and communication skills through practical, hands-on case studies and activities and assessments with an organisational focus.

The Diploma is delivered via e-Learning through the FIA Learning Hub, allowing fundraisers to begin their studies anytime, with enrolments and course access granted for 12 months. FIA’s expert tutors provide guidance, assessment support and feedback via video call /phone and email. Our new learning management system ensures your learning experience is positive and professional.

Course prerequisites

  • 3 years of full-time, paid fundraising experience
  • Ability to manage time and study independently

Access to

  • a database of donors
  • a database with a history of diverse funding
  • previous fundraising campaigns
  • stewardship reports
  • organisational strategy documents and reports

What you’ll learn

  • Strategies for corporate fundraising, trusts and foundations and gifts in Wills.
  • Analysis of trusts and foundations and tools for grant proposals.
  • The profiles of major donors and requirements for a major gifts program.
  • Gifts in Wills program strategies.
  • Frameworks for ethical fundraising and fundraising regulation.
  • Selecting appropriate fundraising channels and content matched to the donor journey.
  • Understanding the significance of digital as a part of an integrated fundraising strategy.
  • Leadership and management in a fundraising context.

Who is this course for?

  • Early-career or aspirational fundraising managers with at least three years of full-time, paid fundraising experience.
  • Career fundraisers are keen to move in a new direction, progress their careers or enhance their professional standing.
  • Charity and not-for-profit managers with responsibility for organisational fundraising.

Course Overview


Below, you will find instructions for the FIA Learning Hub & course information for 2024.

Need more help?

Video Instruction: How to register for a course via the FIA Learning Hub

Available to start anytime
12 months e-Learning
Online tutor-supported

*Email training@fia.org.au*

Member $4450
Non member $5450

FIA Code
This course relates to the following aspects of the FIA Code of Conduct:

  • FIA Code 2.0 Compliance, 3.0 Ethical conduct, 4.0 Conduct towards Donors, 5.0 Conduct towards Beneficiaries and 6.0 Conduct in Supplier relationships.

Full participation in Diploma in Professional Fundraising  is applicable for up to 80 continuing education points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

Meet our tutors:

Alan White FFIA CFRE

Alan has spent 15 years developing fundraising, marketing, communication and partnership programs that enable organisations to meet their mission through service provision, advocacy and influence. He’s blended this expertise with organisational strategy development, oversight of business operations, program implementation and measurement.

In a variety of roles, Alan has developed program activity that has seen year-on-year growth and was formerly Executive Director of engagement at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, overseeing a $27 million suite of fundraising, philanthropic, institutional funding and commercial programs, leading teams that grew this from a base of $8 million. Alan is currently the Deputy CEO at Plan International Australia, the charity for girls’ equality, leading teams across fundraising and philanthropy, marketing, brand and communication, data and technology, partnerships, advocacy/influence and impact measurement.

As a brand and marketing communications strategist, Alan’s work builds communities and influence governments to support systemic change outcomes through funding and policy change. He has also led the ASRC’s social enterprise programs, Catering, Cleaning and Retail, employing 75+ people seeking asylum to support their independence and job-skills development across a multi-site operation.

Alan is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) the only globally recognized fundraising accreditation, and sits on the Boards of Fundraising Institute Australia, Melbourne Queer Film Festival and Proud 2 Play, where he is currently the Chair.

Dr Margaret Scott FFIA CFRE

Dr Margaret Scott FFIA CFRE (Ret.), is a fundraising leader, Board Director and researcher. Margaret is highly regarded in Australia and internationally and sought after as a presenter, mentor and guide to individuals and organisations wanting to raise more funds and develop their Board and organisational leadership.  Margaret’s focus on fundraising leadership has culminated in PhD studies illuminating the special relationship between CEOs and Board Chairs and the role of Boards in supporting and driving fundraising.  She considers herself to be a ‘lifelong learner’.

A photo of Chris Benaud smiling at the camera. He is in in front of a park and wearing a scarf.
Chris Benaud FFIA CFRE

Chris Benaud is a highly-experienced fundraiser who has worked for leading not-for-profit organisations for almost 30 years. He has been involved with FIA training programs since 1998. A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and Fellow of the FIA, Chris’s qualifications include BA (Communication); MA (Communication Management); Cert IV – Workplace Assessment and Training.

Jena Ellis

Jena Ellis has worked in the nonprofit sector for 18 years. She is an experienced fundraiser with demonstrated skills in medical research, health, and disability sectors in Australia and Europe. Her areas of expertise include Major Gifts, Trusts and Foundations, Corporate Partnership Development, Strategic Planning, Bequests, and Events.

In 2021, Jena was accepted as a Research Candidate through the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to start her Master of Philosophy – Philanthropy research degree. Her thesis will tackle Donor Intent, Expectations, and Nonprofit Accountability following a Natural Disaster in Australia.

She has presented at the 2010 FIA National Conference on Event Management, the 2016 FIA National Conference on Bequests, and a Data Masterclass for the FIA SA Showcase in 2021.

Maisa Lopes Gomes MFIA
Head of Digital Fundraising

Maisa is the Head of Digital Fundraising at Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA), a Not-for-Profit (NP) transforming the lives of people living with cerebral palsy. Maisa has more than 10 years of practical experience in fundraising, including P2P, Gifts in Will and Events. She specialises in digital fundraising and is considered a leader in the field, presenting at conferences and facilitating courses as a subject matter expert. Maisa was the Gifts in Wills manager at CPA from 2015 to 2017, leading the organisation to win the FIA Award for the best Gifts in Wills Campaign for a large org in 2018.

Maisa has been involved with the STEPtember campaign since year one in 2011, and was part of the core Leadership team who led the campaign to fundraise $11M in 2020 and $18M in 2021 ($10M growth in comparison to 2019 $8M). During her 10-years of employment at CPA, the wider Fundraising team has raised more than A$300M for cerebral palsy.

Maisa is an activist at heart. She likes to experiment with creativity and digitalism. Her vision is to be a social change agent and inspire meaningful, positive, and lasting socio-cultural change at a global level. She is a lifelong learner and has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and formal qualifications in Website Development, Marketing, Fundraising Data, and Digital Business Strategy via MIT.

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