Fundraising Essentials

Course Overview

Fundraising Essentials provides you with the basic knowledge and practical tools to help get you started as a fundraiser. The course covers key principles in ethical practice, reasons, and vehicles for giving, core fundraising models to understand the donor journey, and how to build a case for support. This course will bring theory to life with best-practice fundraising techniques so you can hit the ground running and make an impact in your fundraising role.

This course can be delivered in three ways to suit your preferred learning mode and availability.

  1. Self-paced over 3 months via our online learning portal for those who are strong independent learners who like a longer timeframe. The course is approximately 12 hours study. You can complete the course in less than 3 months
  2. Online tutor-led is a 1 day option via zoom with the support of a tutor for those wanting to complete in a shorter timeframe
  3. In-class is also a 1 day option hosted at a venue in each major city (excluding NT) for those who learn best in a classroom environment.

What you’ll learn

  • How the Australian fundraising sector works
  • Key regulations that impact fundraisers and not-for-profits
  • Motivations for donor generosity and charitable giving
  • Various fundraising channels, trends and methodologies
  • The role of quality data and people to acquire and retain donors.

Who is this course for?

  • People who are new to the fundraising sector with little or no knowledge of fundraising techniques and practice
  • People already working in the not-for-profit sector but who are new to a fundraising role
  • People who may be looking to enter the charity and not-for-profit sector in a fundraising role
  • Fundraisers in volunteer roles with little or no knowledge of fundraising practice.


Module 1: Overview of Fundraising: Provide students with an overview of the scope of fundraising, types of fundraising and key regulations to be aware of.

Module 2: Fundraising Basics: Provide students with basic information about why donors give and key elements to consider when fundraising and defining a case for support.

Module 3: Donor Acquisition: Provide students with key information on how to acquire donors associated with various fundraising channels.

Module 4: Donor Development: Provide students with key methods and frameworks for donor development and stewardship

Module 5: Managing Fundraising: Provide students with the key issues associated with managing data in marketing and privacy.

Dates and Time
Available to start anytime

Access to materials:
3 months self-paced
(Approx. 12 hours of study)



Member $250
Non member $350

29 November 2023
9.00am – 5.00pm
In class – Melbourne


Member $395
Non member $510

29 November 2023
9.00am – 5.00pm
In class – Sydney

Member $395
Non member $510

29 November 2023
9.00am – 5.00pm
In class – Brisbane

Member $395
Non member $510

10 & 11 October 2023
9.00am – 1.00pm AEDT
Online – tutor-led

Member $395
Non member $510

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

  • FIA Code 4.0 Conduct towards Donors, 3.0 Ethical conduct, 6.0 Conduct in Supplier relationships.

Full participation in Fundraising Essentials is applicable for up to 7.5 continuing education points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

Meet the tutors

Carl Young CFRE FFIA

Carl Young is an experienced Philanthropy and Fundraising Professional, an NFP Advocate, a Board Member of the Public Fundraising Regulation Association (Chair 2017-2021), and a former FIA Fundraiser of the Year (2022).

He has a proven track record with over 25 years of sustainable income development in the hospital, healthcare, and international aid sectors.

At Peter Mac, Carl and his team grew the active donor base from 13,000 to 129,000 donors and helped raise over $500m during his tenure.

With extensive expertise across all key fundraising methodologies, especially Major Gifts, Bequests, and Regular Monthly Giving, Carl is passionate about establishing effective strategies, business rules, and processes to empower teams and charities in their donor engagement and development aspirations.

Carl has personally solicited many gifts of $1m, and his expertise has resulted in over 30 awards for fundraising excellence, including the FIA Fundraising Team of the Year in 2019.

Francesca Cinelli CFRE FFIA

For over 25 years, Francesca has held senior fundraising management roles in a number of not-for-profit organisations including Wesley Mission, Redkite, National Heart Foundation of Australia, Save the Children, and Spine Care Foundation.

She has proven experience and skills in growing fundraising revenue – driving and exceeding financial targets, strategy development & implementation, innovation, developing and managing budgets, team management, and raising the profile of an organisation.

Francesca has been a long-time contributor to the FIA Education program delivering the Fundraising Essentials course since 2013.

She has sound knowledge, skills, and experience in fundraising theory and practice (including legislation) and was an adjunct lecturer and tutor in the Master of Management (Community Management & Not-for-Profit Management) Program at the University of Technology, Sydney, for four years.

Francesca has been a member of FIA for over 25 years and was on the NSW Executive Committee for four years. She gained her CFRE accreditation in 2019 and was made a Fellow in 2021.

Francesca has also previously been a mentor in the FIA NSW Mentoring Program as well as a regular judge for the annual FIA Awards.

Claire Hughes MFIA CFRE

Claire has over 11 years of extensive experience and skill development within Fundraising and Marketing in the for-purpose sector. As an industry leader, Claire has worked at various levels within fast-paced, complex national charities in the UK and Australia. Currently the Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Ipswich Hospital Foundation, Claire is tasked with establishing a sustainable fundraising program to diversify revenue.

Previous to this role at MS Queensland, Claire led the fundraising events & community program and the individual giving & philanthropy program. She has worked at other organisations, including Legacy Brisbane, Mater Foundation, Oxfam Australia, and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

Claire is a committed and passionate fundraiser and contributes to the sector through several volunteer roles, including Deputy Chair of Fundraising Institute Australia’s (FIA) Queensland Committee and playing a pivotal role serving on the FIA Conference Committee (2019, 2020 & 2022). Awarded FIA Queensland’s Young Fundraiser of the Year in 2019, Claire is an advocate for the fundraising profession and supports emerging leaders in the sector as an FIA tutor and a Mentor. In addition, Claire was a Board Member for Inala Youth Service, supporting young people and the community to thrive through program delivery.

Claire engages in innovative thinking and thrives in problem-solving, approaching decision-making with a humanistic lens and being led by data and research. A visionary leader, she relishes in duties such as driving organisational culture, change management, and resource mapping, as well as creating strategic clarity and direction to motivate teams to succeed.

Heiko Plange-Korndoerfer CFRE FFIA FAIM

Heiko has extensive experience developing and executing strategic marketing, major gifts fundraising, and corporate partnership programs. He has worked across health, medical research, educational, community, and charitable organisations throughout Australia.

Heiko holds a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance Investment and a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact.

Heiko has been a Fellow of the Fundraising Institute Australia and has represented Western Australia on the State Executive since 2010.

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