The University of Chichester is to offer the world’s first undergraduate degree in fundraising from September 2014. The BA (Hons) course is titled ‘Charity Development’, designed to reflect the wide range of skills that will be taught and which are used by successful fundraisers.
The course is accredited by the Institute of Fundraising. Paul Marvell, the Institute’s Director of Professional Development and Membership, said: “If you want to help create a better world, fundraising is a fantastic career choice. No doubt about it, charities are dependent on the skills and professionalism of fundraisers to deliver their work.”
Professor Adrian Sargeant, the Robert F. Hartsook Professor of Fundraising at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and Gill Raikes, CEO at Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity, and previously Director of Fundraising at The National Trust, are the external advisors for the course.
Sargeant wrote recently in the Growing Philanthropy Summit white paper, Growing Philanthropy in the United States, that “Undergraduate degrees in marketing are plentiful, yet a degree to prepare an individual for a career in fundraising is notable only by its absence.”
The course has been developed by Donna Day Lafferty, a fundraiser for over 17 years. In addition, she designed and authored the how2fundrase.org website, an online guide for volunteer fundraisers for the Institute of Fundraising, coordinated the IoF’s ﬁrst online learning module, and piloted fundraising training for local charity volunteers for Chichester District Council.
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She said that the aim of the Charity Development degree course “is to expose students to as much best practice and real-life fundraising as possible. The course will include leading guest speakers, students will attend industry conferences and they will be encouraged to spend at least one day a week as a charity intern. I’m going to do all I can to ensure demand is high for both students and graduates and they are a real asset to the charities they work for.”
Rowena Lewis, Director of Fundraising, at the charity Gingerbread reflected that “working for a charity is definitely one of the most rewarding careers out there. If this degree in Charity Development had been around when I was at Uni I’d have jumped at it. I’m sure it would have made it easier to break into the sector.”