Charity software and services specialists Blackbaud are to help students undertake a paid internship with a local charity as part of the University of Chichester’s new Charity Development (BA) Hons course. As a result students on the world’s first undergraduate fundraising degree will be able to gain fundraising work experience and be paid to do so, rather than limiting the opportunity to students from wealthier families.
In addition, Blackbaud is providing free software so that students can learn about the technology and data that underpins much of contemporary fundraising.
Jerome Moisan, Blackbaud Europe’s managing director, explained:
“Training and education are extremely important in any industry so we are proud to be involved with the world’s first fundraising degree. I believe it will add credibility to the profession and help set a new generation of fundraisers on a rewarding career path.”
Charity sector recruitment agency Flow Caritas is also supporting the course is, like Blackbaud, also offering students a paid internship with travel costs at their London offices.
First undergraduate fundraising degree
The new course has been developed by Donna Day Lafferty, who has worked as a fundraiser for 17 years. She explained the need for the degree course, saying:
“Go to a cancer care centre or hospice to see how important [fundraisers] are; this isn’t just about training people, it’s also about creating the capacity for charities to be there when you need them.”
Even though each year around 30,000 fundraisers in the UK generate the £60 billion that supports the work of over 164,000 charities, there remains a shortage of skilled fundraisers.
Institute of Fundraising accreditation
The University of Chichester, which has recently spent £8 million on redevelopment, including extensive IT suites, is also partnering with the Institute of Fundraising. Paul Marvell, a director at the Institute said:
“”We are pleased to accredit the course against our Certificate in Fundraising. This degree represents an enormous step forward for the fundraising profession and for young people seeing fundraising as a credible and desirable career.”
UK Fundraising’s Fundraising Camp is taking place at the University of Chichester in 24 March. This series of one-day events for fundraisers is inspired by the ‘unconference’ and ‘barcamp’ method of unstructured and informal models of conferences, so will offer students an opportunity learn from a wide range of fundraisers.
Applications are open for the September 2014 cohort for the Charity Development (BA) course.
Day Lafferty is also inviting enquiries from companies and charities that would like to help train the next generation of fundraisers.