Decorative Side Bird

How Fundraising Works

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain six key reasons people give to organizations.
  • Who are the best prospective donors for your organization.
  • The factors that contribute to fundraising success.
  • How to rate your organizations readiness to raise money.
  • Eight fundraising principles.
  • How to choose the most effective ways of raising money for your nonprofit.

Download full Course Curriculum in Adobe PDF format.

Downloadable Resources

8 downloadable resources in this course

Free sample resource (PDF): Prospecting Worksheet

Course Level/Prerequisites/Certification Credits

Introductory level.

Recommended companion course: Telling Your Story Through the Case for Support.

Take the optional final quiz. If you pass with 70% or more, you can download a Certificate of Completion.

Participation in the course is applicable for 2 points in Category 1.B – Education of the CFRE International application for initial certification and/or recertification.

This training may be used to meet the requirements for renewing the Certified in Volunteer Administration (CVA) credential. One Professional Development Unit (PDU) is awarded for each 50-60 minute session or contact hour in topics related to volunteer resources management. For more details about the CVA program and renewal requirements, visit or email


This course is on-demand, meaning that you can take it anytime, at your own pace.

The course takes approximately 1 hour to complete from start to finish, but you have access for 3 months. Take it all at once. Take it in 15-minute bites. Take breaks between each module. Come back in a month for a refresher. It's entirely flexible and up to you!


$89 per user; 3 month access

System Requirements

User Feedback

"We signed up 40 of our staff (fundraisers and non-fundraisers) to take CharityVillage's course on How Fundraising Works. They found the course an easy, fun style of learning. The information was solid and useful. No one had to leave their desk, and management liked the cost-effectiveness of this training solution."

"These courses provide a comprehensive introduction to each topic, and lots of practical tools. Now, we're taking a look at using other courses for specific staff and volunteers."

"It's a great idea for big 'shops' where there's a lot of staff turnover and recruitment of people from outside the nonprofit sector. It's an ideal way to ensure that everyone has the key concepts of fundraising clear before we begin to provide organization-specific training."

-- Aderita Guerreiro, Vice President, Development & Marketing,Heart and Stroke Foundation BC & Yukon

"I'm the first of 39 from our Foundation to complete [the How Fundraising Works] course. I feel this will be a valuable resource to new employees and to those in support roles within the personal gifts team. I appreciate the sound option within the presentation, I learn better audibly but appreciate that in an open work environment the option is available to mute. The outline and course objectives were clearly presented and I like the review at the start of each module. This was very easy to use and follow. I would not hesitate to continue with other [CharityVillage] courses."

-- Melanie Brooks, Heart & Stroke Foundation BC & Yukon