How Fundraising Works

Price: $99

Includes the 3-month unlimited access and all the course downloads.

Choose your purchase option.

This course offers a high-level overview of the key terms, concepts and principles of professional fundraising in Canada today.

Learning Objectives

  • Define common terms used in ‘fundraising’
  • Express how LAI helps to identify the most likely donor for your cause
  • Describe the stages of the fund development cycle
  • Explain the readiness factors needed for fund development
  • Describe the principles demonstrated by the ‘Donor Pyramid’
  • Articulate the purpose of different fundraising methods and give examples
  • Speak to the importance of ethical standards in fundraising practice

Course Curriculum

  • Part 1: The Canadian Fundraising Landscape
  • Part 2: Understanding & Engaging Donors
  • Part 3: Fundraising Readiness
  • Part 4: Fundraising Methods and Strategies
  • Part 5: Management, Professionalism & Ethics

Links and Additional Resources

  • 3 downloadable resources and course transcript
  • 12 links to online resources
  • 1 book recommendation

Course Level/Prerequisites/Certification Credits

Introductory level, no prerequisites.

Recommended companion course: Case for Support, Event Planning, How Boards Work, Planned Giving, Writing Effective Policies and Procedures

Final Exam –Take the optional final exam at the end of the course. If you pass with 70% or higher, please contact with your exam score to receive your course certificate.

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 1.5 hours to complete from start to finish, but you have unlimited access for 3 months. You can choose to take the course in one sitting or in smaller bites. Either way, the course is entirely flexible and up to you how fast you complete it!

About the Course Author

Dr. Sharilyn Hale partners with those who want to make the world better. With a 20+ year leadership career spanning the social profit sector, she draws on expertise in philanthropic strategy, organizational development, governance and research. Sharilyn started her career as a professional fundraiser, and is Past Chair of CFRE International, the global fundraising credential. Prior to launching Watermark, she created and led the women-driven campaign for the award-winning $80 million YWCA Elm Centre, providing affordable and supportive homes for women. She is a governance advisor and trainer with BoardSource, and a Chartered Director (C.Dir). With a deep history and track record in the local and international philanthropic communities, she serves on the Board of the Toronto Public Library Foundation, and is a leadership volunteer for the Imagine Canada accreditation program for charities in Canada – and coaches organizations to achieve these standards. She was also a Provincial Appointee to the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Sharilyn holds a doctorate degree in leadership, is a Research Associate with the Centre for Global Generosity and has written and co-authored numerous publications. She is a member of the Advisory Council for Canada’s first graduate degree program in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Carleton University; a program initiated by a group of sector leaders – including Sharilyn – who saw a need to build Canada’s philanthropic capacity.

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