Fundraising and Development Professional Concentration | UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education

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Fundraising and Development Professional Concentration

A Career that Makes a Difference

Many people choose the fundraising and development field because it affords them the opportunity to impact society, while also earning a good living. But fundraising offers even more than that – it’s a growing field, with ever-expending career opportunities, from higher education, to healthcare, to non-profit organizations and more. Fundraisers spend their days working with diverse stakeholders and pairing the right opportunities with the right donors to make a substantive impact for their organization.

About the Program:

Our fully online training program in Fundraising and Development consists of four required courses, with curriculum structured to build upon and reinforce your learning from previous classes. The Fundraising and Development Professional Concentration is a cohort-based program, with new cohorts beginning every spring and fall. Single-course enrollments are also welcome in any quarter.

Classes feature a mix of online lecture, peer interaction, virtual discussion, and real-world learning activities designed to advance job skills and train students to become development officers. You’ll complete the online program with a clear understanding of modern fundraising and development concepts and the expertise to put them into practice, including:

  • An understanding of fundraising terminology and the development lifecycle
  • How to identify and develop prospects and cultivate major donors
  • Training for developing annual giving campaigns
  • Principal and major gift and planned giving strategies
  • Career opportunities for development officers

You’ll apply your learning through hands-on assignments covering an array of real-world deliverables, such as a case for support, major gifts appointment letter, planned-giving ask, a foundation proposal letter and a prospect identification exercise. You’ll finish the program with a portfolio you can share with employers.

Pre-Pay Option

Save 15% on the cost of your Fundraising and Development Professional Concentration by enrolling in the Pre-Pay option. Pay up-front for all four courses at the discounted rate, and our academic advisers will place you in the courses each quarter. Receive priority enrollment. Contact the program administrator at (530) 757-8895 or to learn more.


Estimated Cost:

Tuition for the entire Fundraising and Development Professional Concentration is $3,580 when courses are taken individually. The Pre-Pay price is $3,043, which reflects a 15% discount. Textbooks are not included in the tuition fee.


Program Requirements:

Courses may be taken individually or as part of the Fundraising and Development Professional Concentration. You are awarded a certificate in Fundraising and Development upon the successful completion (with a grade of "C" or better) of the eight required units of designated coursework. Courses are online and asynchronous. It is possible to complete this program in a year or less. Please contact us at or (530) 757-8895 for more information.

Quarterly schedule of courses

Fundamentals of Fundraising and Development2.0OO
Annual Campaigns2.0OO
Major and Principal Gifts2.0OO
Planned Giving2.0OO
F=Fall W=Winter SP=Spring SU=Summer; Schedules subject to change.
O = Online C = Classroom OC = Online and Classroom H = Hybrid

Required Courses

This course provides a comprehensive overview for those entering the fundraising profession and those with limited experience who seek to expand their knowledge of the entire fundraising enterprise. You’ll gain an introduction to the basic terminology and concepts in the field, along with an overview of the development cycle from identification and cultivation through stewardship and recognition. Learn how to develop a case for support, identify and assess prospective donors, match a donor’s interests and needs with your organization’s mission and goals, recognize planned giving benefits to your donors, structure a successful solicitation, and respond to ethical dilemmas. You’ll also examine career opportunities in the field, along with contemporary issues and trends confronting today’s fundraising managers. Throughout the course you’ll gain hands-on practice developing an array of written products for your fundraising and development portfolio.

This course is not currently open for enrollment.

In this comprehensive overview of annual giving programs, you’ll gain an introduction to the basic terminology and concepts of annual giving as well as the various solicitation channels and donor types. Learn how to write a direct mail appeal, craft an impactful email appeal, and develop a script for phone solicitation. You’ll learn how to build a leadership annual giving portfolio and maximize the impact of memberships and events in annual campaigns. You’ll complete the course with the knowledge and skills to build and implement a multi-channel solicitation strategy that achieves the goals of an annual campaign.

Sections of this course open for enrollment:
This course will provide a comprehensive view of major and principal gift development work for students who seek to build upon their experiences gained in the introductory session (FUN 200). Participants will gain an understanding of the philosophy and strategies implemented in major gift development including prospect identification, how to initially engage a potential major gift donor, the process of cultivation and moves management, effective proposal writing, making a successful ask and on-going donor stewardship. Students will practice fundamental major gift development skills by developing their own prospect strategy, producing essential documents to support the process, and engaging in role playing activity to simulate interaction with prospects and donors.
Sections of this course open for enrollment:

In this comprehensive overview of planned giving, you’ll gain an introduction to the basic terminology and concepts in the field as well as an overview of each planned giving vehicle. Learn to identify and assess prospective donors, recognize planned giving benefits to your donors, match a donor’s interests and needs with the appropriate planned giving options, and structure a successful solicitation. You’ll understand the importance of administration of planned gifts to ensure compliance with policies and fulfillment of obligations to the donor. Apply your knowledge by developing a multi-step donor strategy and a marketing strategy, working on case studies, networking, and analyzing success factors. 

This course is not currently open for enrollment.

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“I would absolutely recommend the Fundraising and Development Program to those interested in entering this field,” she said. “Its unique design offers a tailored curriculum, while still managing to cover so many parts of the development field.”

Anne Worthington

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Our Fundraising courses are approved for 20 Continuing Education points. Complete the entire Professional Concentration and earn the 80 points required for certification.